What the Editors Bought Recently: Fiction

Happy April Fools Day– Note:  This  is NOT an April Fool’s joke: This is a popular post– we are fascinated to see what editors selected out of the thousands of submissions before them. Enjoy — be inspired!


Andy Abramowitz’s TREMBLE, pitched in the tradition of Jonathan Tropper and Nick Hornby about the former lead singer of a one-hit wonder nineties band who reunites his fellow members for one more swing at the fences but finds redemption in the unlikeliest of places, to Sally Kim at Touchstone, for publication in spring 2015, by Caryn Karmatz Rudy at DeFiore and Company.


Winner of the Scott Prize for short fiction, Kirsty Logan’s THE GRACEKEEPERS, set in a world that is mostly covered with water, leaving only small archipelagoes of islands and dividing its inhabitants between “landlockers” and “damplings,” where two young women find their destinies intertwined, to Alexis Washam at Crown, by Kathleen Nishimoto on behalf of Cathryn Summerhayes at William Morris Endeavor.

Jason Miller’s DOWN DON’T BOTHER ME, a witty novel of murder in the mining country of Little Egypt, Illinois, to Cal Morgan at Bourbon Street Books, by Anthony Mattero and Yfat Reiss Gendell at Foundry Literary + Media .


Mary Lawrence’s A MATRON’S BANE, set in Tudor London, in which the daughter of an infamous alchemist must prove her innocence in a friend’s murder and uncover its connection to a threatening pestilence before she is arrested and London succumbs to plague, to John Scognamiglio at Kensington,in a three-book deal, by Fred Tribuzzo and Maryann Karinch at The Rudy Agency.

Rick Skwiot’s FAIL, while tracking down the missing husband of the mayor’s press secretary, a disgraced St. Louis Police Lieutenant uncovers a morass of corruption, educational malpractice, and greed that consigns thousands of at-risk students to the mean streets of America’s erstwhile murder capital, to Kristina Blank Makansi at Blank Slate Press, for publication in October 2014.

Stephen Kelly’s THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEAD, the first in a projected series of crime novels set in a small English village during World War II, pitched as inspired by true events, to Maia Larson at Pegasus Crime, for publication in 2015, by Joelle Delbourgo at Joelle Delbourgo Associates.

New Adult
NYT bestselling author J.A. Redmerski’s THE MOMENT OF LETTING GO, which follows a young photographer to Hawaii where she meets a seemingly carefree surfer with a secret she’s determined to uncover, to Megha Parekh at Forever, by Jane Dystel at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management.

NYT bestselling author Omar Tyree’s THE SNEAKER KINGS, the first novel of his new high-concept New Adult contemporary trilogy about the insane world of SNEAKERHEADS, which features a team of young sneaker fanatics who hustle their way to legendary status through national shoe conventions, events and savvy marketing, to Joe Coccaro at Koehler Books, for publication in 2014, by Leticia Gomez of Savvy Literary Services in association with Ascendant Group.

USA Today bestselling author Tiffany King’s A SHATTERED MOMENT, in which one night changes everything for a college sophomore who, after losing her closest high school friends in an accident to Kate Seaver at Berkley, by Kevan Lyon at Marsal Lyon Literary Agency.

Author of the NYT bestselling Kingkiller Chronicle novels Patrick Rothfuss’s THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS, a companion novella to the series where the brightest minds work to unravel the mysteries of enlightened sciences, such as artificing and alchemy, to Elizabeth Wollheim at Daw, to be published in November 2014, by Matt Bialer of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates.

NYT bestselling author Keri Arthur’s CITY OF LIGHT, the first novel in a new series about a genetically engineered courtesan assassin, to Danielle Perez at NAL, in a two-book deal, by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency.


NYT bestselling author Catherine Coulter’s next two books in her BRIT IN THE FBI series, co-authored with J.T. Ellison, which expands her FBI books with the addition of the UK-bred hero Nicholas Drummond of Scotland Yard, to Ivan Held at Putnam,by Robert Gottlieb at Trident Media Group.

Giller Prize-nominated author Elisabeth de Mariaffi’s debut literary thriller THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, in which a murderer’s arrest rings too close to home for a rookie reporter, bringing haunting memories of her childhood best friend’s unsolved murder – and a stalker – right to her doorstep, to Sally Kim at Touchstone, by Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Literary Agency.

V.R. Barkowsky’s BLOOD UNDER WILL, where a copycat ritual murder and a tenuous alliance with a cop and former friend leads a girl into a world of blood ritual and dark obsession; and A TWIST OF HATE, where a security consultant must travel through the secrets of his family’€™s past, a journey that leads from German-occupied France to betrayal to find a stolen painting, to Tiffany Schofield at Five Star,  by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency.


ONE DAY author David Nicholls’s US, about a long marriage coming to an end, and of a husband’s plan, over the course of one last long summer holiday — a road trip with their college-bound son across the capitals and cultural attractions of Europe — to win back his wife’s love and repair the damage in his troubled relationship with his son, to Claire Wachtel and Jonathan Burnham at Harper by Deborah Schneider of Gelfman Schneider/ICM on behalf of Jonny Geller at Curtis Brown in London.

Vanessa Lafaye’s debut SUMMERTIME, pitched as The Help meets The Perfect Storm, set in 1935 in a small community in the Florida Keys, already weighed down with secrets when a vicious attack on a white woman casts suspicion on the veterans brought to town to build a bridge, as a devastating storm based on a real hurricane bears down, to Shana Drehs at Sourcebooks, by Mitchell Waters at Curtis Brown.

Award-winning journalist and author of THE CURIOSITY Stephen Kiernan’s new novel about a dedicated Oregon hospice worker who, to save her cherished marriage, must deal with the needs of her husband, a traumatized sharpshooter just home from his 3rd deployment to Iraq, while simultaneously caring for cancer patient professor whose career as a World War II historian enables him to share stories, including a long buried secret, that prepare him for dying and may help her husband find peace, to in a 2-book deal, again to Jennifer Brehl at William Morrow, in a two-book deal, by Ellen Levine at Trident Media Group.

NYT bestselling author of Rhett Butler’s People Donald McCaig’s RUTH’S JOURNEY: The Story of Mammy from Gone with the Wind, the first-ever authorized prequel to Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind recounts the story of Mammy, one of literature’s greatest supporting characters, chronicling her life from her infancy in Haiti as it is ablaze with revolution, to her time as a slavegirl and young married woman in Savannah and Charleston, up to her years raising ScarlettO’Hara at Tara, to Peter Borland at Atria, by Mel Berger of William Morris Endeavor representing the Mitchell Estate and GWTW Partners and Kris Dahl of ICM representing McCaig.

NYT bestselling author Marie Bostwick’s THE SECOND SISTER, the story of two siblings, one who couldn’t bring herself to leave home, the other who couldn’t bring herself to stay, to Martin Biro at Kensington, in a two-book deal, by Liza Dawson of Liza Dawson Associates.

BIRDS OF A LESSER PARADISE author Megan Mayhew Bergman’s ALMOST FAMOUS WOMEN, a collection of stories about the imagined lives of real artists, writers, heiresses, actresses, singers, motorcycle racers and more, from the early 1800s and into the future, to Kara Watson at Scribner,  by Julie Barer at Barer Literary.

Author of Monarch BeachMarket Street and Lake Como, Anita Hughes’ FRENCH COAST and ROME IN LOVE, to Hilary Rubin Teeman at St. Martin’s, by Melissa Flashman at Trident Media Group (World English).

Author of THE MISTRESS OF SPICES, ARRANGED MARRIAGE, and most recently OLEANDER GIRL, Chitra Divakaruni’s next novel, about three generations of woman in an Indian/Indian-American family, exploring love and loss, different times and different cultures, and how women find the strength to move past heartbreak, again to Millicent Bennett at Simon & Schuster, by Sandra Dijkstra at the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency .

Lissa Evans’s CROOKED HEART, set in England in World War II, which brings together a young orphan, with his seemingly flint-hearted foster-carer, to Jennifer Barth at Harper, by Georgia Garrett at Rogers, Coleridge & White.

Children’s: Middle grade

Adam Shaughnessy’s debut THE ENTIRELY TRUE STORY OF THE UNBELIEVABLE FIB, an epic tale of gods and mythic creatures loose in a small New England town, and the unlikely pair of kids caught in their midst, to Elise Howard at Algonquin Young Readers, in a two-book deal, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Jess Bright’s SISTER, SISTER the story of a girl whose sister is seriously ill and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive, to Clare Whitston at Oxford University Press Children’s, for publication in 2015, by Charlie Viney at The Viney Agency (World).

Children’s: Young Adult
NYT bestselling author of SEX WITH KINGS Eleanor Herman’s debut LEGACY series, an epic historical fantasy saga based on the young life of Alexander the Great, full of dark magic, political maneuvering, and high drama, to Annie Stone at Harlequin Teen, in a four-book deal, by Stephen Barbara at Foundry Literary + Media on behalf of Paper Lantern Lit .

Kali Wallace’s SHALLOW GRAVES, about a murdered girl who finds herself resurrected and must reconcile her old, happy memories with the magical underworld of creatures to which she now belongs, a story which pulls from international folklore of monsters terrorizing children, avenging murderers, and consuming the dead, to Anica Rissi at Katherine Tegen Books, in a two-book deal, by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary Services .

Melissa Lander’s STARFLIGHT, pitched as “Overboard” meets “Firefly,” in which an orphan indentures herself to a wealthy, arrogant man in exchange for passage to a new world; but when an accident erases his memory, she convinces him that their roles are reversed and leads him on a series of intergalactic misadventures, to Laura Schreiber at Disney-Hyperion, by Nicole Resciniti at The Seymour Agency.

Sean McGinty’s THE FUN TRIP, narrated by a glitch-prone, new social gaming technology addict who begins an unexpected journey in search of hidden treasure, during which he repeatedly fails, falls in love, and ultimately experiences a spiritual epiphany as only a seventeen year old can, to Tracey Keevan at Disney-Hyperion, by Jennifer Carlson of Dunow, Carlson & Lerner .

Tim Floreen’s WILLFUL MACHINES, centered on the closeted son of an ultra-conservative president, who loves science, robots and possibly, the Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school, but when a sentient computer program turns into a terrorist threat, his life and secrets are in danger, to Michael Strother at Simon Pulse, in a two-book deal, by Quinlan Lee at Adams Literary .




Creating a Dynamic, Active Writing Group In Your Area

Mickey Goodman in Atlanta has learned how to create and manage an active community writing group:

“Being chosen to head an ASJA chapter is easy. Just head for the ladies’ room. When you return, you’ve been elected president (for life). The challenge is keeping the group active and relevant. It all depends on member participation.”

Mickey Goodman

It’s a lot of work, let’s not kid ourselves. It takes a big commitment on the part of the President and of every single member to make it a point of contributing and being there all the time.

What you  want to do with your group–how you focus the time and meetings–is up to you. Having professionals come to speak is very helpful, but you also need time to share among yourselves what you’re writing, how it’s going, getting feedback from each other. You want to celebrate individual member achievements and milestones, as well as help each other through inevitable disappointments and setbacks.

Mickey says “Our meetings, which take place monthly at the same time and place, are well attended.  Phone calls, e-mail, and Facebook notices on our private ASJA-SE page are frequent. When members don’t show up for two or more meetings, someone will usually call or mail—out of genuine concern—to find out why. We hope no one feels neglected or alone.”

As an author’s consultant, I always enjoy talking to a serious writer’s group. They have practical questions and challenging issues to address. With almost three decades of experience, I can offer perspective and suggestions on particular aspects of publishing.  Mickey says for her group, “In 2014, we’ve already heard from a CPA talking about tax deductions for journalists, a program arranged by Karon Warren, and we’re planning a discussion on journalism ethics using the best-seller Five Days at Memorial as our guide. A talk by a literary attorney is also in the works, as well as a hands-on workshop with developers of Publisheze, a hybrid of Print on Demand and traditional publishing.”  read more

There can be so much value in your writers’ group, selectively assembled and kept to a size that is manageable and meaningful to you. writers group

If you cannot find a good-fitting group in your area, start one. Create what you need. Nathan Kressen of Nook Press offers excellent tips on starting a group.  And Emily Wenstrom has some practical advice with her 5 Tips.


Luck Only Brings Success If You’ve Done the Work

Christina Katz, author coach and author of important writer resource books like GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL and THE WRITER’S WORKOUT– wrote an honest and excellent blog post about how easy it is to think every successful author “got lucky.”    creative writing flows from pen

” Last time I checked, however, luck had nothing to do with my own successes, my students’ successes, the writers I have interviewed or profiled, or the success stories of writers whom I admire from afar. The proof is everywhere. In fact, most of the real experts, including me, all say the same thing about publishing success: Set a goal and focus on it and don’t give up until you achieve it. Work hard, then work even harder, then work harder than you ever thought you could. Expect setbacks and then they won’t throw you.”

I was an agent for 27 years and I know how hard my authors worked, at every phase of their success, from concept through researching, interviewing, drafting–losing themselves in it, rewriting and editing, and then on to the marketing–years of marketing. Learning, trying, changing, learning more.

Books and publishing are organic processes, not static plans on a whiteboard, not the result of a networking connection. Writers are working with mental and emotional clay, shaping and reshaping. You discover your true book in the doing. It’s a long road, and every piece of success an author has is hard-won and well deserved.

Read more of Christine’s blog post


Are In-Person Events Worth the Time and Effort?

I am posting this blog by permission of author Ron Herron–this is a timely and timeless message about face-to-face marketing–if you want to be a savvy author, read it:

Painting With Light


Social Meetings or Social Media?
I’ve had this particular blog since 2006, but it was originally to talk about my camera-collecting and photography. I was content with a few photography friends and family as followers.

At the suggestion of my son, Jeff (an accomplished architectural photographer), I began my adventure using social media to talk about the world of indie publishing and to promote my books. I also created a writer’s page on the Book of Face, and started making those ultra-short speeches on The Twitter.

It all sounded like a good idea at the time, for two reasons:
1.) I didn’t know any better, and;
2.) It fit in my promotion budget, which was exactly zero.

Instead of pursuing any speaking engagements or book signings, I spent my time focused on social media. Book sales went nowhere.

When my first book, REICHOLD STREET, was published, I…

View original post 980 more words

5 Essential Mind-shifts for Getting Published

Logo ABC.TinyEntirely too many talented authors are coming to me worn out from unsuccessfully beating on the publishing house doors:    But why am I unpublished when I know I’m a good  writer and I have done the work?

I look at their manuscripts with the same question. I can see the writers are talented and have creative ideas. What’s going on?

I dig back into the history the authors have with agents and editors (before coming to me), and very often, this is what I discover:

The author hasn’t used any of the advice or suggestions made by editors or agents, but rather has continued sending the query and sample pages to new people–which is a “take it or leave it” approach. Authors who do not use the submission process as a learning and honing tool to ultimately make the book work for the publisher are playing the same odds as the Lottery.

There are FIVE ESSENTIAL MENTAL SHIFTS you can make to greatly improve the odds of being published. You will mentally and emotionally switch from:

      1. Talking to yourself on the page to talking to your reader.
      2. The exercise of spontaneous and  pure expression of thought and ideas to a structured presentation of ideas toward a calculated end.
      3. What you want to say or tell to how you need to say or tell it in order for readers to engage with you and understand your message.
      4. Being alone with your writing to being part of a team that will have a say in every aspect of its publication.
      5. Being a writer to being a writer, speaker, blogger, and marketing machine.

It’s a bit like becoming a parent:  Once you decide to have kids, it’s not just about YOU anymore. Once you decide it is your dream and mission to be published, it’s really not just about you anymore.

Face this square-on. Use the vast number of people and resources available to help you learn everything you need to know. I believe you will discover the joys of working with highly talented people who dedicate themselves to helping you succeed.

WHAT WOULD YOUR READER SAY?    A-women-reads-in-a-paris--Photograph Miguel MedinaAFPGetty Images

Welcome to the Author Biz Blog

The New Author Biz Blog

The original blog for Author Biz Consulting was on Blogspot. Rather than import old content, I will update and repost items of perennial interest to authors. There will also be new features coming on, such as regular behind-the-scenes interviews with:

  • Editors
  • coachingAgents
  • Freelancers
  • Publicists & Marketing Specialists
  • Authors

For constantly updated resource information and publishing news highlights, as well as other people’s interviews with People Of Interest, you’ll want to sign on to follow the Author Biz Facebook Page and/or Twitter:

If you have questions of issues you’d like me to address, feel free to email me: harperlaurieb  [at] gmail.com

We’ll get started soon. Come back, and add your two cents in comments.