Monday, January 31, 2011

For the Love of Language...

I taught rhetoric when I was a teacher.  And I've always been a language and words nerd.  It's also quite possible that at one point I learned elvish.

Which is why this is so cool to me.  

My favorites are Litost because Kundera's description of the word makes me swoon a little.  And Tingo because, I think I want to do that.

Friday, January 28, 2011

One Problem WIth Phone Queries

When the phone rings, I answer it.  Sure sometimes Meredith jumps to get the phone first or one of the interns is quick on the draw.  Moments when the lovable mean and sharkly Janet Reid is feeling playful mean and sharkly, she might even answer the phone.

But often times, it's me. I'm the one saying "Hello, FinePrint."

Now, the truth is, there are a ton of people out there who phone query.  We get at least several calls a day where someone calls for information on how to query, how to get an agent, how to get published, or worse how can they prove they're better than the average slush pile.

The truth is, these phone calls make the callers look stupid or arrogant.

Stupid because, hey, let's be honest, if someone can find the agency phone number, they should be able to also find the line that says "don't call."

Arrogant because...well, here's a story.

Me: "Hello FinePrint?"

Caller: "Hi can I speak to Suzie Townsend?"

Me: "Sure, what's this regarding?"

Caller: "I've written a book--"

Me: "Great! If you're going to query you should really do it by email.  Do you need our submission guidelines?"

This was of course a pivotal moment.  I could have just said, "This is Suzie" but the truth is I didn't want to get into a lengthy conversation about the premise of a book, which might be great, when I 
1. have a lot of other work going on
and
2. can't judge said book without seeing the writing

Caller: "But I've been referred by [Owner of Top Literary Agency]..."

My first thought: And why would that agent refer you to ME? I don't actually know her and she doesn't know me...


Caller: "...and I don't want my email to get lost."

My second thought: I know emails get lost, but I don't typically do the losing.  I answer hundreds of emails a day.  And I read them all and consider them all.  (Unrelated: for this reason, I hate when queries say PLEASE READ or something similar in the subject line.)

Me: "Even with a referral, the best way to query is via email--"

Caller: "But I've been referred by [TOP AGENT]. Don't you know who she is?" Caller spouts of facts about Top Agent's Agency. "Why don't you take down my number and give it to Suzie."

Caller's tone has become more and more condescending as the phone call continues.

Me: "Right, well I can do that, but typically agents don't return phone calls for queries." Typically = ever

Caller: "Who am I speaking with?"

I could have said "Well, actually this is Suzie, and based on your tone I don't think I'm the right agent for you" but that could have been awkward so...


Me: "Uh, this is...Elizabeth."*

Caller: "Well why don't you just take down my number and give Suzie my message." Caller repeats all his info, stressing his referral.  I write it down.

Me: "And were you referred by [Top Agent] or one of the other agents at her agency?"

Caller: "[TOP AGENT]. Like I said."

And then he hung up.  When I gave myself the message, I decided not to call back.

* Name has been changed, in case I ever want to use the name of my secretary alter ego again!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Love Letter To The Book


Guys, I get it. I really do. I think all agent-y types do:

"Everyone sends a query letter. There are thousands
of them in a week. Why would I throw my
hat in with all those other schmucks when I could do something
FLASHY AND DIFFERENT?!?!?!"

Glitter, for instance, is FLASHY AND DIFFERENT!!!!!
No. Stop. Step away from the glitter. Telephone queries (Just. Don't. Ever. Do. It.). Starbuck's cups full of flour (anthrax?!). Hand-made hand-delivered hand-bound queries. These are, unfortunately, worse than useless to us.

Because we're evaluating your book (and A LOT of other peoples' books) based on the writing and the story. Not on your creativity in getting it to us or panache on the phone. Those things are unrelated to your writing or your story. And that means we don't have time for them.

The query process is long standing. It works because it allows us to evaluate a lot of writing efficiently. You have to trust us that this system works, and that we're using it effectively. I don't have time for phone queries, but you better believe I find time for every. single. query. Those writers respect me enough to follow the rules. I respect them enough to read their work.

If you're getting rejections (even of the no response means no variety), you've got to look at your query letter. Does it follow these rules? Once you're sure that's squared away, you'll have to look at your book. You may need some revision. You may need to do another round of querying. It's frustrating. You've worked so hard. We know. But don't go rogue and start getting fancy. We have time for fancy writing, not fancy writers.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy Release Day!

Many months ago, a colleague came into my office and said "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! YOUWILLLOVETHISMANUSCRIPTIJUSTREAD!"

Naturally I was curious.

I looked at what it was about:

I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.


Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.


It sounded AWESOME.

Then I saw the cover:


Which I loved.  (It's purple!)

Then I read it.  

Overnight.

Two nights in a row.

So I went back to that colleague and said: "OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD! ILOVETHISBOOK!" *swoon*

And swooned for a few weeks whenever I thought about it.

And read it again.

And--(okay you get the idea).

And now I get to say congrats to Allison, whose brilliant debut novel is officially available to the rest of the world today.  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Backspace Contest

If you're planning to attend the Backspace Writers Conference here in New York on May 26-28 there's an opportunity to win a free registration fee (not travel, not lodging, not meals).


See more details HERE.

Yes!

I love Hannah Moskowitz.

And I love this post.
So first, hello Blogosphere.  I know I've been absent for a week or so.  Influenza was trying to kill me off--or turn me into a zombie, I'm not sure which--but it totally failed.  So that's the good news.

The bad news is of course, there were almost 400 people waiting for responses to emails when I finally made it out of bed.  And I apologize to anyone who got a delirious email from me while I was still sick.


In other news...has everyone seen The Fighter yet?  You should, because it's phenomenal.  That Christian Bale guy, he can act.  (He's not quite as hot in this movie, but that's ok).

In honor of the fact that it was a kickass movie and the fact that I need a kickass theme song now that I'm on the upswing recovering from the flu (and because there's snow everyone, ugh), courtesy of Brooks who sent me the link, I give you:

The Heavy

Friday, January 21, 2011

What $89 $104 Gets You In NYC These Days



This guy does the COOLEST things with
old Metrocards! Check it out. When I see how brilliant something so simple can be, I curse my own lack of creativity and just glower gape in slack-jawed awe.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

#yalitchat and Inspiration

I got sick on Tuesday and one of the (many) things that slipped through the cracks was a blog post I'd planned to write after seeing Betsy Lerner speak on Monday night at McNally Jackson (events calendar here). I'm late to this party. There are posts here and here by more conscientious, less sick people than moi.

Betsy's talk was phenomenal. She was "in discussion" with Glenn Kurtz (moderator extrodinaire, if I may say so) about the writing process--a topic she discusses in hilarious detail in The Forest For The Trees--and, even more of a treat, how editors and agents respond to, diffuse, and indulge their writers' processes.


One thing kept rolling through my mind as I listened to her and Glenn talk:


"Holy crap. She really, really loves this insanity!!"**


Betsy was nervous (at first), sitting in front of a packed house (of writers), forgoing an entire evening of work to be there (or, worse, going home to an entire night of work). But she came. She spoke. She answered questions.


The biggest, most recurring criticism of the publishing world, from writers at least, is that it's murky. How can you know what They are thinking?! I totally sympathize. As a pub-n00b, I often feel similarly. But I am inspired by the publishing professionals who go so out of their way to try to dispel some of the fog. Besty is certainly near the top of that list.


So what was the boot-in-my -a$$ that had me fighting through my own (fever-induced) fog to write this much-deserved tribute to Betsy's talk? The hashtag #YALitChat, which happens every Wednesday from 9-10pm. You can just type the hashtag into your search bar on Twitter and you'll find it. It's another way that publishing peeps (agents, editors, etc.) go out of their way to connect with authors. And that authors connect with authors! Tonight's topic was "Inspiration," and it truly was inspiring to see what people put up. If you're of a mind, go check out tonight's conversation here.


#PubLove
**I'm not the only one!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Books of 2011!

1/4/2011: Chasing the Sun (Blood Rose Trilogy Bk #3) by Kaki Warner (Berkley)


Why I love this series: I remember picking this out of the slush and thinking “this writer has not only won awards, she has a sense of humor.” Then when I read the first book in the Blood Rose trilogy, PIECES OF SKY, not only did Kaki’s humor shine through, but so did her passion. While traversing the hard backdrop of 1860s-70s New Mexico Territory, I fell in love with the Wilkins brothers. First came Brady, then Hank’s story—but since day one I had a special place in my heart for Jack (the youngest brother, and the wildest of heart). This is his story, and I think you’ll fall in love, too!



1/25/2011: A Brush of Darkness by Allison Pang (Pocket)


Why this is my new urban fantasy series: I love Abby, the main character.  She's in over her head in this supernatural world, and she knows it.  But that doesn't stop her from getting involved in a guy too sexy for his own good or kicking ass and saving people (human and nonhuman) from the bad guys.  And I love Phin.  He's phenomenal.





3/1/2011: Betrayal ~Haunting Emma Book Two~ by Lee Nichols (Bloomsbury Children’s)


Why Emma Vaile Kicks Ass: This series was an easy pitch for me. It’s BUFFY with ghosts. And I loooove Buffy in a way that deserves many “O”’s in the word love. I grew up totally idolizing Buffy. Not only was she pretty, but she was smart, witty, cool, and she could beat up anyone that stood in her way. And I didn’t find a heroine in YA paranormal fiction that was even close to that until I met Emma Vaile, the star of the Haunting Emma series. Emma will have you laughing one minute, yearning for Bennett Stern in the next, and after that, she’s saving the day by being such a badass. In this book, Neos (the bad guy…er, bad ghost), is still after Emma, but this time someone she cares about is helping him. It’s the ultimate betrayal….hehe. You’ll just have to read to find out who!




4/19/2011: Invincible Summer by Hannah Moskowitz (Simon Pulse)


Why spending my summers on the beach will never be the same: I love how authentic Chase is.  I love the portrayal of his family, and I especially love that every family member feels real and alive and developed, even the parents.  I love the sparse prose and the hard hitting lines that made me think wow.





4/26/2011: The Rotten Adventures of Zachary Ruthless by Allan Woodrow (HarperCollins Children’s)


Why it’s so important to have an evil cackle: Because all of the most famous super villains have them, that’s why! And Zachary Ruthless is well on his way to becoming the world’s greatest, Bwa-ha-ha! The first time I read this manuscript, I just sat at my desk, chuckling, until my boss finally said “WHAT is making you laugh so much?” Allan Woodrow’s writing is perfect for kids 8-12 (or adults who are kids at heart)—it’s like he has a direct line to your funny bone. And come on, who doesn’t love a story with death rays, exploding mustard balloons, and zucchini flavored gum, right?


5/3/2011: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)


Why one choice can transform you: We all reach moments in our lives where we are presented with a choice. Should I hang out with those kids, or not? Should I go to this college or that one? Should I listen to my parents, or walk my own path? Each and every choice made shapes our lives. And in Veronica Roth’s debut, one choice can transform you. I flew through this manuscript and then sat there, shocked, and even a little tingly. This book changed the way I thought about my own decisions. And it was a wild ride, too.


6/9/2011: A Good Knight’s Rest by Shelley Moore Thomas (Dutton Children’s)

Why we all need to meet the Good Knight: Because he’s the sweetest, most chivalrous and caring knight around. And because the baby dragon’s are SO darn cute (see the cover??). This is the sixth Good Knight title by Shelley, and each one is wonderful to read out loud to your little one.






6/28/2011: Torn by Erica O’Rourke (Kensington’s K-Teen *Lead Title)


Why my heart melts when I read this story: I thought I was done with love triangles. I really, really did. But then I read Erica’s manuscript and was blown away by the raw emotion of a girl who just lost her best friend, by the hardship of living two secret lives, and by the heartbreak of choosing between two equally dangerous, but equally gorgeous guys. Mo Fitzgerald is stuck between the Chicago mob, and the ancient magical society of the Arcs—it’s up to her to decide where she lands. Erica won this year’s Golden Heart award for the YA category and it couldn’t be more deserved! (cover art not final)



7/5/2011: Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers ~Book 2 of the Personal Demons Trilogy~ (Tor Teen) 


Why book 2 is even better: I love Luc.  I love how hot he is.  I love that Frannie's a normal teenage girl in an extraordinary situation, that she's tough, and trying to hold her own in a world where she feels out of her league.  And most of all I love that she has this untapped talent.  And I love that no one is safe in book two.


7/25/2011: And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (Simon Pulse)



Why this book should have been around when I was 15: I love Keek.  I love her voice.  I love how cool she is.  I love how she's going through so much, and yet she knows exactly where to turn and how to get through it all--her typewriting and The Bell Jar.  I desperately want Keek as a best friend.  I love the structure, the poetry, the lines that make me go wow, the characters and the angst.  It's perfect.


9/1/2011: Luststruck by Kody Keplinger (Poppy)
Why do I love this book? Because Kody is honest in how she approaches teen life, and in particular here, sex in teen culture. In this book the girls of Hamilton High go on a hook up strike in order to end an old sports rivalry. Along the way they realize that hooking up (or lack thereof) is not the only way we try to control one another—using labels like “slut” or “tease” or “player” or “virgin” can be a way to keep others down. And that friendship and following your heart are more important that control, no matter what the cost. (cover art not final)

12/2011: Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz (Roaring Brook)

Why this book made me fall in love with reading all over again: I love the very first line.  I love that Wil feels so real that I’m crushed that he doesn’t really exist. I love that there are so many lines that make me laugh out loud or sit on the edge of my seat in panic or even sob. I love Zombie Tag, the game.  And of course, I love the relationship between Wil and Graham, and the portrait of Wil’s grieving—not just because his brother is dead, but because his brother is growing up. (cover art not final)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Her Slackerness Posts Blurb It!! Winners...

Obviously, this is not Sunday evening. Obviously, I deserve limb-rending, etc. But you're all feeling so benevolent today. I can feel it. To the winners!!

Thanks again to everyone who entered...

Honorable mentions go to the following:

  • Truest: jamiekswriter at 10:08pm
"Jack Reacher is Worth Dying For"
  • Appeals to my bibliophilia, not to my sensitive feet: LQQ at 5:46pm
"A man with sewage between his toes saves democracy forever more."
(The Pericles Commission by Gary Corby)
  • A *complete* catalogue of every one of the visceral reactions I experienced while reading the Avery Cates books: Patty Blount at 8:55am
"Jeff Somers' heart-pumping sci-fi series will make you cringe,
gag, gasp and beg for more."


And now! The Winners!!

Funniest Blurb goes to:

Sprunty at 1:34am!!!
"NUMB questions how much abuse a suit can take."
(NUMB by Sean Ferrell)





Best In Show/The Pick-Up-iest Blurb goes to:

Pamela Cayne at 11:55am!!!!!!!!!
"A dark and tangled tale that will keep you up late reading, scared to turn off the light."
(BANISHED by Sophie Littlefield)

This was such a fun contest. Thanks for entering, and your patience as I got this up!! Sprunty and Pamela, send me an email and we'll set up your chats!



Monday, January 10, 2011

Anticipating in 2011, the TV/Books/Movies Edition

FRINGE


The show's on hiatus for a month or so, and it's back on January 21st, and by then I'm hoping to actually have a working TV (big screen!) and maybe cable too.  And it's about time.

Because This. Looks. Awesome.





CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS AND CLOCKWORK PRINCE BY CASSANDRA CLARE


Cassandra Clare turned into one of my favorite authors this year.  I read The Mortal Instruments Series and Clockwork Angel and was so engrossed I had to promise a lot of people not to read-walk anymore, especially late at night.

On April 5th, City of Fallen Angels:


Someone’s killing the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle and displaying their bodies around New York City in a manner designed to provoke hostility between Downworlders and Shadowhunters, leaving tensions running high in the city and disrupting Clary’s plan to lead as normal a life as she can — training to be a Shadowhunter, and pursuing her relationship with Jace. 


As Jace and Clary delve into the issue of the murdered Shadowhunters, they discover a mystery that has deeply personal consequences for them — consequences that may strengthen their relationship, or rip it apart forever. Meanwhile, internecine warfare among vampires is tearing the Downworld community apart, and only Simon — the Daylighter who everyone wants on their side — can decide the outcome; too bad he wants nothing to do with Downworld politics. Love, blood, betrayal and revenge: the stakes are higher than ever.


And then just half a year later in September, Clockwork Prince!



LIKE MANDARIN BY KIRSTEN HUBBARD


I've heard Kirsten's a fierce talent, and I met her at SCBWI last year and she's an awesome person.  Plus we have some of the same favorite books.  I know Like Mandarin won't disappoint.  On March 8th, I'm getting an early birthday present, from myself :)

It's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin.


When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their badlands town.


Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.






SOURCE CODE



Jaken Gyllenhaal plays a soldier who’s sent into the body of a civilian aboard a train in the last eight minutes of his life and forced to relive the incident over and over again until he can find out who is responsible for its bombing and how to prevent the next terrorist attack from occurring. Basically, it’s like Avatar meets Surrogates meets Super Mario Brothers.





COWBOYS VS. ALIENS


A spaceship arrives in Arizona, 1873, to take over the Earth, starting with the Wild West region. A posse of cowboys are all that stand in their way.

Not much else to say...especially since it's starring James Bond, Han Solo, and 13.



THE SECOND DUCHESS BY ELIZABETH LOUPAS

In a city-state known for magnificence, where love affairs and conspiracies play out amidst brilliant painters, poets and musicians, the powerful and ambitious Alfonso d'Este, duke of Ferrara, takes a new bride. Half of Europe is certain he murdered his first wife, Lucrezia, the luminous child of the Medici. But no one dares accuse him, and no one has proof-least of all his second duchess, the far less beautiful but delightfully clever Barbara of Austria.


At first determined to ignore the rumors about her new husband, Barbara embraces the pleasures of the Ferrarese court. Yet wherever she turns she hears whispers of the first duchess's wayward life and mysterious death. Barbara asks questions-a dangerous mistake for a duchess of Ferrara. Suddenly, to save her own life, Barbara has no choice but to risk the duke's terrifying displeasure and discover the truth of Lucrezia's death-or she will share her fate.


Out March 1st!

Also, in the spring of 2011, several of my favorite series have new books coming out:





THIS SIDE OF THE GRAVE BY JEANIENE FROST


Book 5 in the Night Huntress Series.




DEAD RECKONING by CHARLAINE HARRIS


Book 11 in the Sookie Stackhouse Series.




RIVER MARKED BY PATRICIA BRIGGS


Book 6 in the Mercy Thompson Series.




PALE DEMON BY KIM HARRISON


Book 9 in The Hollows Series.








SUPER 8


I kind of love JJ Abrams so I'm dying to see this, even though I know nothing about it.








WHERE SHE WENT BY GAYLE FORMAN


Another awesome April 5th release, I can't wait to read the follow up to If I Stay told from Adam's POV.

It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.


Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future and each other.


And obviously...
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS, PART 2


I was a little disappointed with HP6.  I wanted the big fight scene with the death dealers at the end...and I was leery about splitting HP7 into two parts.  I couldn't figure out how they were going to pull that off.

But they did.  I loved it.  The only downside is waiting to see part 2.  Thankfully I only have to wait until the summer, rather than until next Thanksgiving.  And trust me on July 15th, I'm going to have my midnight passes to see the end.

Friday, January 7, 2011

JV's Happy 2011

So a new year, a fresh start, and already lots of fun things to look forward to. But first--why haven't you been to Coffey. Tea. And Literary. to enter our very first giveaway of the year??

This year in Confessions JV will bring you:

- An epic contest for querying writers

- A giveaway of evil proportions, THE ROTTEN ADVENTURES OF ZACHARY RUTHLESS by Allan Woodrow.

BWA-HA-HA!!

- Sage (hopefully?) advice on querying, revising, and submitting.


- Funny pictures of baby animals

- A guest post from PeeWee

- And much, much more!

So keep coming back, friends. You never know when something fun will be posted next. Or something really boring. But since you won't know unless you read the blog, then you MUST READ THE BLOG.

In the mean time, anyone else here an ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT fan? Then you'll appreciate this....


And Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Blurb It!!

A major moment for any pre-pub book is getting the blurbs in. Who blurbed it? What'd they say? What part of that favorable sentence to put on the cover. WHERE on the cover?! Authors may *think* the hardest part of the journey is over when their books come out--but nooooooo. Now you've got blurb requests pouring in. Books to read, pithy statements to come up with. It's harder than it looks. I should know--I tried. Some of my top reads for 2010 (no particular order), are lauded in blurb form below:
  • BEAT THE REAPER
    Josh Bazell masters the art of the reveal. I’d follow Peter Brown anywhere—from a safe distance, of course.

  • THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY
    Books that speak to the darkest parts of what we could become. They have everything—best of all, they have Katniss.

  • YOU
    Heartbreaking in its intensity, its events, and most of all, the truth it reveals.

  • GHOST COUNTRY
    Petrifying…Unbelievable, but seems like it could happen tomorrow. I hope there really is a Travis Chase out there somewhere.

  • DIVERGENT
    We’ll have different factions. We’ll love Four, or we won’t. But we’ll all agree: DIVERGENT is an incredible read.

So now you try it. Love a book you read in 2010? Blurb it here! 20 words or less. We'll look them over and choose a winner in two categories:

1. Blurb that would make me pick it up. (Best in Show)
2. Funniest blurb (keep it G-rated. OK, PG-13)

Off-limits words: "Tour-de-force," "Compelling," anything using "virtuoso" in any form.

The prize? You'll get a 15-minute Skype (or some other type of) chat with moi to evaluate your online presence and talk about social media. Entries close at 5 pm Friday (1/7). Ready? GO!!!

Suzie's Updated Submission Guidelines

I'm back!

I’m still looking for strong YA and middle grade, but I want to actively build my adult list. I’m specifically looking in a few areas of fiction so here’s my wish list:

Upmarket and issue driven women’s fiction. I love novels that would be great for book club discussions. I especially love authors like Jodi Picoult, Sue Monk Kidd, Anna Quindlen, and Alice Hoffman.

Paranormal romance. I’m an absolute junkie for steamy page turning paranormal romances. I own every Jeaniene Frost, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, and Gena Showalter novel.

Historical romance sagas. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet is one of my favorites, and I recently loved novels by Phillippa Gregory, Karleen Koen, and Elizabeth Chadwick. The Tudors is also a guilty pleasure of mine, and I find especially English and French history fascinating.

Urban fantasy. This is my absolute favorite genre as a reader, but I’m looking for something other than just vampires. The darker the better. Kim Harrison and Kelley Armstrong are on my must read list.

Dark romantic fantasy. The more epic the better. Anne Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy and Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series cost me friends since I spent days holed up reading.

How to Query

The short answer is: You can query me with your query and first 5-10 pages at suzie@fineprintlit.com.

But if you need query information, here's the long answer:

To see a pretty simple breakdown of what you need and how it's different for fiction, memoir, and non-fiction go here.  For fiction and memoir, your manuscript must be complete and polished.  Don't send unsolicited attachments of any kind.  Be sure to include your full name, email address, mailing address, and telephone number in your query (and on your manuscript!).  For fiction, include the word count (use the word count tool in your word processing program).

For well formated query examples, go here.  For information on how to put together a strong non-fiction proposal, read this and this.

I'm open to queries via mail (send to the FinePrint address, at my attention) or email.  In addition to your query, please include the first 5-10 pages (pasted into the body of the email - no attachments, please!).  Don't worry about sending a synopsis - they're evil.

Monday, January 3, 2011

In 2010...

I announced the sale of Personal Demons, my first sale.  A few weeks later I got to meet Lisa when she was in NY and I went through editing, production, and publication at a slightly fast forwarded speed.  I held the ARCs this summer.  Then in September, I got to see the first book I sold in print.



I survived the #snowpocalypse.

I bought a Blackberry.  It immediately took over my life.

I sold another book and proved that first one wasn't a fluke.  Then I sold a few more.

I met The Patrick Lee and went to see Avatar with him and The Janet Reid when he was in town.  And yes, I kept the glasses.



I moved from Philadelphia to Brooklyn.  And wondered how I had ever done that two hour train commute for a year and a half.  Then I killed a few mice and had a few hysterical melt downs in the process.  (My apologies to the people who had to be on the other side of the phone during those meltdowns.  I'd say it won't happen again, but...yeah.)

I celebrated turning one year older with red velvet cake and suite 500.  And got the best birthday present ever.



I went to my first writing conference as a real agent (instead of minion to The Janet Reid).  Then I went to more.  I walked the beach on the Emerald Coast of Florida, ate at the Cheesecake Factory with Kristin Nelson and Joanna in St. Louis, drove to Connecticut with Mer Bear, Whitney, and KOrtizzle (who had the best line of the day), did both days of Backspace twice, found Bear Spray in Wyoming, ate lunch in Long Island for the RWA luncheon, took the bus to DC with Mer Bear, enjoyed Muncie Indiana, participated in WriteOnCon, and spent a long weekend at Myrtle Beach.



I fought with Joanna over Dan Krokos.

I raised money for Do the Write Thing for Nashville.

I hung out in NY with Hannah Moskowitz.  Twice.

I went to some more 3D movies.



I swagged at BEA and ordered a few people around in the process.  (Kody, Sara, Mer Bear, Juju, I'd apologize only all that swag we got should be sufficient.)  I also added a lot to my TBR room.  And managed to drink 17 soy chai lattes from Starbucks that week.

I saw Manhattanhenge.



I tried Pinkberry (totesthe best hun-cal froyo) with Emilia Plater.

Janet Reid wrote me an apology acknowledging she was wrong and I was right when we had differing opinions on who sang "I Will Survive."  Then she gave me the finger when I posted a picture of her apology note on twitter.  (I have a picture of that too...)

I highjacked her contest and we fought over You.

I went to the Mockingjay midnight release party at Books of Wonder.


I hung out with more fabulous authors, like Allison Pang, Julie Cross, and Derek Molata.  Speaking of Julie Cross, news of her awesome forthcoming debut novel hit Perez Hilton.

I moved from Brooklyn to Washington Heights.  And went back to Brooklyn for the Brooklyn Book Festival.  And I went to NY Comic Con.

I saw Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers at Radio City Music Hall.


I went to Bouchercon in San Francisco, had lunch with Ingrid Paulson and went to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Trade Show in Oakland with Lisa Desrochers.  I hung out with The Janet Reid, Barbara Poelle, Dan Krokos, Gary Corby, Jeff Somers, and Patrick Lee.  I bought and drank Maker's Mark.  (I'm still not sure whose idea that was...) I shook Lee Child's hand.  And I went to Chinatown.

I read 102 published books.  And I bought 92 orders on Amazon.

I made some new friends.  (My mom called on a Sunday when I was in suite 500 to encourage me to be more social, so I had to.)  I fell in love.  Again and again.  With manuscripts, books, characters, writers, and this industry.

Here's to 2011.

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?