Agent Spotlight Interview

It’s been a *year* so this blog has not gotten much love from me. I hope to do an end of the year post, but until then, there’s an interview with me over at CritiqueMatch.com! Click here to read.

Cover Reveal: BACCHANAL by Veronica Henry

Check out this hauntingly GORGEOUS cover of Veronica Henry’s BACCHANAL coming May 21, 2021! It captures the spirit of the novel perfectly.

Evil lives in a traveling carnival roaming the Depression-era South. But the carnival’s newest act, a peculiar young woman with latent magical powers, may hold the key to defeating it. Her time has come.

Abandoned by her family, alone on the wrong side of the color line with little to call her own, Eliza Meeks is coming to terms with what she does have. It’s a gift for communicating with animals. To some, she’s a magical tender. To others, a she-devil. To a talent prospector, she’s a crowd-drawing oddity. And the Bacchanal Carnival is Eliza’s ticket out of the swamp trap of Baton Rouge.

Among fortune-tellers, carnies, barkers, and folks even stranger than herself, Eliza finds a new home. But the Bacchanal is no ordinary carnival. An ancient demon has a home there too. She hides behind an iridescent disguise. She feeds on innocent souls. And she’s met her match in Eliza, who’s only beginning to understand the purpose of her own burgeoning powers.

Only then can Eliza save her friends, find her family, and fight the sway of a primordial demon preying upon the human world. Rolling across a consuming dust bowl landscape, Eliza may have found her destiny.

Cover art by the incredibly talented Christina Chung.

Preorder BACCHANAL here.

Add it on Goodreads here.

Cover Reveal!

I’ve been internally screaming about this for months. My client C.L. Clark has a 3 book deal with Orbit and the cover for the first title, THE UNBROKEN is stunning! io9 had the exclusive on the announcement and cover reveal, so head over there for more details and a look at the first chapter: https://io9.gizmodo.com/a-young-soldier-proves-her-might-in-a-first-glimpse-at-1844381319

I’ll just be here with heart eyes looking at this gorgeous art 😍😍😍

Mary C. MooreFebruary 10, 2020

Looking forward to meeting writers and chatting about publishing at the San Francisco Writers Conference this weekend! If you see me and I have my badge on, feel free to stop me and say hi and ask a question or two. 🤗

Cover Announcement

I’m so proud, blubbery, giddy, and all the other emotions to show off this amazing cover for GIRL GIANT AND THE MONKEY KING, a middle grade debut from my client Van Hoang. Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien are the talented illustrator duo KAA behind this gorgeous cover. Super excited they are also doing some sketches in the pages of the book.

GIRL GIANT is out with Roaring Brook Press, Macmillan 10/06/20. Available for pre-order everywhere now!

Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho is keeping a secret: she’s strong. Like suuuuper strong. Freakishly strong. And it’s making it impossible for Thom to fit in at her new middle school. In a desperate bid to get rid of her super strength, she makes a deal with the Monkey King, a powerful deity and legendary trickster. Thom will help him get back his magical staff if he’ll take away her strength. Soon she is swept up in a centuries-old world where demons, dragons, and Jade princesses actually exist. But Thom quickly discovers that magic can’t cure everything, and dealing with the trickster god might be more trouble than it’s worth.

Blog Post Image by Mary C. Moore

Examining the “I Just Didn’t Fall In Love” Rejection

As I gear up to open to submissions for the new year, I’m once again faced with the task of whittling down the remaining fulls in my query inbox. I’d love to get down to zero, a fresh start to 2020. I have less than ten manuscripts to consider. Should be easy right?

Wrong.

As the pile of “maybes” gets smaller, the harder it is to make decisions on what to let go. There’s the young adult thriller I’ve had since spring, in which, although the plot is a mess, I’m in love with the narrative voice. The contemporary middle grade that’s been there since late summer, with the amazing concept and natural tension, but rough writing. The adult fantasy, just requested before shutting down my inbox, that is totally epic and totally up my alley, but perhaps not enough to break out in the smaller SFF market. The interesting women’s fiction from early fall, with the really cool author with lots of great experience and a huge platform, that doesn’t quite catch, but maybe could with some edits.

I can’t take on all of them. But there isn’t a good reason to reject them. So I start typing those dreaded words, “I just didn’t fall in love,” cringing because after months of considering a full manuscript, I know the author is going to be frustrated by this lame response. Sure I try to dress it up best I can, but the bottom line, is “it’s not you, it’s me.” I’ve gotten plenty of those types of responses from editors to know that wrapping it in a pretty ribbon of words isn’t going to make the seemingly arbitrary rejection any less baffling and/or disheartening.

How can I explain myself, and my cohort of literary agents across the country, for sending rejections we ourselves dread to receive?

So I emphasize once again, how in tune I must be with a manuscript and its author. My vision for what editorial the manuscript needs and who the target audience is should be crystal clear. Knowing those two factors, I can lay a path forward for myself and the author. My vision has to be strong, because that path will most definitely veer and fork and turn on itself. This business is a roller coaster at best and a human-eating monster at worst. As one of my favorite lit peeps Literary Agent DongWon Song pointed out in a recent Writing Excuses podcost:

Now, the thing is, publishing is a system that is designed to be extremely random. What makes a book work is highly unpredictable. What makes a book tank, also highly unpredictable. So when you’re thinking about this, there’s two things you need to keep in mind: always have a plan. But also be ready to throw that plan out the window at the drop of a hat. . . . You will go completely mad if you try to map the whole thing. So you pick your path, but then you’re ready to know, we can pivot wherever we need to. 

https://wetranscripts.dreamwidth.org/166134.html

So when I’m reading a particularly strong submission, I’m considering the biggest factor that will push me to make an offer: Is my vision for it strong and clear enough to survive through the inevitable roller coaster?

The writing may be excellent, the author may be fantastic, the story may be right up my alley, but could I take it the distance? If I give it more time, will my vision potentially solidify or should I let it go now?

The next time an agent hangs on to your manuscript for months and then all you get is a “I just didn’t fall in love” rejection, pat yourself on the back, you’re rising to the top of hundreds of thousands of submissions. It’s only a matter of time before you find someone who will “fall in love.”

And in the meantime, remember, it really wasn’t you, it was me.

UPDATE: December 5, 2019

Closing to Submissions for the Holidays

I will be closed to submissions from December 15 until January 15, for the holidays. I hope to catch up with all outstanding queries, partials, and fulls during that time.

Wishing everyone a joyful holiday season and a happy new year!

Writer’s Digest Bootcamp is Back!

After a long hiatus, the agents of Kimberley Cameron & Associates are once again teaching a Writer’s Digest course. Sign up and you get to join an online forum where you have four hours over two days to ask me anything about publishing. I will be there in real time, and there are no stupid questions.

After the forum, I will critique your query letter and first ten pages (this does not count as a submission, it’s for you to improve your work, you can always submit to me officially at a later date after you’ve incorporated the feedback).

Even if you are not ready to query, you are welcome to join us and to get feedback on your rough draft.

Enroll here: https://www.writersonlineworkshops.com/courses/agent-one-on-one-how-to-craft-query-letters-other-submission-materials-that-get-noticed-boot-camp

*Note, although you will have access to all the KC&A discussions, whichever agent you are assigned to will be the one answering your questions on the forum and critiquing your work, so if you are looking to connect with one of us specifically, make sure you let WD know.

UPDATE: September 15, 2019

Briefly Closing To Submissions

I will be closed to submissions September 23 through October 14 for travel and work. Will also use the time to catch up on query backlog. Reopening in time for #DVPit! For those of you planning for the future, I will also be closing to submissions for a few weeks over the holidays.

Write on.

How To Query an Agent Workshop

I’m pleased to share that I’ll be heading an affordable and local workshop on how to query a literary agent this month! On Sunday, September 22, at 2pm during the Marin California Writers Club’s monthly meeting, I’ll be discussing the importance of the query, advising how to craft one, as well as answering questions and critiquing a few (anonymously) for the group (if you wish for yours to be critiqued, bring a print copy minus any identifying information).

The event will be held at Book Passage, 51 Tamal Vista Blvd, Corte Madera.

Although it is hosted by the CWC, non-members are welcome as well. At $10 a person ($5 for members) this is a really good deal, when you consider attending a conference or online workshop to get the same information would be at least 20 times this price.

I’m always keen to share what I wish I had learned back when I was a querying author, and am strongly aware of the lack of affordable resources for writers. So please feel welcome, even if you’re not ready to query yet. This is a great opportunity and I hope to meet more than a few local writers there!