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In early April 2013, I became an full-time literary agent at JABberwocky Literary Agency. In late April 2013, I received a query from an author seeking representation for his YA dystopian manuscript. According to Everyone™, dystopians were extremely hard to sell, a feeling that hasn’t changed much in the intervening three years. But the concept was fresh and unique: in a world where words and gestures have all been copyrighted and you have to pay for the privilege of speaking. After working on some revisions with the author, I was honored to sign him and his amazing manuscript.

Which brings us to now:

Sale announcement for All Rights Reserved by  Gregory Scott Katsoulis

I’m so, so excited to have found a home for both Greg and All Rights Reserved. He was one of my very first clients, All Rights Reserved is one of those stories that sticks with you long after you’ve finished, and I look forward to working with Greg on many more thought-provoking novels!

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April was a very busy month for me. In addition to signing a contemporary middle grade author, I’ve also signed a great writing duo, Corry L. Lee and K. G. Jewell!

JOCASTA AND THE PURPLE GEMFIRE is a zany-yet-grounded sci-fi middle grade about the titular Jocasta and her adventures with aliens on a space station “nexus” that connects all the far-flung galaxies together. Think Stargate meets Percy Jackson, or Alice in Wonderland in space.

I particularly love how all of the characters, from Jocasta the science-minded Earth girl to Sam the rambunctious alien flying squirrel (though don’t let him hear you call him that) to more truly alien creatures, are all extremely relatable despite their extremely different backgrounds and species.

I also really appreciated that Jocasta herself has agency throughout. Sometimes she makes bad decisions (or the best of many bad options), but it’s always clear that she’s making decisions and not letting the plot push her around. And despite some heavier plot elements, JOCASTA has a lighthearted and fun tone throughout. It’s clear that Corry and K. G. had a lot of fun with this project, and it really shines through.

Corry is an SFF writer recently escaped from academia, and the 2011 winner of Writers of the Future. K. G. is a prolific short fiction writer and a 2009 Odyssey Writing Workshop graduate. They’re extremely talented writers, both together and individually, and I’m stoked to be working with them!

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I’m very happy to announce that I’ve just signed Heidi Stallman, a fantastic middle grade author! She queried me* with OPERATION MAGIC, a contemporary middle grade story about a girl who’s struggling to come to terms with the fact that her relationships with her dad and her BFF are changing as she gets older.

I really love how realistically those changes are portrayed. Her dad isn’t a two-dimensional villain, and her BFF isn’t the stereotypical “mean girl.” They’re just people who are also changing and growing, and not necessarily 100% in-line with the main character. She and BFF don’t tear each other down, but they do fight with and lie to each other the way friends do, especially at an age where they’re trying to determine who they are as individuals. A multi-layered coming-of-age story, Heidi does a fantastic job of making each character the hero of their own story.

Heidi herself has published numerous articles and short stories in such magazines as Missouri Conservationist and Green Prints, as well as placing third in Writers of the Future. She’s also a Pitch Wars alum; I’d just signed another Pitch Wars alum before reading her query, so I was hopeful magic would strike twice — and it did!

Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be working with Heidi and OPERATION MAGIC!

*A slush pile success story! Fun fact: I find the vast majority of my clients from queries.

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Long story short: In mid-December, an author came to me with a publication offer pending for her novel, and after a whirlwind of reading and emailing back and forth (deadlines, man), I was thrilled to offer her representation and take over the negotiation process. That process has finally officially concluded, and I can finally share the exciting news!

K. C. Alexander and her cyberpunk novel, NECROTECH, has sold to Angry Robot!  It’s a transhumanist masterpiece of cyberpunk and technology run amok, complete with an in-your-face female lead who doesn’t take no shit from nobody. Stephen Blackmore (Broken Souls) and Jason M. Hough (Zero World) summed up my own thoughts perfectly, calling it a “tight, violent thrillride” and “vulgar, vicious, and very very good,” respectively. And, lucky readers, the novel is currently slated for publication this September!

K. C., who you may know as Karina Cooper for her award-winning steampunk urban fantasy series, has made the leap into SFF, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working with her.

SF Signal and Angry Robot have more information about NECROTECH (including a fantastic guest post from K. C.), so be sure to hop over!

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