Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Interview with my CP about how she got her AGENT!

Kathleen S. Allen is one of my CP's and a great writer friend of mine. She helped me with Paradise 21, and Tundra 37. I'm lucky enough to get one of her very first interviews after the momentous event of getting her AGENT! Woohoo, go Kathleen!

She's got some great advice for all you writers out there still battling the query field. Without further ado, here's the interview:

1. How did you hear about this particular agent? Tell us about her!

Her name is Nancy Knight and she is an agent at Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency (
I found her by reading the acknowledgements of a book I was reading. I always look to see who authors are thanking in their acknowledgements and I usually check them out online. I saw that Nancy was open to submissions, especially Young Adult (which I write) so I sent my latest book to her and she loved it! She is going to be sending it out to publishers/editors soon.

2. Do you have any advice for authors still looking for an agent?

I use Predators and Editors, Piers Anthony’s website, Absolute Write Water Cooler and Writer Beware to check out agents. I also use My biggest piece of advice is to REVISE, REVISE, REVISE before you send your queries out. I made the mistake of sending a query on a different novel before it was edited and every single agent rejected it. Join organizations that will help you revise your queries/synopsis. I belong to SCBWI, YALITCHAT and ABSOLUTE WRITE but there are others out there. Get some beta readers and listen to their comments. Don’t be so “married” to your words that you aren’t able to edit your work.

3. Tell us about your book she contracted.

The novel is a YA contemporary about a senior high school girl who feels invisible and she goes on a mission to be noticed with the help her best friend, often with humorous consequences! I wanted to write a humorous book that would give hope to all the young adults out there who don’t feel like they have a voice. Although the book is humorous, there are dramatic elements, too.

4. Was there a time when you felt like giving up, but kept going?

Oh, yes, who hasn’t? But, each book I write has helped me to become a better writer and each time I publish something I “like” it more than the last one. I published my first YA novel in 2006 called WITCH HUNTER and it’s still one of my favourite books. One friend of mine calls me tenacious and I guess I am. If you want to be a writer, then write! If you want an agent, keep sending your queries out but make sure you do research, don’t blanket agents with a million queries and be sure to follow the submissions guidelines. Get a social network going and not just to plug your books, get the word out however you can but, most of all, KEEP WRITING. Once I send out queries on one book, I’m on to the next one. Don’t let rejections deter you. If you need to get an English degree or that MFA to improve your writing, do it! Join organizations and critique groups. Network with other writers. Learn your craft. If you are persistent, it will come!

5. What do you think she liked about your query?

I sent her the first three chapters along with the query (as per her agency’s guidelines---it’s important to follow the guidelines on the agency’s website). I think she liked the main character, Cassie. Although Cassie feels invisible she finds out that she really does have a voice and that it’s a powerful one. I think that part of the experience of high school is to find your identity among the hundreds of other students and to be yourself, whoever that is.

6. Where are some links where we can buy the books you have published now?
I have links on my website: Most of my books are online and in print. Here is the information on them:


Mel, a former cop shot in the back now lives in constant pain. When her best friend's daughter is missing, Mel is asked to help find her. When the girl is found dead at the bottom of a tall building, the cops believe she jumped. Did she? Or is it murder?

Book Trailer:
Buy it here:
Buy it here:

FITZROY: THE BOY WHO WOULD BE KING(210 pages)-YA historical.

The life and tragic death of the bastard son of Henry VIII of England.

Book Trailer:

Buy it here:


Molly, a new nurse on the psychiatric unit, falls in love with her manager John Whitefeather. His heart has been broken and he resists his attraction to first. Afraid of getting hurt again after letting his guard down John leaves without a word. Molly quits her job and moves to San Francisco to take care of her brother who has AIDS. When they unexpectantly run in to each other again can they make their relationship work or is it too late for them?

Book Trailer:
Buy it here:

WITCH HUNTER-(136 pages)

When 15 year old Molly visits her eccentric Tarot card reading aunt in Salem, MA who just happens to be a witch; her aunt takes her to Wiccan coven meetings, festivals and occult bookstores. Her aunt predicts fun. But, even her aunt doesn't predict murder. When Molly discovers a link to the Salem Witch Trials, her own ancestry and the murders, Molly is scared. Is she the next one to die?

Book Trailer:
Buy it here:

And for more, check out her website!

Able to “sign” most of them on
On Twitter: @kathleea
On Facebook: Witch Hunter!/pages/Witch-Hunter/142372955812353
Guest blogger every Wednesday on
Book Trailers on You Tube


Emily R. King said...

Congrats on landing an agent, Kathleen! It was fun to read your story, and I wish you a ton of success!

Nicole Zoltack said...

Great interview and congrats on getting an agent, Kathleen!

Cherie Reich said...

Congrats, Kathleen!! That's fantastic news.

C D Meetens said...

Really helpful interview, and congratulations on getting an agent! Thanks for the site mentions too. I've heard of "Absolute Write", but not the others.

Deniz Bevan said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your experiences Kathleen.

Christine Rains said...

Congratulations on getting an agent! That was a great interview. Thank you for the tips.