August 17th, 2017

A huge round of congratulations to KT Literary authors Margaret Rogerson and Stephanie Perkins who were both included in the prestigious ABA Autumn 2017 Kids’ Indie Next List!

Margaret’s debut young adult fantasy, AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS, was listed as a Top Ten Great Read and was accompanied by this glowing review:

“You have one job this fall: read this book. That is if the idea of a gorgeous, glittering, and sometimes grotesque modern fairy tale imbued with wit, humor, and pitch-perfect romance appeals to you. I absolutely loved this unexpected, absurdly lovely novel. It gave me the creeps, it made me laugh out loud, and I swooned and cheered. Isobel is badass, and this story is a joy to read. I can’t wait to see what Rogerson writes next! Perfect for fans of Holly Black, Laini Taylor, or anyone who loved Uprooted by Naomi Novik.” —Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

New York Times and international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins’s THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE was included in the Indie Next Great Reads List for Teens. The reviewer had these wonderful words to share:

“Finally! A young adult horror novel where the body count is as high as the tension! Stephanie Perkins brings the terror as a small town finds its population of teenagers rapidly dwindling. With a diverse cast of misfits and a heroine with secrets of her own, the plot never slows down, racing to a bloody and heart-stopping end! The next time you find a drawer or a door open that you swear you closed, chances are Perkins will have you running out of the house for fear of your life.” —Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Check out Margaret and Stephanie online at their respective websites:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter:

From the American Bookselling Association website, “The four-page, full-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for the summer publishing season and an additional 42 titles organized by age group. All Indie Next List picks are based on recommendations from booksellers at independent bookstores across the country and include a bookseller quote and full bibliographic information.”

Filed Under: News


Slightly shoe-obsessed YA and MG superagent Kate Testerman (aka Daphne Unfeasible) blogs about her books and authors, answers your questions, and talks about publishing industry gossip. , subscribe to this blog, or check out her Writer's Resources.

For more information about her About My Query posts, please click here.


Huge round of congratulations to K Arsenault Rivera on this glowing starred review for THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER – her debut fantasy novel coming October 3, 2017 from TOR Books!

From Publishers Weekly, starred:

Rivera’s wonderfully intricate Asian-inspired epic fantasy debut introduces two young women bound by fate: Shizuka, whose uncle is the Emperor Yoshimoto, and Barsalyya Shefali Alshar, whose mother is Kharsa Burqila, the ruler of the Qorin. Omens are present at the birth of both children, a month apart: a pair of pine needles visible between their eyes. Though they come from very different backgrounds— Shefali is a horsewoman of the Qorin steppes and Shizuka the pampered heir of the Hokkaran Empire—their mothers determine that the omen means the pair will be lifelong friends. This initial association propels the two young women into grand adventures that become the stuff of legend as they discover the extent of their superhuman powers. Rivera’s immense imagination and finely detailed worldbuilding have produced a series introduction of mammoth scope.

Follow K’s debut journey on her website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @ArsenaultRivera

16 August 2017

About My Query

Recently, at the SCBWI Summer Conference, I did a three-hour workshop on queries: what they should include, how to structure them, how to write them, and how to improve them. We’ve been posting About My Query critiques for years now on the blog, and while it’s not a regular feature, it is something we like to do every once in a while, because we know that not every author can get to a conference like SCBWI (although I recommend it if you can!) Without further ado, here’s a recent query sent specifically to me for critique:

Dear Kate,

SOS “Save Our Santa” signals a 5-year-old girl from North Pole. Will anyone answer the call?

Dia’s parents read aloud the front page story of Christmas Day morning newspaper, “Yesterday at midnight, a little girl Dia, took a sick Santa back to North Pole, where elf doctors treated him. Sunrise was only 2 hours away, and Dia knew that the children world over would be waiting for their presents. She wanted to help Santa in being happy and healthy before sunrise, so she sent kids an SOS to help her in quickly curing Santa.”

“Did kids respond to Dia’s SOS?
“Was Santa able to deliver gifts before sunrise?”
“How did Dia become famous?”

“Dia saves Christmas!” is a holiday fantasy easy to read chapter book for 5-6 year olds. Dia is an Indian American girl born to immigrant parents, who do not celebrate Christmas and other American festivals with the same enthusiasm as Indian festivals. Dia loves sharing her festival stories with her friends. There are not enough diverse books where young children from other cultures, who are trying to form their identities in America’s melting pot, are represented well. I believe they deserve to be heroes in books where they are saving the day. Kids who read diverse books are more likely to become adults with compassion and inclusion; a trend that is currently seen even in Oscars new attendee list and top TV shows like ‘Quantico’, ‘Scandal’ and ‘How to Get Away with Murder’. And, this is my attempt in creating awareness in children’s books.

I am an active member of SCBWI. My article has been published in the Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine.

I’m seeking representation for my book (3,334 words). Please let me know if it sparks your interest; I would be happy to send you the manuscript.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.


The author also asks a few specific questions, so I’ll answer those first, and then dive into the query.

1) Did I correctly identify the age group?
While I don’t represent easy-to-read chapter books, I do know that the tendency in children’s books is to read up, which is to say there may be some concern about a book about a 5-year-old protagonist being marketed to 5- to 9-year-olds. A lot of easy-to-read books are also part of a series, and published in bulk, so I wonder if this might be better served re-envisioned as a picture book. I also found this a pretty good summary of age ranges for children’s books.
2) Did I correctly identify the genre? Fantasy? Fiction?
I think “holiday fantasy” covers it, yes.
3) Did I correctly identify the format? Easy to Read?
It works for me, yes.
3) I see that many agents are only open to MG or YA? From your experience is Easy to Read a hard format to sell?
It is, for some of the reasons mentioned above. A lot of Easy-To-Read books come out of established series with characters already well known to readers, like Angelina Ballerina or Batman, either from picture books or other media, so it can be difficult to break a new character out, especially if it’s a standalone title
4) SOS “Save Our Santa” signals a 5-year-old girl from North Pole. Will anyone answer the call? – Is this line considered as a pitch? If not, what should pitch contain?
It’s a hook, certainly, although some would say a pitch needs to include a bit more information. With that said, let me get to the query critique!

Your first line/paragraph is a little confusing. There’s a timeline disconnect between the little girl sending out the S.O.S. and her parents reading about it in the paper the next day. This may just be a problem of the query, and not the text, but I think you want to keep the action in the present — not about Dia’s parents reading about what she did the night before when she was supposed to be in bed, but about Dia trying to help Santa with a worldwide S.O.S. in order to save Christmas. It also creates a disconnect with the main character, who should be Dia, not her parents.

I would also leave out the quotes from the text. Especially with such a short book, you really want to introduce the story but telling the agent about it, not quoting the pages which very well may be included below. Maybe something more like this?

On Christmas Eve, when Dia tried to stay awake to meet Santa, she was surprised to find him coughing and feverish trying to leave her presents. With not much time left before Christmas, Dia races him back to the North Pole to see his elf doctor, and puts out a worldwide S.O.S. to other children, hoping to quickly find a cure for the Claus.

That’s just an idea, of course.

I love the idea of Dia as an Indian-American child trying to combine her family’s heritage with American customs, and I appreciate your desire to write diverse stories that reflect the world we live in. That said, be wary of preaching to the choir. Instead of boldly stating “There are not enough diverse books where young children from other cultures, who are trying to form their identities in America’s melting pot, are represented well”, be more specific about you want to do with this book, with this project. I would also cut entirely the last two lines from this paragraph — a query for a chapter book isn’t the place to mention tv like Quantico and Scandal. One of my bullet points in my About My Query presentation at conferences is “Don’t Preach to Me”. Like so many in publishing right now, I’m well aware that We Need Diverse Books, and I want to do my part in shepherding them to the bookshelves. Tell me why Dia and her story is the book I want to spend my time promoting, not reminding me of the cause.

I hope this helps, and wish you the best of luck with your manuscript!

11 August 2017


I love how the title above sounds vague, but I can promise you, this is a very specific SOMEONE… Congrats to Stephanie Perkins, whose forthcoming novel THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE is already racking up some impressive reviews! Here’s Publishers Weekly and I love this one specifically, from Booklist:

The ever-popular Perkins (Isla and the Happily Ever After, 2014) takes a sharp turn out of YA romance in her latest offering, a clever—and, to fans, no doubt surprising—foray into the teen slasher genre. When Makani Young moved from her native Hawaii to her grandmother’s house in Nebraska, she thought her biggest concerns would be fitting in, putting her troubled past behind her, and navigating her attraction to a mysterious boy. She didn’t expect the students at Osborne High to start dying as murder after seemingly unconnected murder shocks the small town. And Makani certainly never expected herself to be targeted by the killer. Perkins deftly builds the suspense like a pro: an uneasy opening leads to some legitimately horrifying murders, and the identity of the killer isn’t quite as important as the motivation. Diverse characters, including a transgender boy, are folded into the tale. This is the same reliable formula that spawned the Scream franchise, and Perkins wields it to great effect: readers will be sleeping with one eye open.

HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This is a new direction for Perkins, but even fans wary of horror should be sucked in to this addictive read.

THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE comes out soon, on September 26th, but you can pre-order a copy now at your local independent bookstore, Stephanie’s local, on Amazon, B&N, or wherever great books are sold! And feel free to to follow Stephanie’s news feed on Twitter.

11 August 2017


Please help us give a warm welcome to Jennifer Honeybourn, newest client of Hannah Fergesen at kt literary!

I am so excited to welcome Jennifer to the kt literary family. She is the author of WESLEY JAMES RUINED MY LIFE and  the forthcoming WHEN LIFE GIVES YOU DEMONS (July 2018), is a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat just outside Vancouver, British Columbia, in a house filled with books.

Get news about her new books and events here, and remember to say hello on twitter!

Welcome to the family, Jennifer!

7 August 2017


The news broke while I was on vacation last week, but I’m thrilled belatedly to cheer for KT literary client Susan Adrian, whose next middle grade novel FOREVER NEVERLAND will be published by Random House Children’s Books in Summer 2019. From PW’s Children’s Bookshelf:

Susan’s debut MG Nutcracked comes out next month, and is perfect for the ballet-obsessed or magically-inclined tween reader of your acquaintance. Early reviews are great!

Please join me in congratulating Susan on Twitter, if you haven’t done so already!

1 August 2017


Happy Book Birthday to Kim Harrington, whose first two books in the Gamer Squad trilogy release today! Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters ponders what happens when your cool virtual-reality game . . . becomes REAL?

Monsters Unleashed–where you catch virtual-reality monsters on your cellphone–is one of the hottest mobile games around, and Bex and Charlie just can’t stop playing. They even check out an old map in Charlie’s grandfather’s attic in hopes of discovering some forgotten places in town where the rarest monsters might hide. But they find a strange machine up there too, and after Charlie switches it on, the WiFi goes down . . . and Bex’s entire catalog of monsters vanishes And that’s not the worst of it: all the creatures she’s collected on her phone escape into the real world. Can the friends nab the beasts before they become monster lunch?

And in the sequel, Close Encounters of the Nerd Kind, Bex and Charlie have to face ALIENS.

After their scary adventure, Bex and Charlie have sworn never to play Monsters Unleashed again. Then Veratrum Games Corp releases a new augmented reality game featuring aliens instead of monsters, and the best friends just can’t resist. After all, everyone loves it, even their science teacher, because it includes real star charts. But when they go to an observatory on a class trip, and open the game near a radio telescope, they get more than they bargained for: REAL aliens. One is sweet and kind; the other . . . not so much. Can Bex and Charlie capture the bad ET before it destroys their town?

School Library Journal just reviewed Attack of the Not-So-Virtual Monsters, and praised it for fans of Pokemon GO — which was the point, so yay!

Join me in congratulating Kim on Twitter at @Kim_Harrington!

1 August 2017


A huge round of congratulations to New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren whose OFF THE CLOCK won the prestigious RITA Award for Best Erotic Romance!

The Romance Writers of America national convention is going on right now and last night was the exciting RITA ceremony. From the RWA website, “RITA, the highest award of distinction in the romance publishing industry, recognizes excellence in published romance novels and novellas.”

Overtime has never felt so good…

Marin Rush loves studying sex. Doing it? That’s another story. In the research lab, Marin’s lack of practical knowledge didn’t matter, but now that she’s landed a job at The Grove, a high-end, experimental sex therapy institute, she can’t ignore the fact that the person most in need of sexual healing may be her.

Dr. Donovan West, her new hotshot colleague, couldn’t agree more. Donovan knows that Marin’s clients are going to eat her alive unless she gets some hands-on experience. And if she fails at the job, he can say goodbye to a promotion, so he assigns her a list of R-rated tasks to prepare her for the wild clientele of The Grove’s X-wing.

But some of those tasks are built for two, and when he finds Marin searching for a candidate to help her check off her list, Donovan decides there’s only one man for the job—him. As long as they keep their erotic, off-the-clock activities strictly confidential and without strings, no one will get fired—or worse, get attached…

Huge huge congratulations Roni and very well deserved!

Read Chapter One of OFF THE CLOCK here!

Check out Roni’s books and news on her website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @RoniLoren

28 July 2017


Congratulations to author Karen Fortunati!

The International Literacy Association (ILA) named THE WEIGHT OF ZERO to its ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards list!

In the press release, ILA named Karen as one of the prestigious, “…newly published authors who show extraordinary promise.”

THE WEIGHT OF ZERO is Karen’s debut book – released last year in hard cover and coming this fall in paperback – it is a BEA Buzz Book, an ABA Indies Introduce Pick and a New York Public Library “Best Book for Teens.”

Read THE WEIGHT OF ZERO Discussion Guide here: Discussion Guide

For fans of 13 Reasons Why and Girl in Pieces, this is a novel that shows the path to hope and life for a girl with mental illness.

Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once; that was her first suicide attempt.

And so, in an old ballet-shoe box, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict his living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she starts a short bucket list. This bucket list, combined with the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment, begins to ease Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, her plan is already in place, and has been for so long that she might not be able to see a future beyond it.

This is a story of loss and grief and hope, and how some of the many shapes of love—maternal, romantic, and platonic—affect a young woman’s struggle with mental illness and the stigma of treatment.

Check out Karen’s website at:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @KarenFortunati

24 July 2017


A huge round of congratulations to international bestselling author Tiffany Reisz whose THE RED has earned two major trade reviews just this week!

Library Journal gave THE RED a starred review saying, “In this titillating tale of art and the arcane…Reisz (The Mistress) paints a deliciously deviant picture as Mona becomes a piece of living artwork for a truly insatiable patron. VERDICT Recommended for fans of graceful prose and dark eroticism akin to Anne Rice’s “Beauty” series.”

Then, NPR included THE RED in its list of “Romance Heroines Who Want It All” calling the book “evocative” and “erotic.”

And, Goodreads listed THE RED as one of its Best Romance Books of July!

Congratulations Tiffany and happy reading everyone!

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

Learn more about Tiffany’s books on her website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @tiffanyreisz

20 July 2017


“An ideal pick for fans of Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Laini Taylor.”

What an amazing review! Congratulations to debut author Margaret Rogerson and her incredible publisher, Margaret K. McElderry Books/ Simon & Schuster, on this starred review from Publishers Weekly!

“Rogerson’s moody debut novel is suffused with an intoxicating and palpable romantic longing. As Isobel and Rook break the “Good Law” by falling for each other, Rogerson turns forbidden love into fresh adventure with danger, chases, a glorious ball, and unexpected narrative turns. Readers will delight in her interpretation of classic fairy themes and lore, and in the humor laced into the story…”

Learn more about AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS on Margaret’s website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @MarRogerson

19 July 2017


Please help us share a huge round of congratulations with debut author Michael F. Haspil whose GRAVEYARD SHIFT hits shelves today!

For, “those who enjoy police action mixed with urban fantasy” – Library Journal, starred review

“Fans of urban fantasy, noir, and tightly choreographed action scenes will enjoy the blood and bullets in this adrenaline-heavy ride through crime scenes and secret societies” – Kirkus

“absolutely gripping. With strong, intelligent storytelling, distinctive, vivid characters, and gritty, edgy dialogue” – RT Book Reviews

Police procedurals go supernatural in this gritty urban fantasy debut by Michael F. Haspil in Graveyard Shift

Alex Menkaure, former pharaoh and mummy, and his vampire partner, Marcus, born in ancient Rome, are vice cops in a special Miami police unit. They fight to keep the streets safe from criminal vampires, shape-shifters, bootleg blood-dealers, and anti-vampire vigilantes.

When poisoned artificial blood drives vampires to murder, the city threatens to tear itself apart. Only an unlikely alliance with former opponents can give Alex and Marcus a fighting chance against an ancient vampire conspiracy.

If they succeed, they’ll be pariahs, hunted by everyone. If they fail, the result will be a race-war bloodier than any the world has ever seen.

Find more information on this amazing book on Michael’s website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @MichaelHaspil

18 July 2017


Congratulations to Maureen Johnson and co-editor Tim Federle, whose amazing anthology was announced today. HOW I RESIST: Activism and Hope for the Next Generation promises to be a roadmap of diverse voices sharing personal stories of how they fight against tyranny and power. We’re thrilled to be pledging the entire advance to the ACLU to support their efforts.

More news shortly!

17 July 2017


A huge round of congratulations to Roni Loren and a big thank you to Sourcebooks – THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY has been included in the prestigious 2017 Romance Buzz Book!

Roni Loren is a New York Times bestselling romance author and her next series launches in January 2018 with THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY.

“With a unique setup, a swoony hero and a lively cast of characters, The Ones Who Got Away is the best kind of second-chance romance! It’s a great read.”-Sarina Bowen, USA Today Bestselling author of Good Boy

“Richly layered and full of emotion, The Ones Who Got Away is an unforgettable romance. Roni Loren at her best!” —Kristen Callihan, New York Times Bestselling Author

The Buzz Book, “…provides substantial pre-publication excerpts from forthcoming romance titles. …The titles collected here are a great representation of the best of romance.”

Read an excerpt of Roni’s new book and check out this prestigious list at: 2017 Romance Buzz Book

Learn more about Roni’s new series on her website:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @RoniLoren

13 July 2017


Please help us give a very warm welcome to author L. Penelope – our newest KT Literary client!

L. is the author of paranormal romance novels ANGELBORN and ANGELFALL.

Next summer, Macmillan will be launching her epic fantasy Earthsinger Chronicles with SONG OF BLOOD AND STONE. We’re so excited to have her on board and to share these incredible books with readers!

Check out her website at:

Say hi and welcome aboard on twitter @leslyepenelope

and read the official Bio here:
The ‘L’ stands for Leslye. I was born in the Bronx, but left before I could acquire an accent. I skipped kindergarten, went to five elementary schools in six years, and after living in DC and New Jersey, settled in Maryland, which I consider home.

Writing has always been my first love — I’ve been doing it since I could hold a pen. However, the idea of making a living off the stories I wrote seemed far-fetched, so I went off to study filmmaking in college (because that is so much more practical). I’m equally left and right-brained and had to balance the artsy with a healthy dose of computer programming. This all led to a graduate degree in Multimedia and a career in website development, but I never stopped writing.

I’m a two-time VONA/Voices alumna and a member of Romance Writers of America and Maryland Romance Writers. I live in Maryland with my husband and two furry dependents: a pit bull so vicious she’s a registered therapy dog and a semi-feral cat.

11 July 2017