April 28th, 2016

thumb_RCHeadshotCongratulations to KT Literary client Rebekah Crane on the announcement of her new book’s sale to Skyscape!

Rebekah Crane’s THE ODDS OF LOVING GROVER CLEVELAND, pitched as reading like “The Breakfast Club” at a summer camp for psychologically at-risk teens, to Jason Kirk at Skyscape, for publication in November 2016, by Renee Nyen at kt literary (World).

And an equally hearty congrats to Renee, for her first official sale as an agent. We’re so thrilled for both of them. Please join me in congratulating Rebekah and Renee on Twitter!


Filed Under: Sales


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.


storminateacup-coverJoin us!

6pm EDT on Tuesday April 19
Author Emmie Mears and TV star Amber Benson will be hosting a twitter chat at the hashtag #ChatStorme

Amber is our brilliant narrator for the audiobooks of Emmie’s AYALA STORME urban fantasy series. Audible is the amazing audiobook publisher and we’re honored and thrilled with all the hard work they’ve done behind the scenes for these books!

Book #1 in the series was STORM IN A TEACUP which raced up the charts both at Amazon and at Audible. ANY PORT IN A STORM (Book #2) and TAKEN BY STORM (Book #3) released last December to critical acclaim and amazing sales. Book #4, EYE OF THE STORM, was just announced last week and will release June 21.

Amber and Emmie will chat, answer questions and do a giveaway of some of these amazing audiobooks. Join in at #ChatStorme tomorrow to giggle, ask and win!

More info on #ChatStorme is posted here, on Emmie’s blog!

Mediator Ayala Storme kills demons by night and handles PR by day. She avoids Mediator luncheons and a fellow Mediator who’s been trying to get in her pants for years. She does her job. She keeps her sword clean and her body count high. But when a rash of disappearances leads her to discover that Nashville’s hellkin are spawning a new race of monster on human hosts, Ayala will be the first line of defense against these day-walking killers. That is, until one of them saves her life. Dodging the Mediators and the demons alike, Ayala’s new knowledge of the hybrids’ free will challenges everything she’s ever known about her job. Racing the clock and trying to outrun her comrades and enemies alike, she’s not sure who will catch her first…

And follow both women on twitter: @EmmieMears and @amber_benson

18 April 2016


SummerDaysNight_Animated_Frames_V2Congrats again to Stephanie Perkins, and the authors of the stories in her new anthology, SUMMER DAYS AND SUMMER NIGHTS. They just received their third pre-publication starred review! School Library Journal joins Publishers Weekly and Kirkus in loving this collection, which they called “a sizzling must-have that will be too hot to keep on shelves.” And further:

The stories are by turns bittersweet, unexpected, and unapologetically hopeful, and themes of endurance, bravery, and determination emerge as the teens navigate issues such as broken families, ending relationships, life after high school, and identity.

Congrats to all!! You can pre-order the book at Amazon, B&N, the iBookstore, or your favorite local indie!

I can’t wait for the earnest conversations about which story is your favorite. With an amazing list of authors — Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith — it’s a great opportunity to both dive into a new world by a favorite author, and maybe discover someone new!

And check out the adorable gif of the cover above!


14 April 2016

Ask Daphne!

by Doug DunderdaleI got a great question from a young author, and wanted to share it, and my answer, with all of you, in the hopes that it would be helpful. Tyler writes:

I’m 13 and was wondering what it would take to get my book checked out. It is YA and I believe it will be good when finished… I’m not sure when that will be because I have school and I work on my book in my free time. Thank you for your time and for reading this.

First of all, the most important bit of advice for any querying author is to finish the book. Having the intention to write is a great start, but finishing the book is what separates aspiring writers from actual writers. After that, the best way to improve your writing is to share it with others for critique. Check with teachers, librarians, or your local SCBWI chapter for critique groups, or find some like-minded friends and start your own! Work with them to help improve each other’s manuscript, and when you think it’s the best you can make it, then you can think about querying agents.

How to find the right agent to query is another post entirely, but once you have that list, work on creating a killer query. Ideally, it should include the hook, the book, and the cook.

The hook: Your short and sweet summary or elevator pitch. If someone asks you what your book is about, and you spend five minutes describing characters and setting, rambling all about, that’s not the hook. The hook should be concise and exciting, and like a shiny lure, “hook” an agent’s attention. To help write your own, think of some of your favorite books, and consider what one sentence you would use to describe them to someone you wanted to convince to read them. For instance, “An expert hunter, Katniss volunteers as tribute in a game played to the death in order to save her little sister’s life.” (The Hunger Games) Or, “An orphaned boy learns he’s a wizard when he receives his invitation to Hogwarts, makes new friends, and accepts the prophecy that he alone can defeat He-Who-Cannot-Be-Named.” (Harry Potter) You can try it with movies and tv shows, too. Just be aware of the difference between tagline (like “In space, no one can hear you scream.”) and hook, which gives a bit more information.

The book: A slightly longer description of the book, including at least three of the following elements: protagonist, antagonist, plot or conflict, setting, and voice. You don’t need to tell everything that happens, but ask yourself where the main character is when the story starts, and what happens to change their life or set them on a new path, and who else is involved. Consider the back cover copy of some of the books on your own shelves (or the flap copy on hardcovers), and use that as a model for writing your own summary. You want to tell just enough to interest the agent or editor in reading more.

The cook: That’s you. A short bio of the writer, with any relevant writing credits. If you don’t have any, that’s fine. “This is my first novel” is plenty, too.

Most the agents I know find clients through their query piles, so the best way to get your book checked out by one of them is with a killer query letter, and a manuscript that lives up to the hype. Good luck!

Photo above by Flickr user Doug Dunderdale, used under a Creative Commons license.
13 April 2016


2016-03 EYE OF THE STORM final front coverPlease help us celebrate with Emmie Mears whose fourth book in her urban fantasy AYALA STORME series has sold to Audible for audiobook production!

EYE OF THE STORM releases this June and will be narrated (again!) by the amazing TV star Amber Benson – we couldn’t be more thrilled. Thanks to Audible and to Amber for their tremendous support of this series!

From Publishers Marketplace:
Audio rights
Author of STORM IN A TEACUP, Emmie Mears’s EYE OF THE STORM, the fourth book in her urban fantasy series about a powerful Mediator in her final war against the demons threatening Earth, to Lee Jarit at Audible, narrated by TV star Amber Benson, in a nice deal, by Sara Megibow of kt literary (World).

Earth teeters on the edge of a razor sharp blade.

With the Summit on barely-unified tenterhooks and hellkin bubbling into Earth with no sun to stop them, Ayala Storme has her hard-won family, an uncertain new love, and a team of allies — half of whom have betrayed her in the past.

When the cities of North America begin to fall to demon hordes, Ayala has to fight her way back into Nashville in a desperate hope to save her city. With the witches trying to find the original source of the imbalance that allows hellkin a tie to Earth and the Mediators ready to draw their swords every time they see a shade, time is ticking away.

The witches are working as fast as they can, but what they find may shake the foundations of everything Ayala has ever known — and the answers needed to salvage what’s left of Earth may only lie beyond Earth itself, in the sixth hell.

The battles are over. It’s time for the war.

Check out this series on Emmie’s website at:

And say hi and congratulations on twitter @EmmieMears

Congratulations Emmie!

12 April 2016


margaret200pxPlease help us welcome Margaret Rogerson to the kt literary family!

Margaret is a debut writer who came to us via query slush pile with an amazing, lush, beautiful YA fantasy. She’s on tumblr at:

And on twitter @MarRogerson

Margaret Rogerson:
I live in an old, spider-infested farmhouse in Ohio, gaining a daily appreciation for arachnid inventiveness and stealth. (The Spider War’s front line has advanced several times in their favor. Now, as long as they stay on TOP of my covers at night, we’re good.) I’ve worked a variety of jobs including freelance artist, marketing assistant, graphic designer, cabana hostess, and canoe livery counter girl. I have a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University, focusing on psychological anthropology, which has deeply informed my interests as a writer. And of course I own one standard issue writer’s cat who likes to help me with my manuscripts by supplanting my view of the word document with his butthole.

I’m honored and thrilled to be working with Margaret – please reach out and say cheers!

11 April 2016


KArsenaultRivera200Congratulations again to debut author K Arsenault Rivera on today’s sale of her epic fantasy trilogy to Audible for audio rights! Following yesterday’s big announcement that TOR will be publishing THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER, we’re back to press with this exciting news:

From Publishers Marketplace:
April 6, 2016
Audio rights
K Arsenault Rivera’s THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER, pitched as a Mongolian and Japanese-inspired epic fantasy about two young women who claim their love for each other is big enough to slay demons, to Lee Jarit at Audible, in a nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Sara Megibow of kt literary.
Film/TV: Brendan Deneen of Macmillan Entertainment

Tell K congrats on twitter @ArsenaultRivera

And watch the KT blog for another post about who our narrator will be – exciting!

7 April 2016


KArsenaultRivera200Huge, huge, huge congratulations to debut author K Arsenault Rivera on the sale of her first epic fantasy to TOR Books!

In a press release on, editor Miriam Weinberg says, “I was stunned by this manuscript—the lush descriptions, the immediacy of voice, and the intensity of the love between the two protagonists. Honestly, I read this as a submission while visiting my family at Thanksgiving, and my sister thought I was actually having trouble breathing, as every so often I would just gasp and clutch my chest. Nope, just the brilliance of a truly powerful love story, set against a gorgeously original second-world fantastical landscape. It’s so unusual to find a voice so new, and so controlled, and so distinctive, particularly while also being able to recall some of my most beloved other works, from Jane Austen’s Persuasion to the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena. I had to have it—and I can’t WAIT for you to experience this amazing novel (the first in a series).”

The sales announcement first went live in Publishers Weekly on Sunday:
K Arsenault Rivera sold the first book in a planned trilogy, The Tiger’s Daughter, to Miriam Weinberg at Tor. Sara Megibow at KT Literary handled the three-book world English rights sale for Rivera, calling the series a “Mongolian-inspired epic fantasy.” It follows two women, she explained, whose “love for each other is big enough to slay demons.”

This was followed by another press release in Publishers Marketplace yesterday:
Fiction: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Debut author K Arsenault Rivera’s THE TIGER’S DAUGHTER, a Mongolian and Japanese-inspired epic fantasy about two young women who claim their love for each other is big enough to slay demons, to Miriam Weinberg at Tor, in a very nice deal, in a three-book deal, by Sara Megibow of kt literary (World English).
Film/TV: Brendan Deneen of Macmillan Entertainment

My gut says we should be watching the news again tomorrow. 😉

Congratulations K!

K is on twitter @ArsenaultRivera

Artist Stephanie commissioned this piece on our heroines – the infamous Qorin warrior Shefali Arsalayaa, and O-Shizuka, the feared Divine Empress of Hokkaido:

Stephanie image

6 April 2016


The New GuyCongratulations to Amy Spalding, whose fourth YA novel THE NEW GUY (AND OTHER SENIOR YEAR DISTRACTIONS) releases today! Hooray! muppet flail

A ridiculously cute, formerly famous, new guy dropping into your life? It’s practically every girl’s dream.

But not Jules McCallister-Morgan’s.

I realize that on paper I look like your standard type-A, neurotic, overachiever. And maybe I am. But I didn’t get to be the editor of my school’s long-revered newspaper by just showing up*. I have one main goal for my senior year — early acceptance into my first choice Ivy League college — and I will not be deterred by best friends, moms who think I could stand to “live a little,” or boys.

At least, that was the plan before I knew about Alex Powell**.

And before Alex Powell betrayed me***.

I know what you’re thinking: Calm down, Jules. But you don’t understand. This stuff matters. This is my life. And I’m not going down without a fight.

* Okay, I sort of did. But it’s a sore subject.

** I mean, I guess everyone knows about Alex Powell? Two years ago, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about viral video boy band sensation Chaos 4 All. Two years ago, Alex Powell was famous.

*** Some people think I’m overreacting. But this. Means. War.

Filled with tons of romance, rivalry, and passive-aggressive dog walking, Amy Spalding delivers a hilariously relatable high school story that’s sure to have you falling for The New Guy.

The reviews are coming in strong for this one! School Library Journal wrote “Spalding excels at creating flawed characters whose own issues and mistakes propel the plot forward… A cute and fluffy read, this book will appeal to those who want a gentle high school drama with a touch of romance.” And Publishers Weekly said “Spalding has a quick, easy sense of humor… it paves the way for an upbeat, gratifying ending.”

In keeping with the theme of the novel, we are in the middle of a hot boy band voting contest, which you can find out more about on NOVL. In the meantime, check out this awesome video with your favorite YA authors talking about their favorite boy bands. (Duran Duran forever!!)

You can find Amy this spring at numerous signings and events, from the LA Times Book Festival, to the North Texas Teen Book Festival, YALLwest, and more!

Grab your copy of THE NEW GUY at Amazon, B&N, or your favorite local indie, and join me in congratulating Amy on Twitter!

5 April 2016


KateTesterman200I was delighted to be interviewed the other day by the lovely Kim Turrisi of the SCBWI, and thrilled to share that interview from the April issue of the SCBWI Insight. A short tease is below!

SCBWI Insight: There’s so much talk about the best way to query an agent. What gets your attention when a query pops up in your inbox? What makes one query stand out more than another? In that vein, what does it take for you to request a partial or full manuscript?

Kate: For the most part, I’m looking for something ineffable. I want a strong hook, or a story that I haven’t seen before, or a character concept that catches my attention, or a voice that screams “read me!” And despite the fact that there is so much information about how to hook an agent, you’d be surprised the number of queries that reach me that get it wrong—wrong genre, wrong pitch, wrong material—at least for me. So when you get that right, when an author has done their research and can show me that they’re querying me for a reason, that stands out. As my awesome stepdaughter’s math teacher would say, “Show your work.” You can get points for it.

When a query has that special something, and the pages included show a strong writing ability, then I’ll ask for a partial—the first five chapters, usually—and a full synopsis. I know that many of my agent colleagues are switching over to asking for a full manuscript right away, but I like keeping that second step in there. I like checking in with an author five chapters in to a manuscript to say “I love this, can you send me the whole thing?” It also keeps it fresh for me—if I don’t feel like I’m waiting on pins and needles to get that full manuscript after requesting it, maybe it’s not for me after all, no matter how good the first five chapters are.

Click through to read the full interview, including a call for submissions.

4 April 2016


FutureShock_CVRCongratulations to Elizabeth Briggs, whose YA debut FUTURE SHOCK releases today — no foolin’!

Elena Martinez has hidden her eidetic memory all her life–or so she thinks. When powerful tech giant Aether Corporation selects her for a top-secret project, she can’t say no. All she has to do is participate in a trip to the future to bring back data, and she’ll be set for life. Elena joins a team of four other teens with special skills, including Adam, a science prodigy with his own reason for being there. But when the time travelers arrive thirty years in the future, something goes wrong and they break the only rule they were given: do not look into their own fates. Now they have twenty-four hours to get back to the present and find a way to stop a seemingly inevitable future from unfolding. With time running out and deadly secrets uncovered, Elena must use her eidetic memory, street smarts, and a growing trust in Adam to save her new friends and herself.

FUTURE SHOCK has already received some great pre-pub reviews from Kirkus who wrote:

The author refreshingly swaps teen-lit gender stereotypes in the […] romance: she’s the edgy, brooding girl with the heart of gold, and he’s the adorable, inexperienced good guy.

And Publishers Weekly, which praised it saying:

Briggs crafts a tense tale of predestination and paranoia, fleshed out with a diverse cast and an intriguing premise.

School Library Journal said it was:

“an entertaining science fiction murder mystery that… should appeal to James Patterson fans along with readers of Michael Grant’s “Gone” series.”

And the Happily Ever After blog on USA Today called FUTURE SHOCK:

suspenseful, engaging and highly recommended for fans of YA romance, time-travel romance and sci-fi romance.

I recommend taking a look at Liz’s post on Diversity in YA as to why this story, science fiction as it may be, is grounded in harsh reality.

And grab your copy today at Amazon, B&N, iBooks, or your favorite local indie!


1 April 2016


TO LURE A PROPER LADYPlease help us congratulate USA Today bestselling author Ashlyn Macnamara on today’s release of TO LURE A PROPER LADY! Woo HOOOO!

TO LURE A PROPER LADY is the first book in a new series of historical romance novels that we’re calling the Duke-Defying Daughters series. It’s about three raucous young sisters and their adle-pated, but sweet, father who is trying to get them all wed before he dies.

Blogger Andrea Murray says, “I cannot praise this book highly enough! If you love historical romances, you must read this novel.”

In this steamy novel from Ashlyn Macnamara—“a born storyteller” (Jennifer McQuiston) who “brings all the elegance and romance of the Regency to life” (Tessa Dare)—a dutiful young lady tries to resist the charms of a rogue from the legendary Bow Street Runners.

When Lady Elizabeth Wilde and her sisters are summoned once again to their chronically anxious father’s deathbed, she’s shocked to find that his worries are at last justified. He’s terribly ill, and Lizzie suspects poison. But when she seeks help from the Bow Street Runners, her request is answered by a rough-hewn rogue known only as Dysart. Though his irreverent charm by turns shocks and captivates her, a man of Dysart’s background is an altogether inappropriate choice for a duke’s daughter—isn’t he?

Although Dysart has his reasons to disdain polite society, the promise of supplemental income from a noble’s coffers is too tempting to deny. But if Dysart means to apprehend the culprit who poisoned the duke, he’ll need to avoid any and all distractions—like the delicious swish of Lady Elizabeth’s hips. Yet as the investigation begins to unearth secrets he’d rather remain hidden, Dysart must decide at a moment’s notice whether to hold Elizabeth at arm’s length . . . or pull her dangerously close.

Check out Ashlyn’s website – including book info, sample chapters and details on her upcoming fantasy romance series at:

Say hi and congratulations on twitter @ashlyn_mac

29 March 2016


2015-03 final BREAK ME DOWN front coverHUGE congratulations to New York Times bestselling author Roni Loren who has been nominated for the prestigious RITA award for two books! The RITA award is granted by Romance Writers of America for excellence in the romance genre – please help us cheer for Roni in these categories:

BREAK ME DOWN = nominated for Best Erotic Romance

NICE GIRLS DON’T RIDE = nominated for Best Romance Novella

Roni talks about her RITA nominations on her blog here!

Read Chapter 1 of BREAK ME DOWN posted here and Chapter 1 of NICE GIRLS DON’T RIDE posted here (18 and over only!)

Check out Roni’s amazing books on her website:

Join us in saying congratulations on twitter @RoniLoren

2014-12 front cover final NICE GIRLS DONT RIDE

25 March 2016


wc2016_lacc_litup_1If you’re in the LA area this weekend, and are of a nerdy bent, you can find us at WonderCon! I’ll be wandering around, shopping, taking pictures of awesome cosplay, and maybe even doing some myself. More specifically, I’m speaking on an Ask-An-Agent panel on Sunday at 2:30 in Room 502A on the Second Level. But you can also find me lurking around the Futurecasting and Timeline Salad panel on Friday at 3pm in Room 151:

Dragons, witches, elemental forces, alternate timelines, time travel and more! Maryelizabeth Yturralde of Mysterious Galaxy and Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky), James Morris (The Three Kingdoms Trilogy), Greg Van Eekhout (California Bones trilogy), and Elizabeth Briggs (Future Shock) look at the past, present, and future through different lenses and timelines.

You may also find me at the Building Worlds with Words panel on Friday at 7pm in Room 411 or at the Not Your Sidekick: Heroes of Color Take Center Stage panel, also on Friday at 7pm, in Room 502B with Friend-of-the-blog Sarah Kuhn.

On Saturday at 11am, I hope to check out Mythos Mix-Up in Room 151, after which, I’m totally going to stop by the Calling All Aspiring Writers panel featuring Her Universe Press at 2pm in Room 515A.

Then, because I’m a cosplay nerd, I’m going to check out Over30Cosplay at 4pm in Room 502B, while 5pm on Saturday may find me checking out The Asian American Superhero in Room 502B. Next, at 6pm, KT Literary client Sarah Watson will be speaking from Inside the Writers Room in Room 151.

Saturday night is the KT Literary family dinner with our awesome LA-based clients, then it’s back to work on Sunday! Come hang out with me at the Spotlight on Amber Benson at 10:30am in Room 152, or at the panel on Event and Cosplay Photography at 12 noon in Room 502B.

And if you want to bombard me with all your questions about traditional publishing, the query process, and anything an agent does, join me and Holly Root for the Ask An Agent panel at 2:30 in Room 502A. More details:

Literary agents Holly Root (Waxman Leavell Literary Agency), and Kate Testerman (kt literary) take your questions and discuss the wild world of manuscript querying, the role of agents in the publication and film rights process, and more! No pitches, please.

And of course, if you see me in the halls or roaming around the floor, feel free to say hi! I’ll have my purple KT Literary lanyard on… and possibly more purple as well.

24 March 2016


It’s a banner week for great news! Congratulations to Emily Ecton, whose new novel THE AMBROSE DECEPTION sold at auction to Stephanie Lurie at Disney-Hyperion! The deal was announced yesterday in Publishers Weekly, or check it out below:


I loved this book from the moment I found it in the slush pile, and I can’t wait for all of you to read it! If you want something similarly awesome to tide you over until it arrives, may I suggest THE LOST TREASURE OF TUCKERNUCK?

23 March 2016