Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Guest Post by Cecilia Tan on her New Three-Book Series at Tor

Whew! At last I can tell you all the news! We've been working on a project for quite a while now and I can finally officially announce that my upcoming new paranormal series, THE VANISHED CHRONICLES, will published by Tor Books!

I've long admired Tor as a publishing house. When I founded Circlet Press back in 1992, Tor founder Tom Doherty gave me some of my first and best advice about book publishing. Over the years I've only remained impressed with the quality of Tor's list and if you look on my shelves you'll see many of my favorite books bear the Tor logo, like Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart and Steven Brust's The Phoenix Guards. To be joining them is beyond exciting.

THE VANISHED CHRONICLES will be a paranormal/urban fantasy series where I play with two of my favorite things: 1) BDSM, and 2) the idea that magical world co-exists with our own but non-magical folks have gotten the details wrong. In THE VANISHED CHRONICLES I'll explain where all those myths about vampires come from. "Vampires" may not be real, but an ancient cult of blood magic? Yes, please!

If you read my Magic University books you know I like to mix ancient prophecy with modern sexuality. So there will be passion, power, eroticism, magic, love, et cetera. The first book is tentatively scheduled to come out in Spring 2017, so you've got a while to anticipate it.

If you'd like to keep up to date on my progress, and maybe even get sneak peeks of some sexy scenes, there's always my monthly email newsletter. Sign up here:

 People are often surprised that I always close my office for Good Friday and that I go to church on Easter Sunday.  Just because I am a sex positive feminist doesn't mean that I have has no spirituality.

But I am a P.K. (preacher's kid).  The preacher is my mom, who was a feminist minster in the United Church of Christ who was part of that group of feminists that rewrote the Bible without pronouns.  She used to play Yoko Ono's Woman is the Nigger of the World while writing her Biblical term papers (and I will always love Yoko for that song and my mom for making it part of the soundtrack of my life).

So this year, I was excited that we at Riverdale Avenue Books were finally goging to pubish Blessed Assurance, a collecito of prayers of rthe LGBT commjnity, which as a child of changing religious mores, I knew was sorely needed.  I was proud to be a part of it.

But the book was late again, and we would miss the Lenten season.  The book had been late a number f times, and i was growing disheartened.

I finally talked to the author (as the book had been acquired by another editor) and told her in no uncertain terms that I wanted this book and I wanted it NOW.  She explained that the reason she was so late on the book was that she actually thought it was two books - a prayer book and a workbook - and I said, "OK, then.  Let's do them both."

And she said, "Are you kidding me?"

And we are now pubishing two books - one for the Thanksgiving season and one for Lent next year.

And she said to me, "You are my Easter. This book project was dead to me and you have resurrected it."

I was almost moved to tears.

I don't get the chance to save a book very often.   Sure, I can sign up a book that means a lot to someone, or I can save a poorly written book from bad reviews with my super-powered editing, but breathing new life into a dead project - this was a first.

And during Holy Week!

She was my Easter too!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Importance of Knowing Typical Word Count Ranges by Rachel Brooks

You may have heard other agents discuss the importance of knowing the word count range for your genre before. But after going through another batch of queries, I think it could stand to be said again.

You need to know the typical word count range for your book’s genre and age group, or you’re hurting your chances of success by not knowing it.

This includes looking at books in your genre, for the age group you’re writing for. For example, simply reading and comparing science fiction word counts because you wrote a MG sci-fi manuscript is not enough. It needs to be MG sci-fi—not adult, not YA—that you look at.

When I see queries for a 180k young adult fantasy novel, I wonder if the writer realizes this is way over the typical word count for a YA fantasy, even more so for a debut author.

On the other hand, when I see a query for a 30k young adult contemporary novel, I wonder if the writer realizes this is far under the typical word count for a novel and is actually novella length.

An issue like word count is something these writers could have taken note of, and trimmed or added accordingly, before sending out queries.

So is a word count above or below the typical range an automatic rejection? Maybe for some agents, maybe not for others. I can’t speak for all.

But what it does do for most of us…signal that a LOT of revising is ahead for this project before it would be submission ready. This makes an agent seriously evaluate whether, at this point for this novel, it’s ready to be taken on with representation.

So in a nutshell, doing your research will help. Check out reputable resources and articles online. Look at the date of these articles, as the information could be outdated. Compare books in your own genre and age group to the one you’re writing.

It’s homework, but well worth it in the end!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year & New Dreams by Rachel Brooks

2015 is officially upon us. It's a perfectly blank canvas full of exciting possibilities and unknown adventures!

I hope we all have a better year in 2015, no matter how amazing (or not) your 2014 was. Because it can always be better, we can always have more goals and dreams.

Part of what makes the publishing industry so exciting is that it's filled with optimists and creative minds. We're either hoping tomorrow will be a day filled with great news, that a brilliant idea will strike, or a long awaited accomplishment will be achieved.

Writers, agents, editors, book sellers, readers, illustrators—we're a bunch of life-lovers. We love to read about, or create, or help share other people's stories and journeys, becoming sometimes as invested in them as if they were our own. If anyone can hope that every year is better than the previous one, it's us!

We can dream it, so it CAN happen.

Here's to a great 2015 for all!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

L. Perkins Agency’s Suggestion on What to Buy Readers and Writers for Christmas

Every year I am faced with the same dilemma – what do I buy my writing friends? I usually opt for a gift certificate to Amazon or The Strand (if they’re in NYC), but I know deep down I can do much better than that.

So this year I asked my agency colleagues for a list of gift suggestions and I am thrilled to share it with you.

Louise Fury suggests the following:
Aqua Notes: 
waterproof notepads for the shower -- you never know when inspirations can strike. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003W09LTQ/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B003W09LTQ&linkCode=as2&tag=thwrli02-20

Typewriter charm: http://www.amazon.com/Sterling-Silver-Antiqued-Typewriter-Charm/dp/B00Q1DPIUM/ref=sr_1_60?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1417713852&sr=1-60&keywords=typewriter+ring

Senior Agent Sandy Lu has recently discovered the joy of audio books and took the time to list the favorite audio books she’s listened to this year, as well as an old book scented candle (clever gift, indeed!)

Old Books Scented Soy Candle https://www.etsy.com/listing/159184877/old-books-book-lovers-scented-soy-candle?ref=shop_home_feat


The Black Count: The Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss

The 4-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferris

Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain

The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York by Deborah Blum

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg


Between Two Fires by Christopher Buehlman

A Constellation of Vital Phenomenon by Anthony Marra

This Dark Road to Mercy by Wiley Cash

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Distance by Helen Giltrow

F by Daniel Kehlmann

The Girl with All the Gifts by M. R. Carey

I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

The Quick by Lauren Owen

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman

The Weight of Blood by Laura McHugh


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

Gated by Amy Christine Parker

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

The Paladin Prophecy by Mark Frost

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

Tish Beaty, our resident romance expert, suggests you curl up with the following titles:

Erotic Romance:

Rosalie Stanton - Sinners and Saints Series - https://www.totallybound.com/series/sinners-and-saints

Candice Gilmer - Various Works - http://candicegilmer.com/

Chloe Stowe - M/M Various Works - http://www.chloestowe.com/published-works.html

Louisa Bacio - Various Works - http://louisabacio.com/books

Rachell Nichole - Various Works - http://www.rachellnichole.com/Holiday-Books.html

Leon Husock, our resident man, gave us the following gift suggesitons:

Well, there’s Tequila Mockingbird, that book of literary-inspired cocktails.

There are also these: http://www.litographs.com which are shirts and tote bags with the text of classic books on them in small type arranged to make pictures, which I think are super cool.

Rachel Brooks, our romance and YA/New Adult agent, also shared a thoughtful list:

1) Book themed jewelry, handmade on Etsy, is a great gift idea for bibliophiles. Whether it's a quote from a classic, book-shaped earrings, or a necklace featuring weathered pages, Etsy has tons of jewelry items for book lovers and writers. Plus, you're supporting an indie artist by purchasing their items!

Buy link:


2) What reader or writer doesn't need an artsy mug for their tea, coffee, or cocoa? The quirky store The Unemployed Philosopher's Guild has a great selection of unique mugs. One features first lines from literary classics, while another is decorated with titles of banned books. They also sell a Shakespearean insult mug if some snark is needed for your holiday season!

Buy Link:


3) A book idea for readers who love contemporary or women's fiction novels, especially ones with a charming heroine:

Independently Wealthy by Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, St. Martin's 2014
-Chosen as one of "The Best New Books" in People Magazine's Dec 8th print issue
-“Soapy, fast-paced fun with a murder thrown in for good measure.” —Kirkus Reviews

The Duke's Guide to Correct Behavior by Megan Frampton
 -Starred review, Publishers Weekly

Buy Links:

And me? 

I think Strunck and White’s Elements of Style and the Chicago Manuel of Style always make great gifts for writers, as well as the parodies (Alice Threw the Looking Glass, The Elements of F*cking Style, Spunk & Bite). As well as all those grammar humor books (Woe is I, Eats, Shites & Leaves)

Also get a kick our of Bookopoly,

And think every romance writer on the planet should have a copy of Slash, Romance without Boundaries, a sort of Cards against Humanity game for readers and writers.

Happy Holidays!