Get to Know a Publisher in Attendance: Liz Pelletier of Entangled Publishing

Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 6.49.25 PM.pngLiz Pelletier is the publisher of Entangled Publishing.

She is taking pitches for adult romance, YA romance, and mainstream adult thrillers.

Coming out of the dot com era, serial entrepreneur Liz Pelletier has more than thirty years of experience in software engineering, systems analysis, and business management. In 2011, Liz channeled her love of romantic fiction and co-founded Entangled Publishing.

Her mission statement was simple: offer authors the highest royalties in the industry, combined with an agile publishing program, intense focus on quality, and market-driven analysis, in an effort to bridge the gap between traditional and self-publishing opportunities. Over the past five years, Entangled has gone from a small start-up to a powerhouse romance publisher, with more than 1200 titles released to date. Liz lives in Colorado, is supporting her twins through college, and has an unwavering love of “Game of Thrones.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Alex Barba of The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency

Screen Shot 2019-01-13 at 4.32.20 PM.pngAlex Barba is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Alex joined The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in 2018, where she is building her list, seeking submissions in young adult and middle grade.

Previously with Inklings Literary Agency, she has degrees in political science and public policy, and worked as a literary scout in New York and in story development in Los Angeles. A traveler at heart, she’s lived in Spain and studied in Southeast Asia and Germany, but her favorite journeys always seem to be into the pages of a good book.

What she is looking for:

“I am primarily looking for contemporary, but will also welcome light fantasy or sci-fi. A clever retelling or reimagining of an old classic – fairy tales, myths – is always thrilling, particularly with a magical, mystical storybook feel that is nonetheless tangible enough to imagine in today’s world (favorite book of all time: Ella Enchanted). I love escapist fantasy grounded in accessible characters. I’m craving feminist tales and diverse voices, particularly of the speak-truth-to-power persuasion/#resistance from young women characters.

“Young Adult: Contemporary and fantasy YA with a strong, unique voice is my first love. I enjoy compelling romance with an interesting hook, and anything set in a beach town (gotta love those summer reads). I love issue-driven stories, slightly dark/subversive story lines for upper YA, and friendships that go the distance. I love a gothic tone or a light fantasy. I’m also open to commercial fiction with YA crossover appeal – those bold, coming-of-age stories for both the adult and young adult audiences.

“Middle Grade: Positive stories with nerdy girl or boy characters, stories about that awkward tween phase, and historical fiction (I want the next American Girl series so badly). Mischievous MG characters are my fave.”

For more, follow me on Twitter @AlexandraBarba.

 

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Lesley Sabga of The Seymour Agency

Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 4.55.13 PM.pngLesley Sabga is a literary agent with The Seymour Agency.

Lesley loves intricate and vivid world-building and character driven plots. She is actively acquiring middle grade sci-fi & fantasy, young adult sci-fi & fantasy, and adult sci-fi & fantasy. She is always down to read a dark and twisty suspense or thriller featuring strong, female protagonists. She also loves a classic happily-ever-after romance or curling up with a good mystery. She is also interested in acquiring narrative nonfiction.

Since graduating from The University of Kentucky (Go Cats!) and obtaining her Editorial Certification from The University of Chicago, Lesley has worked as an editorial intern and freelancer for multiple publishing houses. She’s also been working for The Seymour Agency since 2014.

When she is not rescuing animals or searching for her next debut author, Lesley is a constant occupant at local bookstores in Colorado Springs and is a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado.

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Elizabeth Copps of Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.53.16 PM.pngElizabeth Copps is a literary agent with Maria Carvainis Agency, Inc.

“I migrated from Florida to start my career with Maria Carvainis Agency as an intern in 2010. In 2011 I signed on with the agency as a full-time assistant, and two years later I moved to Associate Agent.

“I represent a wide range of genres from middle grade and young adult, to adult contemporary + literary fiction, mystery, psychological thriller, women’s fiction, historical fiction, horror, and select nonfiction projects. I’m an equal fan of hilarious stories as well as dark, gritty and sinister reads.

“For me, the very best books are timeless, thought provoking, and discussion spurring. I want to see characters who burst off the page and elicit some sort of emotional response in their readers. There are only so many settings and themes to expound on, but every single person is different which means there are limitless combinations of character traits a writer can play with. That’s pretty amazing. The King said it best regarding what it means to create a complex character: “Bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do―to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary

Screen Shot 2019-01-16 at 12.18.29 PM.pngRachelle Gardner is a literary agent with Books & Such Literary Agency.

For adult fiction, she seeks submissions in both the general and Christian markets — for women’s fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller, family saga, historical, legal, literary fiction, mainstream fiction, and romance.

Fiction projects should be 75,000 to 110,000 words.

For nonfiction,she seeks both Christian market and general market projects: memoirs, home life, current affairs, health & diet, narrative nonfiction, popular culture, self-help, women’s and issues. Platform is important, so be sure to highlight it in your pitch.

She occasionally looks at devotionals

She is not looking for: fantasy, sci-fi, children’s picture books, middle grade, young adult books, poetry, cookbooks, screenplays, novellas, short stories, or graphic novels.

“As a literary agent, I’ve negotiated 200+ contracts with more than 20 publishers, and worked with more than 100 authors to bring their books to publication and build their careers. I’ve been in publishing since 1995, worked in-house at two publishing companies, and edited books published by Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House, and many more. Nowadays I’m lucky to do my work at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.”

“Besides publishing: Just out of college, I spent five years at Fox Broadcasting Company in Los Angeles. My bachelor’s degree is in Communications, and I later did graduate studies in Psychology at Pepperdine University in Malibu. When I’m not working, you can usually find me out hiking the local trails, riding my bike, haunting bookstores, or having coffee at Starbucks.”

Get to Know an Agent in Attendance: Becky LeJeune of Bond Literary

Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 12.42.03 PM.pngBecky LeJeune is an associate literary agent with Bond Literary.

She is actively building her client list, and is interested in adult and teen horror, mystery novels, thrillers, historical fiction, science fiction novels, fantasy novels, and general fiction.

Becky has always been an avid reader, cutting her teeth at a very young age on the likes of R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike before quickly branching into the wider world of Agatha Christie, Stephen King, and other “adult” authors. But it wasn’t until after college that she decided publishing was the industry for her.

After working her way through college as a bookseller and earning a BS in Criminal Justice (with minors in English and Anthropology), Becky was accepted into the Denver Publishing Institute, one of a handful of graduate-level programs offering a crash course in publishing. It was there that she met Sandra Bond of Bond Literary Agency. After working for two years as managing editor for a cookbook imprint and another five as a commissioning editor for a local interest and regional history publisher, Becky reconnected with Sandra and has been working with her ever since.

Becky still reads R.L. Stine and believes her degree will eventually come in handy.

Find her on Twitter here.

Get to Know an Agent Scout in Attendance: Angie Hodapp of Nelson Literary

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 11.57.28 AM.pngAngie Hodapp is the Contracts and Royalties Manager for Nelson Literary. She is attending the conference on behalf of her agency as a talent scout for agency founder Kristin Nelson.

She wants to hear pitches for Kristin’s favorite categories, which are the following:

  • Young-adult and upper-level middle grade novels in all subgenres
  • Big crossover novels with one foot squarely in genre (Wool, The Night Circus, Gone Girl)
  • Literary commercial novels (Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, The Art of Racing in the Rain)
  • Upmarket women’s fiction (Keepsake, My Sister’s Keeper, Still Alice)
  • Single-title romance (historicals especially; Ravishing The Heiress, The Ugly Duchess, The Heir)
  • Lead title or hardcover science fiction and fantasy (Soulless, Game of Thrones, Old Man’s War)

The agency is looking for a good story well told. How you tell that story doesn’t need to fit in a neat little category. That said, please remember that Kristin/Angie does not want pitches for nonfiction, memoir, screenplays, short-story collections, poetry, children’s picture books or early reader chapter books, or material for the Christian/inspirational market.

Angie Hodapp graduated from the University of Denver Publishing Institute in 2002 and earned an M.A. in English from Colorado State University in 2010. She has worked as an editorial assistant at Colorado Review, as a project manager for a publisher of resources for educators, and as an editor in the magazine industry. She loves teaching classes of interest to writers—everything from writing craft and information design to query-letter boot camps and royalties-auditing workshops. She and her husband live in Denver with their two former shelter cats.