IN THIS ISSUE
The Knight Post: Interview with Cindy Miles
New Clients on the Block
Author Tip of the Month:
The Typical Day in the Life of an Agent by Elaine Spencer
Outrageous Things Authors Have Done to Get Attention
- Melissa Jeglinski's Announces the Winners of her Middle Grade Idol contest.
- Nalini Singh's SHIELD OF WINTER received a starred review in the May 15 issue of Kirkus.
- Dakota Cassidy's delicious novella TALK THIS WAY is available FREE for a limited time on Amazon.
THE KNIGHT POST: INTERVIEW WITH CINDY MILES
TKA: After having so much success writing urban fantasy and romance, what made you decide to write a story about a college freshman struggling not to fall in love?
National bestselling author Cindy Miles grew up in Savannah, Georgia, a city that has provided the inspiration for eleven novels, three short stories, and an anthology. Her latest work, STUPID GIRL, is a New Adult romance about a tough Texas girl who swears off love, but falls for a bad boy from Boston.
Cindy has also recently partnered with Harlequin Books to write a three-book contemporary romance series, set to release in 2015, under the Superromance imprint.
CINDY: I was on the way home from a Maroon 5 concert with my daughter, daughter-in-law, and a few other girls and Keith Urban’s STUPID BOY came on the radio. The lyrics hit me in the gut! I knew then I had to write a story about that girl, and she’d have to have the most perfect, imperfect boy. Brax and Olivia were born.
TKA: STUPID GIRL features two very believable new adults, Brax and Olivia, who really come alive on the page. What advice would you give to authors who are just starting out writing New Adult fiction?
CINDY: New Adult Fiction contains real-life problems and issues, and despite how “clichéd” the issues may seem, when it’s happening to someone, it’s as real as it gets--and so very un-cliché. They feel those issues are theirs and theirs alone, and they suffer! Give your characters real problems, issues you maybe wouldn’t want to deal with yourself. Put you or your loved ones in their shoes and gauge a real-life reaction. It will help mold your characters into 3D people who leap off the page.
TKA: What would be your dream casting for Brax and Olivia?
CINDY: Totally for Brax Jenkins, a young Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester from Supernatural). Lawd have mercy! And for Olivia, the natural beauty, Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth from the Percy Jackson movies). Of course you have to use your imagination with Jensen/Brax, and paint some tats on him.
TKA: What was the "stupidest" dating mistake you remember making when you were in school?
CINDY: Agreeing to go out with a guy who had never seen ANY of the Star Wars movies. As in NONE of them. Who does that?
TKA: You've recently partnered with Harlequin Books to write a three-book contemporary romance series, set to release in 2015, under the Superromance imprint. Can you give us a little teaser of what these novels will be about?
CINDY: Absolutely! The series encompasses the quaint barrier island of Cassabaw Station, off of coastal Georgia/South Carolina, and the super sexy and close-knit Malone brothers who each find true love despite hurricanes, tragedy, and the near-impossible. With the flavor of the deep coastal South, wrapped in a town seemingly untouched since the 1940s, the quirky characters and ambiance of the island will lure you in and keep you hooked. The first book is middle brother and Matt Malone’s story. A newly ex-Marine, he meets his match when his Cassabaw childhood friend moves back to the island after many years’ absence—and a lot of heartache. At first, their old friendship ignites, but soon so does a passion neither expects—or wants. So they think.
Order STUPID GIRL
Read an excerpt on Goodreads
Visit Cindy Miles's official site
"This plot twist was genius and raised this book to a five stars for me."
- Megan Williams, WOrkS of FiCTioN
NEW CLIENTS ON THE BLOCK
- Professional ghost-hunter Michelle Belanger's CONSPIRACY OF ANGELS, to Steve Saffel of Titan, by Lucienne Diver.
Sales Roundup is a selective sampling of TKA's deals for the past month. For more info on our recent sales, visit www.knightagency.net/recent-deals
- Marilyn Pappano's next three titles in her Tallgrass series, to Michele Bidelspach at Grand Central, in a nice, three-book deal by Melissa Jeglinski.
- WAKEWORLD author Kerry Schafer interviewed Lucienne Diver for the upcoming Colorado Gold Conference.
- Congratulations to the following three finalists of Melissa Jeglinski's Middle Grade Idol contest:
Heidi Boyd, QUINCY STRANGE AND THE TEN
Lisa Mathews, THE JIG IS UP
Kathy Rygg, THE CRYSTAL CACHE
They've each won a half-hour conversation with Melissa to discuss their work in detail.
AUTHOR TIP OF THE MONTH
D.B. Jackson, who also writes as David B. Coe, is the award-winning author of the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy set in pre-Revolutionary Boston. His newest book, A PLUNDER OF SOULS will be released July 8, 2014.
D.B. Jackson's Tip: Just about every author agrees that finding the proper pacing is crucial to a novel’s success. But ask three or ten or fifty authors how they go about pacing their books, and you’ll get three or ten or fifty different answers. Some authors like non-stop action; others like to develop their plots more deliberately. There is no universal “right” pace for a book; with each new book we need to find the correct narrative trajectory.
I like to think about pacing in musical terms. Consider for a moment a movement in your favorite symphony: No doubt it has moments when the tempo quickens and others when it slows. The dynamics vary, thundering during one passage and softening in another. Some phrases end with the perfect note, resolving the musical tension; others end more discordantly, ratcheting up harmonic conflict and propelling the movement forward. So it is with storytelling. I try to vary the narrative energy, interspersing crescendos of action with quieter moments, pushing the plot forward and then allowing my readers, and my characters, to catch their breath and contemplate the implications of what has just occurred. I finish some chapters by resolving conflict and others by heightening it. Rhythm and tempo, dynamics and volume, tension and resolution: these are terms that work equally well in describing musical performance and the written word. Incorporating such thoughts into your narrative might just help you find that perfect pace for your current story.
Learn more about D.B. Jackson and A PLUNDER OF SOULS on his website: www.dbjackson-author.com
The Typical Day in the Life of an Agent by Elaine Spencer
When asked to describe a typical day in the life of an agent (or at least my own “normal” workday), I had to chuckle because that question is as easy to answer as some ancient, unsolvable riddle. The beauty of this job is also what makes it most challenging: no two days are ever the same. The upside is that it’s never boring, but the downside is that each day’s tasks are incredibly unpredictable. You might plan to spend a day quietly reading submissions, catching up on contracts, or placing new works with publishers, but suddenly your day implodes when an author gets a terrible cover or can’t deliver a manuscript on time.
Maybe I can’t tell you what an agent’s typical day looks like, but I can tell you about today
. My workday began while I was blow-drying my hair this morning and simultaneously checking email. I got a note from our German co-agent informing me that one of my titles was in the midst of an auction in their territory, so I immediately shut off the dryer and phoned the author. I knew she would be in the car at that time, driving her kids to school, but I couldn’t wait to relay this awesome and exciting news. We talked for a while about the pros and cons of the two offering publishers, and what the likely next steps would be—not a bad way to start the day at all!
I arrived at our office about 8:30 AM (only after navigating around the filming of Jack Black’s upcoming blockbuster, Goosebumps
—Madison is a very interesting town….) Drinking my coffee, I perused the rest of my overnight email, wishing that each note included an auction offer, but no such luck. Still armed with java, I talked with an author about the production of her audiobook; interacted with one of our overseas clients and their publisher about finalizing proper documentation for their advance payment; and had an email exchange with an editor about renegotiating a contract for a client. I then got on a lengthy call with another editor regarding a project an author is considering that would fall outside the scope of their ongoing commitments at that house. Even though the new project wouldn’t interfere with the books we had under contract, we still had to hash out delivery dates, and so brainstormed how we could proceed without interference.
After a TKA staff meeting about financials and budgets, I ate lunch at my desk, only briefly lamenting the fact that I was having a salad instead of the Chick-fil-A meal I actually wanted. Then I checked my inbox again and went on to my “to-do” list. First I returned to a project from a potential client that I had been reading the day before, and finished my editorial notes on that before moving on to the revised version of another client’s partial manuscript that I’m preparing to shop next week. We had gone back and forth a few times on the revision, but now she had nailed it, and it was time to start working on the submission list for the project—but that would get added to the to-do list for the next day. By then I had an hour left, and I devoted it to brainstorming with a newish client, discussing proposals, current contracts, and other items from the author’s seemingly bottomless “idea well.”
And so, feeling accomplished, I called it a day. In the meantime, though, I noticed that another thirteen emails had trickled into my inbox. There’s my day tomorrow, already waiting for me!
AGENTS OF THE ROUND TABLE
Question: Without naming names, what are some of the more outrageous things authors have done to get your attention?
DEIDRE KNIGHT: I once had an author send me a gift pack along with their manuscript—the box included a camo fanny pack, candy corn, and a fifth of rum. All on July 3rd, as presumably I was meant to celebrate America’s birthday with said fifth of rum and the candy corn… perhaps stashed into my fanny pack? The odd person who used to show up at my home’s front door, prior to our having agency offices, was never without my unabashed… notice. And fear. A man once left a near-porno black-and-white glossy of himself along with his manuscript pages at the conference hotel where I was staying.
LUCIENNE DIVER: I generally consider outrageous an exciting word, but the instances coming to mind are not that at all (unless you consider that they certainly got my blood pumping.) I’ve been grabbed in the bar at a convention by a drunk author who thought he could put his manuscript into my hand, although I’d said he could mail it (back in the days of hardcopy submissions.) Also back in the olden days, I had query letters sent to me folded as insect origami or in binders covered with spiders… um, I’m phobic. But perhaps the creepiest query I received was the one that came in a priority mail envelope which, once opened, revealed only a box lined in black velvet in which was nestled a crooked cross. There was no letter. A day or so later another priority mail envelope arrived. The note started something like this: “I guess by now you’re pretty freaked out….” You think?
MELISSA JEGLINSKI: Back when I was an editor, I once had an author deliver their manuscript to my office along with a huge bouquet of roses. The flowers were beautiful. The manuscript, not so much. I ended up passing on the project and giving the flowers to our receptionist.
Heat up your summer with the Top 10 New Adult releases from Lauren Hawkeye, Cindy Miles, Ava Conway, Cathryn Fox and MORE!
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