Deals: Eat Your Feelings by Lindsey Smith Acquired by St. Martin’s Press

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A few months ago, I met Lindsey Smith, The Food Mood Girl at the Philadelphia Writer’s Conference.

It was my first time attending my former hometown’s writing conference as a full time literary agent, and I’d been to a number of pitch sessions like this over the past year. It’s the sort of event lots of agents go to, to potentially meet new authors, discuss publishing with people, and network.

When Lindsey sat down and handed me her 40+ page proposal, detailing her platform, biography, publications, and more… it took everything in me not to cry. And ya’ll know I love crying.

The proposal had everything I wanted in a non-fiction author and in a cookbook project, which was something I’d been looking for since I started agenting. During my time working at an actual publishing house, I absolutely adored working on cookbooks and with the passionate food blogging community.

Lindsey’s story is a fantastic one. After being hospitalized for anxiety at a young age, she focused her life on health, happiness, and eating well. Years later, she’s teaching stress management classes to her high school peers. Fast forward a bit more, and she travels the country, inspiring tens of thousands of people to live well and be healthy.

Recently, she’s written about depression for The Huffington Post, had her posts on body image featured on Elite Daily, did a fantastic TED talk, and will be on TV in her town of Pittsburgh. She’s a rockstar. I highly recommend checking out her inspirational blog. The recipes, the advice… everything is so positive and full of humor, wit, and sunshine. It’s impossible not to love.

And now, she’ll have a book out with St. Martin’s Press in the Fall of 2017.

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I am THRILLED to say that EAT YOUR FEELINGS has been acquired by St. Martin’s Press by Laura Apperson, and will be in stores everywhere next Fall.

Where most books about emotions and eating have to do with academia and diets, Lindsey’s is a cheerful take on all that. I can’t wait for people to read this, and see a positive, fun-filled way to feel good about themselves, with delicious recipes, encouraging words, and her trademark wit and humor.

You can follow Lindsey at @LindseySmithHHC, and of course, St. Martin’s Press and her new (awesome) editor Laura Apperson at @StMartinsPress and @LCatAp respectively.

Go wish them all the congrats, and then, have yourself a healthy snack to celebrate all these happy feelings. I sure will.

Deals: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed Acquired by Soho Teen

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Update: Samira’s debut has been re-titled Love, Hate & Other Filters! You can add it on Goodreads here!

Oh man.

Here we go.

Back in February, during one of the many publishing pitch events on Twitter (#PitMatch, a team up between the crew of #PitMad and #MSWL), I came across Samira Ahmed’s query, which, and I’ve said it multiple times and in emails to editors, I favorited so fast I nearly broke my mouse.

Here’s that original tweet:

Four days later, I called and offered to represent her. She dishes about all that here.

Four days. That’s how fast I read this manuscript. Faster, really. I read it in a single weekend. It was beautiful, hilarious, and heartbreaking. It felt important and utterly needed. A story of a girl torn between worlds, the one of her family and the one she wants. Of her family’s dreams and her own. Of two boys. Of two futures. And it all comes falling down when a terrorist attack hits a nearby city, and the alleged bomber shares a last name with her and her family.

It asks a gripping question. What happens to the one Muslim girl, and the one Muslim family, in a town suddenly rocked by fear and peers driven by misguided hatred? 

It’s my belief that this book will give Muslim teenagers a powerful place to see themselves in literature, during a time when hatemongers are continued to be given a platform in our media. I hope they see this book and know they are wanted. That their voices matter.

In fact, while discussing the book on Twitter this weekend, one teenager sent out an excited tweet about the book, and it made me tear up:

This book tackles important themes with grace and breathtaking prose, and I’m so thrilled to announce it’ll be on shelves soon.

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LOVE, HATE & OTHER FILTERS by Samira Ahmed has been acquired by Daniel Ehrenhaft at Soho Teen, the YA imprint of Soho Press. Daniel worked on my favorite book of 2015, More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, and is an incredibly talented editor who understands and believes in this book’s message. It’ll hit shelves everywhere in the Spring of 2018.

Epic thanks to Daniel at the team at Soho for taking this book on. Be sure to follow Samira on Twitter, and send her all the congrats.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some more crying to do.

And remember, querying authors. Social media is a fantastic resource. Samira and I found each other there, and just a few months later… here we are.

Deals: These Things I’ve Done by Rebecca Phillips Acquired by HarperTeen!

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Wow you guys. Wow.

A few months ago, I was sitting in one of my favorite cafes in South Philadelphia with my good friend Allie Ilagan, and she got to watch me cry in public over an email. And then she got to watch me get all teary on the phone when I told an author some very good news.

By “very emotional” she’s referring to the public crying and me muttering “oh my god oh my god” into my hands.

Those of you who read YA (which is likely a lot of you so hiiiii you are my people) definitely know Rebecca Phillips. She’s got two wonderful books with Kensington. Any Other Girl, which came out back in January, and Faking Perfect, which came out just last year.

I loved both of them, and was thrilled when I was given the chance to work with her, via my rockstar colleague at P.S. Literary, Carly Watters. Thanks for bringing us together, Carly!

So! About that good news.

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Rebecca Phillips’ next book, THESE THINGS I’VE DONE, has been acquired by Catherine Wallace at HarperTeen, in a two-book deal for an additional untitled novel. Readers can look for it in bookstores everywhere in the Summer of 2017, and the second book in the Summer of 2018.

It’s a non-linear, YA story told in shifting time-frames, that’s an emotional read along the lines of The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson and All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. The back-and-forth time shifting reads like Lauren Gibaldi’s The Night We Said Yes (one of my favorite YA contemporaries of last year), except… well, people die.

It’s a devastating read, really. One that made me sob in the best way possible. It’s about tragedy, trauma, family, and the power of love and friendship, and I can’t wait for you to get your hands on it.

A bit about the plot? Sure.

After accidentally causing the death of her best friend Aubrey, Dara must forgive herself before Ethan, Aubrey’s younger brother, ever will. As Dara and Ethan fall in love, their worlds fall into place—except when Dara’s parents and counselors think their relationship is a mistake. Just because they share special memories of Aubrey, doesn’t mean their love will help wash away their grief.

Yup.

I’m crying again. Because of the story, and because of my joy for Rebecca.

And of course, a huge thank you to Catherine and her team at HarperTeen. Be sure to follow Rebecca on Twitter and check out her website, and wish her all the congrats.

Deals: Luminator by Laurel Amberdine Acquired by REUTS Publishing

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Books news is the best news.

Laurel Amberdine’s manuscript was one of the very first queries to appear in my inbox when I started working as an agent last year. A beautiful, thrilling fantasy novel, I couldn’t put it down. A lush world, a fascinating premise, and two protagonists that were easy to love and cheer for.

Those of you in the SF/F world, chances are you’ve seen Laurel around the ol’ bookish Internet, working with Locus and Lightspeed Magazine. She’s a rockstar, and I’m just so honored to get to work with her.

Laurel Amberdine’s debut, Luminator, has been picked up by REUTS Publishing, an awesome indie publisher of YA and New Adult books. I’ve admired the team over there for a while. Ashley Ruggirello,  Cait Spivey, Nicole Tone, Kisa Whipkey… I’m so happy Laurel is going to have such a great group of people behind her book.

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Curious about the story? In Luminator, readers witness epic fantasy battles that are a bit different. Instead of swords and battle axes, wars are fought with mirrors, prisms, and lenses, as soldiers fight to control the island of Luminous, a magical piece of land where light is harvested as energy… and used as a deadly weapon.

It’s an endless war for resources, that two teens find themselves thrust into. One, a powerful young Luminator, a boy with the ability to manipulate light and shift the tides of war. The other, a brave, bold girl, born of rebels. And together, they’ll have to try and save their realm, while wrestling with their feelings for one another.

I gushed about this book to many of my fantasy-loving friends (looking at you, Fran and Chris), the prose reading like a mashup of Rae Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns, Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky, and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes. It’s not just about epic light battles and magical worlds. It’s a novel that takes a close look at the reasons for war, the need for peace, and the far-reaching power of love.

And I can’t wait for you all to read it, when it hits shelves.

Be sure to follow Laurel and REUTS on Twitter, and wish them all the congrats.

Laurel Amberdine: Twitter / Website

REUTS Publishing: Twitter / Facebook / Website

Deals: The Temptation of Adam by Dave Connis Acquired by Sky Pony Press

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Oh, this post feels so good. My first agented Young Adult book sold, and has been picked up by Sky Pony Press, the children’s imprint of Sky Horse Publishing. Here are the details from Publisher’s Marketplace…

Dave Connis’s debut, THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM, pitched as DON JON meets THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER and PAPER TOWNS, in which a sixteen-year-old boy struggles to beat a porn addiction with the help of his family, new friends, and a fellow addict, to Nicole Frail at Sky Pony Press, for publication in Fall 2017, by Eric Smith at P.S. Literary Agency (World).

When Dave’s manuscript appeared in my agency inbox, I read and devoured it immediately. I laughed, I cried, I gushed about the book to any of my bookish friends who would listen. I cried while explaining it to my wife (which basically means you’ve got a deal with me). After a long phone call (when we realized we were probably going to be best friends), I picked up Dave as a P.S. Literary client. Read more