Author Archive | Mandy

IF YOU FIND ME Cover Reveal, interview and giveaway!

Last fall, I had the chance to read a little book then-titled The Patron Saint of Beans, by not-yet-debut author Emily Murdoch. Her novel is the story of a girl hidden away deep in a national forest, and when her father finds her, she discovers she’s been living a lie—her mother kidnapped her as a child. Now, thrust into the dizzying real world of shopping malls, high school, and boys, she must hide her darkest secret—or risk watching her new life come tumbling down. My most vivid […]

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Writing Futuristic Fiction in (what feels like) a Science Fiction World

When I was in my teens, in the late 80s, one of my favourite Ray Bradbury stories was “There Will Come Soft Rains”.  Published in 1950, it’s a story of beautifully understated tragedy, about a futuristic-style house full of automatic functions, that keeps on functioning (cooking breakfast, dimming lights, reading poetry) even though its occupants have all been killed by a nuclear catastrophe. I was fascinated, both by the concept itself and by the idea […]

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The Not-So-Secret Backdoor to Publishing

Besides the fact that they’re some of the most successful YA books, the titles shown above have one very big thing in common: They are the products of a practice known as book packaging, wherein a person or company creates marketable ideas, develops outlines or synopses, then hires writers to write them. The packager—whether it is Alloy (Gossip Girl, The Clique, The Probability of Miracles, the Private series), Full Fathom Five (I am Number Four), or […]

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Editor Week for a Non-NYC Lit Agent

At almost every conference, authors want to know: does it matter if an agent is based outside of New York? Are New York agents better, more connected, more…something? Well, if this was 1992, when my Dad had just bought my mom that 14K external modem (Hey, it was an upgrade. He almost bought the 7k), it might matter. But nowadays, so much of my work is done via email. I could be across the street […]

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