Christmas Question for Agents
If you could have any non-client author (past or present) over for Christmas dinner, who would you choose and why?
Melissa Jeglinski: I would have J. R. Ward over for Christmas dinner. I just love her Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I’d get her to tell me all of the secrets; how she came up with the world she created, her writing process…. Maybe things she wished she’d put into the books but hadn’t. I’d really enjoy being a fan for the evening.
Lucienne Diver: Wow, so many authors to choose from, but one springs immediately to mind—Mary Stewart. She’s probably my all-time favorite author. I grew up on her gothics—romance, suspense, danger, often exotic locales. I’m a huge fan. I have a feeling I would be stunningly incoherent in her presence, but that she would be lovely enough for the both of us!
Nephele Tempest: This is a tough one for me, so I’m possibly cheating a little and giving a past author and a present one, mostly because I just can’t choose. For past, I’d love to have Charles Dickens to Christmas dinner, since his Christmas stories are among my favorites, but also because he lived in a time and place that set so many of our modern ideas and traditions for the holiday. For present, I’d love to have J.K. Rowling over for Christmas dinner, to chat all things Harry Potter, but also because I admire her on many levels and would love to talk with her, full stop. Also, I confess I’d probably try to keep her chatting long after everyone else had gone home/off to bed.
Janna Bonikowski: There is an author who is very dear to me, and I’d pick her over any other. Simply because Christmas is about being with the people you love.
Travis Pennington: Stephen King, because what could be better at Christmas than chatting about books while our corgis go at it in the snow? Second place would be a tie between Sister Souljah and Khaled Hosseini.
» Jules Bennett's novella, part of a new serial project about wealthy families, secrets, and scandal, to Stacy Boyd at Harlequin, in a nice deal by Elaine Spencer
» Turkish language rights to N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy (THE FIFTH SEASON, THE OBELISK GATE and the forthcoming THE STONE SKY), to Dogan Egmont, in a nice deal by Kayi Literary Agency on behalf of Lucienne Diver
» Maggie Black's book 4 in the 2018 Love Inspired Suspense military K-9 Unit series, to Emily Rodmell at Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» Spanish language rights to N.K. Jemisin's The Broken Earth trilogy, to Ediciones B, in a nice deal by Montse Yanez of Julio F-Yanez Agency on behalf of Lucienne Diver
» Italian rights to Nalini Singh's ROCK HARD, to Mondadori, by Piergiorgio Nicolazzini Literary Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer
» Anne Marsh's HARD RIDERS, to Kathleen Scheibling at Harlequin Blaze, in a nice two-book deal by Deidre Knight
» Czech rights to Nalini Singh's BRANDED BY FIRE, to Fantom Print, by Kristin Olson of the Kristin Olson Literary Agency on behalf of Elaine Spencer
» Shirlee McCoy's contribution to the 2018 installment of Love Inspired Suspense's K-9 Unit continuity series, to Tina James at Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» Lisa Childs's LEGAL SEDUCTION, the first book in the author's Legal Lovers series—featuring the successful lawyers of the Street Legal law firm who also happen to be wild in bed—to Patience Bloom at Harlequin, in a nice four-book deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» Mary Ellen Porter's untitled book, in which an on-the-run cyber expert finds help and protection from a former military hero as they unravel a treasonous plot during the Christmas season, to Elizabeth Mazer at Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» Karen Booth's contribution to The Texas Cattleman's Club continuity series, featuring wealthy western heroes and the women who tame them, to Patience Bloom at Harlequin Desire by Melissa Jeglinski
» Brazilian rights to N.K. Jemisin's Hugo Award–winning novel THE FIFTH SEASON, to Editora Morro Branco, in a nice deal by the Julio F-Yanez Agency on behalf of Lucienne Diver
» Wendy Roberts's DIVINE BONES—featuring a recovering alcoholic with the unique ability to locate dead bodies using dowsing rods, who finds herself reluctantly helping a skeptical FBI agent solve a series of murders along the murky Canadian border—to Angela James at Carina Press, in a two-book deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» Cassie Miles's untitled book, in which an amnesiac heroine is rescued by an FBI agent and must remain in his custody because her life is in danger and she can't remember what happened, to Allison Lyons at Harlequin Intrigue, in a nice deal by Melissa Jeglinski
» THE FIFTH SEASON by N.K. Jemisin made The Guardian's Best Books of 2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy, and NPR listed THE OBELISK GATE as one of their best books of 2016. It was also included in the Los Angeles Times’s holiday books guide and the San Francisco Chronicle's recommendations from Pegasis Books.
» Kobo chose THE DARKEST TORMENT by Gena Showalter as one of their best romances of 2016.
» The Verge’s 13 Science Fiction and Fantasy Novels You Can’t Afford to Miss this December includes N.K. Jemisin’s THE DREAMBLOOD DUOLOGY.
....» THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman made Library Journal’s Best Books of 2016 list. It also won silver in Der Leserpreis 2016 in F&SF Vielen dank as Die unsichtbare Bibliothek.
» Nalini Singh's SILVER SILENCE made Publishers Weekly's Spring 2017 top 10 upcoming romance and erotica releases.
» CAUGHT UP IN YOU by Jules Bennett is an Editors Pick on Amazon for Best Romance of the Month in December.
» Jezebel featured Cat Sebastian in a special article about the history of "the bodice ripper.”
» R.S. Belcher's BROTHERHOOD OF THE WHEEL made Barnes & Noble’s list of the Best Horror of 2016.
» Mia Siegert's JERKBAIT made ANDPOP's list of 10 Best YA Books of 2016.
Christmas Question for Authors
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
I ruin surprises. Since childhood, no matter where my parents hid the presents, I always found them. By the time Christmas morning rolled around, unbeknownst to anyone, I’d already tried on my new clothes, checked out my new toys, and played my new records. Only one Christmas were my parents actually able to pull off a surprise—and it was a huge one.
I was 12 or 13 and we lived on an almond farm in Northern California where we raised goats, cows, pigs, and chickens. On Christmas morning we woke up bright and early, ready to open gifts. My father said not until we fed the animals and milked the goats, which didn’t sit well with three pre-teens anxious to tear into a pile of wrapped presents. We whined and pleaded but he didn’t budge. So we trudged to the barn, complaining most of the way. When we got there, something was wrong. Two horses were standing in our pasture—a pasture we helped fence a few weeks earlier to keep out the neighbors’ horses that were always getting loose.
“They got out again,” I said, but when I looked closer the neighbors’ horses were right next door in their own corrals. It took a few minutes to sink in. They were for us. Horses. We were getting horses. I looked at my dad, who nodded. Somehow, they’d managed to sneak two horses by us. Best gift ever. And the memory of that morning still fills me with wonder.
Being an Aussie, we have Christmas in the middle of our summer. This means sweltering temperatures, backyard cricket, and, if you're lucky enough to have a pool, a long swim after lunch. If it's especially beautiful weather, we sometimes head to the beach and swim in the nice cool water until sundown.
As much as I love my Aussie Christmases, I had often wondered what it would be like to have a white Christmas. I wanted to know what it was like to rug up in a pullover, build a snowman, and throw snowballs at my beloved's head. When my partner and I moved to Canada in 2005, I was oh-so-excited about finally getting my White Christmas. I had visions of waking up to snow softly falling, kids tobogganing, and every other Christmas movie cliché you can think of. Unfortunately, where I lived didn't get the majority of snow until February, so each year I would wake up on Christmas morning with the hope that I would get my most desired Christmas present—a White Christmas. Each year, it failed to arrive.
For five years I waited patiently and then, on my last Christmas in Canada, it happened: Beautiful white glorious snow falling on Christmas day. I'll never forget the pure joy at seeing those lovely snowflakes and the gorgeous white scenery. It was truly a memorable Christmas, and one that is so very special in my heart.
My favorite Christmas memory is adding ornaments to our Advent tree with my son. Each year since he’s been old enough to understand the concept of counting down the days to Christmas, my son and I have shared the privilege of hanging the day’s ornament on the Advent tree.
He’s grown and moved away now, so as I hang the ornament, I think of the Advent tree, in part, as counting down the days until he is home for the holidays.
Oh, there are so many. One of my absolute favorites was the year we got Christmas Eve Snow. You see, even though I grew up in the North (Massachusetts, New York, and Colorado), I live in the South (Texas), and it never, ever snows at Christmastime. Except this one year it did. As usual, my mom and her partner came over to celebrate with my husband and me. So did my grown daughter. I cooked a lovely ham dinner, had a fire in the fireplace (another rarity here), and my tree sparkled with twinkly lights. A light snow had started falling, which filled me with joy. We ate and talked and laughed and opened gifts with a curtain of snow coming down outside the windows. When my mom and her partner went to go home, we had a couple of inches. So beautiful, so magical, so... Christmas.
One of my favorite Christmas memories is of the year I was thirteen, when my brothers bought me an electric typewriter, a learn-how-to-type book, and a radio to play while I typed. This was the first show of support for my writing that my family gave me, and it meant so much that they understood how devoted I already was to my writing.