Monday, September 30, 2013

New Adult

Back to my normal schedule this past week, which was a relief!  I got to send out Suzanne's manuscript and also Gabrielle's THE HOUSE BEHIND.  Gabby and I have been working on revisions for this book with an editor at Bloomsbury, so although we are sending it out into the wide world, I have my fingers crossed that it will find a home at Bloomsbury in the end.

Also, I think in response to something I posted on my Google+ page, I've been getting a lot of New Adult submissions lately.  Several of them have been very intriguing and almost right, and as I was looking through them, I realized that the reason that certain New Adult-y elements are probably missing from these stories is that the authors aren't 100% sure what New Adult is.

When it first became an actual genre, I was very confused by it.  You would think New Adult would just be an extension of YA for slightly older readers, and though it does take on very mid-twenties' topics like figuring out one's career and being in college, what New Adult really seems to be is romance for a younger audience.  


I initially was hoping that New Adult was going to be older YA, because I am not a big romance person, but now I am seeing a lot of great potential for books that are blends of these two things.  For instance, here are some recent Publishers Marketplace deal memos for New Adult books that I've found exciting:

Lorin Oberweger and Veronica Rossi writing as Noelle August's BOOMERANG, pitched as THE HANGOVER meets THE INTERNSHIP, set in an online dating service that aims to be for millennials on the rebound, to Tessa Woodward at William Morrow, in a good deal, in a three-book deal, in a pre-empt, for publication in 2014, by Tracey Adamsand Josh Adams at Adams Literary on behalf of Wildcard Storymakers (World English).

USA Today bestselling author Renee Carlino's self-published SWEET THING, in which a recent graduate moves to New York's Lower East Side to take over her late father's coffee shop and unexpectedly falls for a charming musician on the edge of stardom, to Jhanteigh Kupihea atAtria, in a good deal for three books, for digital publication August 20, 2013 followed by print in January 2014, by Christina Hogrebe at Jane Rotrosen Agency (World).

Brenda St. John Brown's SWIMMING TO TOKYO, a New Adult Contemporary set in the the tangled streets of Tokyo, in which a girl and a guy find each other and learn that love, letting go, and language lessons make for an unforgettable summer, to Patricia Riley at Spencer Hill Contemporary, in a nice deal, for publication in November 2014, byMarlene Stringer at Stringer Literary Agency (World).

USA Today bestselling contemporary romance author Ruthie Knox writing as Robin York's debut DEEPER, featuring a college sophomore whose world is torn apart when an ex-boyfriend posts embarrassing and intimate photos of her on-line; her developing relationship with the campus bad boy ends up being the only that will get her through and allow her to face an uncertain future, to Shauna Summers of Ballantine Bantam Dell, in a two-book deal, by Emily Sylvan Kim at the Prospect Agency (World).  **Yay for Prospect!!**

Author of the Throne of Glass series, Sarah Maas's A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy, a fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, starting with MORTAL, for publication in winter 2015, to Michelle Nagler atBloomsbury Children's, by Tamar Rydzinski at Laura Dail Literary Agency(world).

Marvel author and graphic artist Ange Guera's BLOOD CURSE, pitched as Marie-Antoinette meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to Maria Gomez at Amazon Crossing, for publication in 2014, by Christine Witthohn at Book Cents Literary Agency and Marlene Stringer atStringer Literary Agency on behalf of Bragelonne (World English).

C.L. Gaber and V.C. Stanley's JEX MALONE, Jex and three teenage friends snoop through her detective father's cold case files to investigate the disappearance of a young girl who vanished two decades prior, to Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press, in a nice deal, for publication in Fall 2014, by Jill Kramer at Waterside Productions (NA)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Quality Italian

I got to do something a little different this week.  Instead of working at the restaurant, I was loaned out to one of our new sister restaurants, Quality Italian, to help them out with their office work.  It was kind of invigorating to be at another location; Quality Italian opened up at the beginning of August and is insanely popular.  They are an Italian steakhouse, and their food and atmosphere is incredible.

Amidst all that yummy Mediterranean glory is a teeeeeny tiny office near the marble staircase that goes up to the main dining room, and that is where I was most of the week.  I know the General Manager from when he worked at my restaurant, so it was pretty easy to get into the swing of things there.

Since they are just starting out though, things were beyond hectic and I was so busy that I didn't really have the time (or energy) to do much agent-y stuff, and I'm playing catch-up now.  I'm reading revisions for my lovely new author, Suzanne, and loving them, and also trying to read through my newest author's manuscript.  Her name is Susan Meyers and she is a professor who has written a bewitching literary fiction called FAILING THE TRAPEZE.

I've also been at work helping my other author, Rachel, on her proposal for her non-fiction project, and following up on a lot of summer submissions that have been lagging a bit.  Oh, and still hammering away at Brianna's contract!

I'm not sure if I'm going back to Quality Italian this week or if I'll be back to my normal schedule.  If I am back there, I'm taking full advantage of their menu.  One of their side dishes is a corn creme brulee, which may sound weird, but it tastes out of this world.  I've also developed quite a fondness for cannellini beans this past week...

Corn creme brulee, mmmmm.

If I'm making you hungry (Meghan), you can try to make the brulee yourself!  I found a great recipe for it online that I might try when I have some spare time on my hands.

Monday, September 16, 2013

I Have to Stop Reading QueryTracker Comments

I have known about the existence of QueryTracker for quite some time, yet somehow failed to connect the fact that I am now an agent with the idea that people would write about me on the website.  Most of the remarks were very nice, which made me feel warm and fuzzy, but their were a few that talked about being disappointed with my response, or lack thereof, and as soon as I saw those, I was glued to the screen.  

A lot of those people had emailed me their query directly, instead of using the Prospect submission form, and it made me want to defensively cry, "You didn't submit correctly!  You have to use the form!  It's mentioned everywhere!  My blog, the agency website, even on QueryTracker!"  I delete emails from people who submit that way, since it's our agency's policy and wouldn't be fair to the people who do take the time to fill out the form.

There was also one person who bemoaned the fact that it took me 176 days to reject him and that BLEW MY MIND.  If you submit to me via the online form, at most, it takes me a month to respond.  Where on earth did that guy's submission go?  I have absolutely no memory of having a query in my submission folder for six months...did I black out?  And did I respond with a form rejection or did I write something personal?  What was the query?  Does he think I'm a bad agent?  Arghhhh.

So yeah, I can't go on QueryTracker any more.  I imagine celebrities have the same limits when it comes to tabloids and pop culture magazines.  Oh, the negative side of fame.

Hope you're liking what you're reading there, Britney.

But kidding aside, whoever you are, 176 Day Man, I'm really sorry about the long wait.  I don't know what happened.  

Monday, September 9, 2013

Expats, Expats Everywhere

It seems like I'm on a big expat kick lately.  I signed two new authors this past week: Dorcas Cheng-Tozun and Suzanne Kamata, and both are expats who live/d in Asia.  Dorcas is a second generation Chinese-American who hilariously (and poignantly) writes about her attempts to acclimate to life in an industrial city in China, where she and her husband are building their business; Suzanne's middle grade book, HOME BASE, tells the story of a baseball-playing boy who, after spending three years in the US, returns to Japan to find that he is now an outsider in his hometown. 

I think that one of the reasons that I am so drawn to these authors' stories (and to that of Susan Blumberg-Kason!) is that they offer unique glimpses into worlds we know little about. China and Japan have cultures that are so different from America's, and it is fascinating to be able to gain insight into the mindsets and perspectives of people living there.  

Growing up as an adopted Korean in a rural, white town didn't afford many opportunities to learn about my own heritage.  When I went away to Amherst, I became totally engrossed in Korean music, film, and food (and still am), and because I am a big language and history nerd, I also starting taking Mandarin classes and Japanese tea ceremony tutorials.

So in celebration of my new authors, I am going to share one of my all-time favorite K-pop songs from college.  It's verrrry catchy!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

I disagree, Garfield.  I love Labor Day.  It's always such a fun surprise.  Since it isn't a holiday with a set date, like Halloween or Christmas, I always forget it's coming until someone tells me they won't see me next Monday and then my brain gasps and does a happy cartwheel.

So to celebrate, I flew out to Vegas last night and am currently happily ensconced at at a blackjack table.  

Haha, no just kidding.  You all know I'm in Connecticut right now with my family.  I am very predictable when it comes to down time. :)

It is also nice to be able to use this long weekend to read some of my requested manuscripts.  There are some that I am very excited about, one middle grade book and one memoir in particular.  I made offers to those two authors last week and I am hoping that they will both accept.  I have a Skype date scheduled with one of them when I am back in the city, and will have some major submission following-up and contract stuff to do then, too.

But more about that next week!  For now, I am going to use the rest of my Labor Day to go swimming in the pool and maybe try making some yummy Barefoot Contessa recipes.