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September 27th, 2016

DarkAtTheEndCoverFrontSept16Congratulations to Susan Adrian, whose novel THE DARK AT THE END releases today! THE DARK AT THE END is a sequel to Susan’s acclaimed YA thriller TUNNEL VISION, which Booklist called “a tension-packed spy novel about a likable teen with a special power and his equally likable family and friends.” They also said, “Twists of plot, kids outsmarting the bad guys, and a relatively low-tech but fascinating superpower ratchet up the action to a bizarre conclusion that begs a sequel.”

In THE DARK AT THE END:

Jake thinks he has only one more step and he’ll be free: he just has to meet with Vladimir, his grandfather’s Russian friend, and get the serum to stop his power for good. But when they get to Florida Vladimir is dead, and there’s no sign of the serum. Then someone takes Myka and his mom. With the government and the terrifying Mr. Smith still after him while he has his power, he doesn’t have anywhere to turn.

What will Jake do to get his mom and little sister back?

Anything.

Right now, you can order the ebook of THE DARK AT THE END for only $2.99 at Amazon. And join me in congratulating Susan on Twitter at @susan_adrian!

For more reviews of TUNNEL VISION, read on:

What happens when your special talent is especially dangerous?

Jake’s ability to form a mental link to anyone he’s holding a personal possession of—what he calls “tunneling”—has always been a secret. Only his best friend and his dad knew, and now his dad’s dead. But when he tries to impress his friends by tunneling at a party, his secret escapes, and his entire life is soon overthrown by government agents who convince him that he has a duty to save lives. No longer free to live as a regular teenager, Jake only hopes that he can protect the people who mean the most to him—his mother and sister. An exciting plot paired with a sympathetic protagonist makes for a roller-coaster adventure that asks some big moral questions: Is it ethical to tunnel into another person’s mind, even to do good? Which is more important, the individual or the country? The action moves at a quick pace that fans of adventure fiction will appreciate while still leaving room for deeper contemplation. Toward the end of the book, convenient plot twists drive the action, but readers may not notice, caught up as they’ll be in the web of terror and deceit.

Danger, intrigue, a dash of romance, and a good, hard look at ethical dilemmas—a pretty complete package. — Kirkus Reviews

Government surveillance. Psychic abilities. Family secrets. All 18-year-old Jacob Lukin wants is a girlfriend and acceptance to Stanford, but when he makes the mistake of “tunneling” (psychically identifying a person’s location through an object) at a party, he gets caught in a string of lies that ends in a shadowy government agency he can’t shake. The deeper Jacob falls into the agency’s clutches, the more dangerous he becomes—to himself and others. Only Jacob’s grandfather, himself a wanted man, understands what is happening to him. As they plot their escape, Jacob and his grandfather uncover an even greater threat to Jacob’s well-being. Debut author Adrian offers a refreshing spin on the suspenseful spy novel with brisk scenes, adrenaline-fueled cliffhangers, and a sympathetic protagonist. — Publishers Weekly

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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.

Sales

RebeccaRoanhorse200Another huge round of congratulations this week to author Rebecca Roanhorse!

Rebecca’s debut fantasy, TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, sold to Saga Press/ Simon & Schuster and today we get to announce the sale of audio rights to Audible!

From Publishers Marketplace:
Audio Rights
Rebecca Roanhorse’s TRAIL OF LIGHTNING, the first in a series set in the near future on the Navajo reservation after the collapse of much of modern civilization, about a Navajo heroine who hunts monsters with the help of an untested medicine man, pitched as an Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road, to Ryan MacGavin and Lee Jarit at Audible, in a two-book deal, for publication in summer 2018, by Sara Megibow of kt literary (World).
Film/TV: EvashevskiK@unitedtalent.com

Follow Rebecca’s debut adventures on her website: rebeccaroanhorse.wordpress.com

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @RoanhorseBex

27 September 2016

News

2016-04 final cover MJ12Michael Martinez’s MAJESTIC 12: INCEPTION released earlier this month and look at this amazing praise and publicity rolling in!

The Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy blog called it, “high-octane action!”

Kirkus listed it as a top Supernatural Thriller!

Michael was asked to talk about “Writing About Racism and Sexism in Historical Fantasy” on the prestigious Alternate History Weekly Update.

The Qwillery gave MJ-12 this amazing review, “With MJ-12 Inception, Martinez weaves an intense tale of patriotism, Cold War politics, the U.S. spy network, and the nuances of human relationships which I simply couldn’t put down.”

Later that same week, Michael was a guest on Chuck Wendig’s prestigious Terrible Minds blog talking about taking chances in his writing.

GeekDad says, “Martinez has me hooked!”

Michael wrote an article on how to open a great story at the famous Fiction University.

Harry Turtledove, the New York Times bestselling author of GUNS OF THE SOUTH said, “It’s a smart look at a Cold War in many ways even colder and scarier and deadlier than the one we barely survived.”

Michael Underwood, author of the GEEKOMANCY and GENRENAUTS series said, “X-Men meets Mission: Impossible, with bonus alt-history speculation and filled with compelling, well-rounded characters.”

If y’all haven’t bought a copy of this brilliant, exciting book yet – join the crowd! It’s exciting! It’s fun!

Follow Michael’s book adventures on his website: www.michaeljmartinez.net

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @mikemartinez72

27 September 2016

News

I am so thrilled to announce that Aurora Nibley has joined the KT Literary family!

Aurora’s book is a magical realistic retelling of the myth of Apollo and Cassandra, set against the backdrop of silent film-era Hollywood.

A little about Aurora: she has always been fascinated with the relationships between the old and the new. Her grandfather raised her and her sisters on Greek and Roman myths, and even older, more obscure tales. As she grew older, she became fascinated with the history of her native Los Angeles—a city that’s still moving forward so fast it almost doesn’t have time to remember how it got where it is. Once she finished growing up, accepted that she wasn’t going to become a movie star, and got serious about writing, it seemed natural to combine the stories of Ancient Greece and Rome with the stories of old Los Angeles, so recent by comparison.

Aurora’s book is so unique and I can’t wait for the world to experience it!

26 September 2016

Sales

RebeccaRoanhorse200Please help us celebrate with Rebecca Roanhorse whose debut TRAIL OF LIGHTNING sold to Joe Monti at Saga Press!

Rebecca came to me via the query slush pile in July and from there things happened very quickly. I’m so excited for readers to get their hands on this book – it’s intense, beautifully-crafted and action-packed! As you’ll see from the press release, Joe Monti and I are pitching it as an Indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road – enjoy!

From Publishers Weekly:
Joe Monti at Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press took world rights to two books by debut author Rebecca Roanhorse, in a preempt, from agent Sara Megibow at KT Literary. The first book under contract, Trail of Lightning, is set on a Navajo reservation in the near future, after the collapse of society. It follows a young Navajo woman who, Megibow said, “hunts monsters with the help of an untested medicine man.” The book was pitched, she added, as “an indigenous Mad Max: Fury Road.” Trail of Lightning is scheduled for publication in summer 2018.
Rebecca is represented in Hollywood by Kassie Evashevski of United Talent Agency.

Follow Rebecca’s debut experience on her website: rebeccaroanhorse.wordpress.com

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @RoanhorseBex

25 September 2016

News

IN A PERFECT WORLDclipI’m thrilled to share the cover for Trish Doller’s next amazing YA novel, IN A PERFECT WORLD, which Simon Pulse will be publishing in May 2017. Reminiscent of Maureen Johnson in 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and Stephanie Perkins with ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, Trish takes readers on an exotic journey abroad and in the process, explores the barriers we tear down for the people and places we love most. The Riveted Lit blog had the reveal yesterday, with the following blurb:

Caroline Kelly is excited to be spending her summer vacation working at the local amusement park with her best friend, exploring weird Ohio with her boyfriend, and attending soccer camp with the hope she’ll be her team’s captain in the fall.

But when Caroline’s mother is hired to open an eye clinic in Cairo, Egypt, Caroline’s plans are upended. Caroline is now expected to spend her summer and her senior year in a foreign country, away from her friends, her home, and everything she’s ever known.

With this move, Caroline predicts she’ll spend her time navigating crowded streets, eating unfamiliar food, and having terrible bouts of homesickness. But what she finds instead is a culture that surprises her, a city that astounds her, and a charming, unpredictable boy who challenges everything she thought she knew about life, love, and privilege.

If you haven’t already clicked through to see the gloriousness, behold!

IN A PERFECT WORLD

And throw Trish some love on Twitter @trishdoller, Tumblr, Instagram, or her newly redesigned site. You can add it to your Goodreads shelf now, and I’ll let you know as soon as we have preorder buttons up!

23 September 2016

About My Query

AboutMyQueryThis week, it’s Hannah’s turn for an About My Query!

Dear Agent,

I am seeking representation for my middle grade science fiction manuscript, GABEN AND THE EARTH’S VENOM, complete at 51,000 words. Given your interest in science fiction, I thought it might capture your interest. <– I’m usually against paragraphs like this because they take up valuable space and don’t further your query – I generally assume that if you’re querying me with a book in a genre I represent, you’ve done your research. You don’t need to tell me that you did. You can begin the whole email with your next paragraph.

Eleven-year-old Gaben, one of the gray-skinned inhabitants of planet Harte, stumbles through life with brains and recklessness. <– I’m a bit confused by this line. If you’re trying to say he’s smart and reckless, then I would rephrase – clarity is the goal, especially in a query.

He shamed medical healers by finding the cure to a fatal disease infecting many hartians, <– Again, confusing – shouldn’t this be a celebrated discovery? Also, capitalize proper nouns  but there isn’t enough of the antidote. Gaben’s mother, a research astronomer, flies on a spaceship with other scientists to their twin planet, Earth, to collect the needed snake venom. Gaben curiously wanders into the cargo hold and accidentally becomes a stowaway.

On Earth, Gaben follows his mother off the spaceship invisibly <– invisibly? How? This is sort of tossed in there, but I don’t know enough about your world to understand how this could be possible.  and then it relocates to a different part of the planet.<– on purpose, or is this an unexpected event?

Luke, a fifteen-year-old human boy discovers Gaben and his mother. Intrigued, Luke keeps their existence a secret, hiding them in his attic. <– This caught me off guard because I assumed his mother was there in an official capacity, that Earth knew she would be there  Gaben’s mother gathers rattlesnakes for transport. Since Gaben’s ability to disappear isn’t fully developed, he might be seen by Luke’s next door neighbor—he’s an FBI agent.

If the FBI finds Gaben, he and his mother could be held captive for experimentation <–why? You haven’t established that people on Earth don’t know about the Hartians  and never return to planet Harte to save his dying grandfather. <– this is the first time you’ve mentioned the dying grandfather. But if this is motivation for Gaben to return home, we need it much, much earlier. Knowing what your character’s motivation to get through the conflict is early on helps unify your summary.

I have also written a prequel, VENOM FOR PLANET HARTE, about the disease’s origin, how Gaben found the cure, and what he did to save his dying father. VENOM FOR PLANET HARTE is complete at 35,000 words. I am a SCBWI member.<– Here is where you tell me genre and category. If you found us somewhere other than the KT Lit website, it might be good to mention where. Did you read a great interview with her where you read she was looking for a specific type of MG SF story? Cite that here.

I have included the first three pages below. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,
Author

Notes:

There are a lot of elements here that sound very interesting! A kid with a penchant for science is always fun, as is science fiction. My biggest problem, though, is that I’m not entirely sure how the elements of this query fit together to make a larger story. What is the inciting incident? Meaning, what is the event/action that puts Gaben on the spaceship and launches him into this journey? I also need a better sense of the overarching conflict and what’s at stake for Gaben. Is it that people back on Harte are dying without a cure? Or that if Earth people find them they’ll expose their whole planet to experimentation/colonization? Or is it that Gaben might not return before his grandfather dies? What drives him throughout the book?

The answers to these questions could be helped by adding some background we don’t currently have. For example, I, personally, assumed Earth must know because the Hartians were going there in a ship that I assumed Earth people would see – but then the FBI agent is introduced, along with the idea that the Hartians might be exposed and then captured by Earth people. Not having been told this was a danger, I was taken by surprise. This is the same with Gaben’s invisibility – has he always been able to do that? If it’s part of him, what does it have to do with the rest of the story? How does it tie in/why is it important?

To sum up: I’d like to see an inciting incident, followed by more clarity on the background and what the overarching conflict is, and the personal stakes for Gaben. I want to know about the action, and I then want to know why that action was taken. Gaben wandered onto a ship? Then tell me what the purpose is. Gaben becomes invisible? Tell me why this matters to the story. An FBI might find them? Give me an indication earlier why this might be a problem. Tell me that going to Earth is dangerous because it could expose their race, and that they’re taking the risk because the pros of saving their planet outweigh the cons.

I hope this has been helpful!

~~ Hannah

23 September 2016

News

apocalypse-coverPlease help us congratulate Dr. Frederick Turner whose epic science fiction poem, APOCALYPSE, releases from Baen Books today in ebook!

APOCALYPSE is the story of a misfit group of scientists who collude against the government to save the world from climate annihilation. Written entirely in iambic pentameter, I originally pitched this book as The Day After Tomorrow done Beowulf-style.

Dr. Turner is an internationally known poet, lecturer, scholar, and Founders Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Texas at Dallas. Read his wonderful blog post, “Apocalypse is here, and it may be more fun than you’d think.”

APOCALYPSE will be available in October in paperback and museum-quality hard cover – check back here for on sale details!

“I loved the blank verse, so supple and expressive; and the command of a fictional history, the epic sweep of a macro-plot along with the many interesting characters and situations at the personal level…It’s wonderful.” – bestselling and award-winning author, Kim Stanley Robinson

Congratulations Fred! Happy reading everyone – this book took my breath away when I first read it as a slush pile query – it’s beautiful, classic, intense, thought-provoking and awe-inspiring. Enjoy!

Follow Dr. Turner on his website: www.frederickturnerpoet.com

23 September 2016

Sales

2016-08 headshotCongratulations to Spencer Ellsworth whose debut science fiction A RED PEACE sold into Germany this week!

From Publishers Marketplace:
International rights: Fiction
German rights to debut author Spencer Ellsworth’s A RED PEACE, Book #1 in his debut STARFIRE space opera trilogy, to Stefanie Brosigke at Heyne, in a nice deal, by Anna Diekmann at Thomas Schlueck Agency, on behalf of Sara Megibow at kt literary.

A RED PEACE releases in August 2017 from TOR Books followed closely by Book #2 and Book #3 in the trilogy.

Follow Spencer’s debut adventure on his website: www.spencerellsworth.com

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @spencimus

22 September 2016

News

Katelyn Larson HeadshotI am thrilled to announce that Katelyn Larson has signed with kt literary! I requested her full manuscript 1 hour after she queried me. And the rest is history.

Katelyn Larson is a YA science fiction and fantasy author hailing from just north of Boston. She recently graduated from Rice University in Texas, where she studied Skyrim under the guise of an English major, learned far more about insects than she ever thought she could stomach, and determined the precise relationship between the degree of humidity and the size of her hair. Now back home, she spends her time obsessing over the Patriots, fangirling over YouTube gamers, and losing herself in fantastical worlds—both of her own creation and others.

In my defense, I didn’t know she was a Patriots fan when I fell head-over-heels in love with her world-building. Jk, jk. She is a delight. And so are her characters. I can’t wait to share her gorgeous world with you all!

Follow her on Twitter @klarson315. You will be glad you did!

whispers Send her Aaron Rogers gifs.

20 September 2016

About My Query

AboutMyQueryRenee’s turn for an About My Query post:

Dear Agent,

Over 300 years into the future, 16-years-old Haven Williams is supposed to have only one mission in life: get married to a nice boy and be the good German woman she has never been able to be. Betrothed to the son of the richest man in New Germany, she thinks she’s well on her way to making her nation proud. That is until she leaves him at the altar and tries to leave her city, an offense punishable by death. But she gets lucky, or so she thinks.

To repay her debts, Haven becomes Stag, a confidential division of the army given the task of controlling Rebel activities out in the wilds of New Germany. However, unbeknownst to Haven, part of becoming a Stag is taking D-IX, a serum that turns ordinary people into super humans. Her ex-fiancé administers enough D-IX to intentionally kill her, but she lives, becoming the strongest human ever created and the key to New Germany ridding themselves of the Rebels forever. Haven has to learn how to control the power she never wanted, keep 300 people alive in a suicide mission, and avoid the ex-fiancé that is trying to kill her. All while fighting off feelings for a boy she can’t have and discovering the ugly truth about the nation she calls home.

THE FOURTH REICH, a young adult dystopian novel with touches of romance and historical retelling, comes in at 66,000 words. I cannot thank you enough for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,
XXXX

Your query gets down to business and I love that! We both know why we’re here and there isn’t any preamble. Two thumbs up from me.

To begin, I think the framing “300 years into the future” isn’t grounding me in the time of your book. Try something to the effect of “350 years after the downfall of the Original Third Reich…”. That places a precise pin in the timeline, and it uses much more evocative language than “into the future.” That’s a good rule of thumb throughout all queries. Be as specific with your language as possible!

There is a lot of information in your opening sentence and it gets a little bit convoluted. I would recommend breaking it up a little bit. That said, I really like the set up of Haven being forced into a patriotic marriage. It gives her a great thing to run away from. Unfortunately, with the “punishable by death” looming over her, I don’t understand her motivation. Why is marrying a wealthy fiancé worse than death? The emotional stakes don’t connect for me. No need to belabor this with backstory, but I would like to have a sense of why she’s willing to abandon everything when she’s on the cusp of making her nation proud like she seemingly always wanted.

In your second paragraph, you mention her debts, but I have no idea what these debts are or who they impact. Or how she intends to repay them through her work at Stag. Stag is a cool name! At first, the wording in the first sentence made me wonder if she had changed her name to Stag, so clarification that it is actually a military outfit would be helpful. And if Stag is a confidential division of the army, how is she able to join up so easily? Does she know someone on the inside? Wouldn’t she have to qualify? If she’s a fugitive, how is she able to enlist? And how does her fiancé get access to enough D-IX to almost kill her? Is he a part of Stag? Seems foolish for her to run away from a man and then join his division of the military.

The feelings for “a boy she can’t have” is perfect for YA, but you haven’t mentioned him before. Unless he’s the murderous ex-fiancé. Which, wowee, that would be interesting. Maybe make brief mention of the cast of characters she meets. (Presumably a boy from Stag?)

Your word count on the manuscript is great, (though, you could add 10 or 20k more and still be just fine) but I would like to see some comp titles. Is this LEGEND meets XMen? WOLF BY WOLF meets ENDER’S GAME?

Most of these comments are regarding the framing of Haven and her decisions. For me, connecting with your character in the query is essential. You give some nice plot points, but I would like to know a little more about what is at stake for Haven and why she makes the choices she does. Your concept is an interesting one! And right up my alley. Your query letter is short, so it will be easy for you can rework to include some of these points without adding bulk to the letter. Thank you for letting me read. I hope this helps!

–Renee

20 September 2016

News

halloween-coverPlease help us celebrate with internationally bestselling author Tiffany Reisz whose HER HALLOWEEN TREAT is available today in paperback! The ebook releases on October 1 – with plenty of time to enjoy a sexy Halloween.

HER HALLOWEEN TREAT is Book #1 in Tiffany’s new Men At Work series – a contemporary holiday-themed trilogy publishing with Harlequin Blaze every month through the end of the year.

Publishers Weekly gave the series a starred review calling it, “delicious, festive R-rated fun!”

HER HALLOWEEN TREAT
Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family’s remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the “available men” department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother’s best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He’s the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

Learn more about the Men At Work series and Tiffany’s other books on her website: www.tiffanyreisz.com

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @tiffanyreisz

20 September 2016

News

lovingeasy-coverA huge round of congratulations to New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren whose LOVING YOU EASY released at the beginning of September. The glowing reviews are pouring in!

LOVING YOU EASY stars a geeky, videogame-playing heroine and two men who are desperately in love with each other. It’s a polyamorous romance – a menage story with tons of chemistry and charm. I absolutely loved it! So did the reviewers…

“Readers looking for sizzling chemistry, likable characters, and ultraromantic BDSM will not be disappointed.” – Kirkus

“This is right up there on my Best of 2016 (thus far) list…Roni Loren bathes in the squees of a million fangirls. She wears our euphoric glee as body glitter, running her fingers through our frayed nerves while tapping her feet to our pounding hearts.” – Smexy Books, Grade: A+

“Loren balances keen characterization with a page-turning plot and breathtakingly hot sexual scenes” – Publishers Weekly

“Loren pens another winner!” 4 stars at RT Book Reviews

Read chapter one of LOVING YOU EASY here.

Read more about Roni’s Loving On The Edge series on her website: www.roniloren.com

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @Roniloren

19 September 2016

Events

twitterchat#AskKTLitPlease join the agents and staff of KT Literary on Monday, September 26th at 12 noon MDT (11am Pacific, 2pm Eastern) for an #AskKTLit Twitter chat! We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about what an agent does, the querying process, how to navigate the challenging worlds of traditional and self publishing, subsidiary rights, and more. If you’d like to comment below with any advance questions, we’ll start with those, and move on to more questions as they come in.

We’re also putting out a call for #OwnVoices submissions. We would love to see even more of these in our query inboxes, and to that end, if you have an #OwnVoices manuscript and want to query us, for the rest of September and the month of October, we’re promising a 48 hours turnaround on any queries sent as per the usual submission guidelines, but with the #OwnVoices hashtag.

As always, we’re committed to working with authors to produce and publish stories that reflect the world around us, and are proud supporters of the We Need Diverse Books and Own Voices movements. If you have a manuscript that you believe fits the bill, even if you prefer not to self-identify, we’d love to see it.

16 September 2016

News

JamesSutter200My turn! I’m delighted to welcome new client James Sutter to the KT Literary team!

James L. Sutter is a co-creator of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and the Creative Director of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game for Paizo Publishing. He’s the author of the novels Death’s Heretic — ranked #3 on Barnes & Noble’s list of the Best Fantasy Releases of 2011 and a finalist for the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel — and The Redemption Engine, which won the 2015 Scribe Award for Best Original Speculative Novel. In addition to a wealth of award-wining game material for Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, he’s also written comics, video games, and short stories for such publications as Escape Pod, Apex Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and the #1 Amazon best-seller Machine of Death. His anthology Before They Were Giants paired the first published short stories of science fiction and fantasy luminaries with new interviews and writing advice from the authors themselves.

When not writing or editing, James has performed extensively with various bands and other musical projects ranging from punk and progressive metalcore to folk and musical theater. He lives in Seattle in a group house named Mooncastle.

His new novel is a YA portal fantasy romance between ballet dancers, which we’re excited to take out shortly.

Please join me in making James feel welcome! You can visit his website or say hi on Twitter @jameslsutter.

15 September 2016