Good news!!!

Posted by houndrat on Friday Jan 14, 2011 Under writing, Young Adult

So, you know how I was MIA from the blog a lot at the end of last year?  Well, I was kind of busy. I can’t tell you HOW EXCITED I am to finally share one of the things keeping me preoccupied:


I know, right?  A BOOK DEAL?  I’m still in shock, too. But at least the PM announcement makes it feel slightly less surreal.  I’m so thankful for my wonderful agent, Taylor Martindale of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency, who talked me off several ledges along the way, and Editor AwesomeSauce Claudia Gabel, who I’m so excited to work with, it’s not even funny!

Also, this book deal was a bit atypical–you may have noticed it’s not for my book I snagged my agent with–and I’m looking forward to sharing my journey to publication with you!!!  Only, I have to run around SQUEEEING a little more first!

Stay tuned…..

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Do the Write Thing for Nashville

Posted by houndrat on Friday May 14, 2010 Under writing, Young Adult

I’m excited to announce that my group blog, GotYA, got together a prize package for the Do the Write Thing for Nashville. It’s up for auction NOW—if you’re an unagented YA writer, go! Bid! Win some cool stuff, and more importantly, help Nashville recover from this terrible disaster!

Nashville GotYA auction

For more info on the prizes, check out the post about it on our group blog:


Well, what are you waiting for? Go bid–if not on our package, then someone else’s! Let’s all work togther to support Nashville during this crisis!

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Agent Story, or–How to Sound Really Inane on the Phone

Posted by houndrat on Wednesday Mar 10, 2010 Under writing

So, my agent story is probably less than typical. In a fun twist, my agent found me rather than the other way ‘round.

Back in January, I received an email from Taylor Martindale, a new agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency. Her colleague, Natalie Fischer, found the awesome Karla Calalang’s query after poking around on Absolute Write (the best writing site ever!) and thought it sounded like a great story. Karla, in turn, referred her to some of her fellow YA writers’ blogs. Apparently, Taylor enjoyed my teasers on The Demon Guard and invited me to email her the first 50 pages. At that point, I was still finishing up, so I told her it might be a little wait. Just from those initial email interactions, though, I could tell she was friendly, approachable, and super nice. In fact, everyone I knew from AW who interacted with her was very impressed.

When I finally finished DG in February, I sent the first 50 pages to Taylor.

She checked in a couple weeks later to let me know she was looking forward to reading my material that week. On Thursday, she emailed me in the morning to tell me she’d finished my pages, and that she loved them, and would I please send her the full?

Four hours later, my cell phone rang. I saw the call was from Del Mar but didn’t think much about it, until the person on the other end said, “Hello? May I speak to Debra? This is Taylor Martindale, from the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency.”


I think the rest of our conversation went something like this:

Me: Um?

Taylor: Is this Debra?

Me: *almost chokes on own tongue* Yes?

Taylor: Hi Debra, how are you?

Me: Um, fine. *panics* Before you say anything else—can you please just tell me one thing? You aren’t calling to say my book sucks, right? Because I think I would cry.

Taylor: *laughs, probably wonders if writer she is talking to is a crazy person* No. Actually, the opposite. I was calling to tell you how much I love The Demon Guard, and to offer you representation.

Me: *mumbles something incoherent, tries not to faint* Really? *laughs like a crazy person* Wow! You totally caught me off-guard.

Taylor: *laughs like a normal person* I’m sorry—I was afraid that might happen.

Me: *mumbles something even more incoherent* Wait—did you finish reading it yet?

Taylor: Not yet, no.

Me: *ponders, tells herself not to say something stupid. Says something stupid anyway* But, are you sure? What if you, I don’t know, totally hate the rest?

Taylor *laughs, probably now convinced writer she is talking to is indeed a crazy person, probably eyes phone like it’s a ticking bomb* I’m sure I won’t.

I can’t really remember the rest—just little bits about how she used to intern at Bliss Agency, where she worked with other authors like Hannah Moskowitz, writer of the amazing YA novel Break. I think I selectively blacked out all the parts where I sounded especially lame—essentially, most of the conversation.

On the following Tuesday, I got to tour the office and meet Taylor in person. She finished my book, and believe it or not, didn’t hate it (YAY) and even better—she GOT it. She really, really GOT my vision for Demon Guard. I can’t even tell you how huge that is.

So I signed the papers last week, and WOO HOO—I have an agent, one that I totally love!

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