Did You Know?

Erin L. Schneider is native to the Pacific Northwest, attended college in Honolulu - and although Hawaiian - should never be allowed on a surfboard. With more than twenty years in corporate merchandising, she’s now a full-time writer living in Seattle with her husband, Neal; their baby boy, Kellan; a rowdy German shepherd named Ronin; and two crazy cats, Ono and Poke. She’s a member of both the Pacific Northwest Writers Association and SCBWI, and is also co-founder of the YA Buccaneers.

SUMMER OF SLOANE is her debut novel, out May 3, 2016 from Disney-Hyperion.

Erin is represented by literary agent Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company.

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Entries in Agents (12)

Wednesday
Nov202013

What's Up Wednesday: 11.20.13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by my ever-so-lovely YA writer friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. The idea? Well, it's a great opportunity to touch base once a week with all of our blog friends and let them know what's up. Should you wish to join, head on over to Jaime's blog and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of her post! 

WHAT I'M READING:

I finished ALLEGIANT by Veronica Roth a week ago. Ummmm, yeah. I'm still not happy with the end for purely selfish reasons, but overall I enjoyed it and am sad the series has come to a close. I'll be posting my official review over at the YA Buccaneers on 12/6 -- AND:

I'll be giving away an AUTOGRAPHED copy of ALLEGIANT for December's giveaway!

So if you haven't read it or just want a hard cover / autographed copy, make sure to stop on by the YA Buccaneers in December and enter!

I also just finished WINGER by Andrew Smith last night. While I thought the voice was sometimes a little over the top, the first 2/3 of the book was a lot of fun and oh, so boy! But...I'm not quite hooked on the ending (guess that's my thing lately!). Not because of necessarily what happened, but because it all just happened too fast. Felt too rushed. Regardless, it was still a good read and one I turned through pretty quickly.

Up next: I'm diving back in to ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell. I started this one last month but for some reason or another I put it aside. But I know this one is going to be good and I must get to it before the end of the year!

WHAT I'M WRITING:

I decided to participate in this month's YA Buccaneers Walk The Plank flash fiction challenge. I love writing flash fiction -- even more, when there are specific challenges you must include along the way. You can check out my submit here and if you're interesting in joining, hop on over to the YA Buccaneers for all the details!

I've also been busy working on revisions and I think they're coming together nicely! I had a brainstorm video chat with one of my CP's and am really happy with some of the ideas that spawned from it (thanks, B.!).

A word from our sponsor - eh em: if you're in need of some inspiration to write this month - especially if you're partaking in NaNo - the YA Buccaneers are upping the ante on the number of Word Sprints for the entire month. Check out the YA Buccaneers site or #YABWordSprint on Twitter to find out upcoming dates / times.

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

Since the list format worked so well for my last WUW post, here goes again:

  • Friends
  • CP's
  • Family
  • Good books
  • GREAT books
  • Nine months off to write, run, query, vacation, race, sign with an agent, and revise
  • Getting ready for the Holidays

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO:

  • Revisions
  • Amazing job opportunities (***more to come on that!)
  • Helping my sister move
  • Hopefully CATCHING FIRE this weekend!
  • Dinner with great friends
  • Christmas shopping
  • Revisions
  • Friends

SO, WHAT'S NEW FOR YOU TODAY?

Wednesday
Oct302013

What's Up Wednesday: 10.30.13

What's Up Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by my ever-so-lovely YA writer friends, Jaime Morrow and Erin L. Funk. The idea? Well, it's a great opportunity to touch base once a week with all of our blog friends and let them know what's up. Should you wish to join, head on over to Jaime's blog and sign up with the link widget at the bottom of her post! 

WHAT I'M READING:

I finished FINNIKIN OF THE ROCK by Melina Marchetta and started in on the next book in the series, FROI OF THE EXHILES. 

This series is just okay for me. I think mostly because I'm not in the frame of mind I probably need to be to read a YA Fantasy -- one where you need to pay attention to so many character names, city names, etc. And I find myself constantly having to flip to the map in the front of the book to see where the characters currently are / are going to next. 

The end of FINNIKIN definitely picked up for me, and while I have so many other fantastic books waiting to be read (hello, ALLEGIANT anyone!!!!), I knew it would be better to dive into FROI so I could keep track of everything. 

WHAT I'M WRITING:

I recently shared some super exciting news on the writing front last week -- you can read all about it here and here

And what that all means is that I have some revisions ahead of me, which I'm very much looking forward to, since I haven't touched WTWF since the beginning of August!

WHAT INSPIRES ME RIGHT NOW:

I've said this one before, but seriously, my CP's are such an inspiration to me.

The last several weeks have been utter chaos for a variety of reasons and each one of my CP's has helped to keep me grounded. It's funny how when things happen in life - be them good or bad - it's like the flood gates open...and October has been one of those months -- but in a good way! 

I'm so greatful for all of my wonderful CP's who have honestly become some of my dearest friends over the years -- even if I haven't met all of them in person. And I'm not sure what I do without them.

WHAT ELSE I'VE BEEN UP TO:

I can't wait for Halloween tomorrow! Even though I'm too old to trick-or-treat myself (believe me, I would if I could!) and I don't have children of my own to take out -- I can't wait for all the ghosts and goblins to stop by our house! We have Costco boxes of the big candy bars to hand out and it always makes for tons of kids!

I also celebrated my niece's 5th birthday last weekend -- my sister threw an a-mazing party, themed "Bubbles and Pearls" ala The Little Mermaid.

She hand-made over 500 cookies just for the day and even made the cutest "jelly fish" out of streamers and paper bowls.

She is seriously in the wrong business and I so want her to throw my next b'day party for sure!

In two weeks she's throwing another b'day party for my twin niece and nephew that are turning one -- and I can't wait to see what she comes up with for that!

SO, WHAT'S NEW FOR YOU TODAY?

Friday
Oct252013

Finding An Agent: My Road Less Traveled

Oh what a year this has been.

2013 started off with so many unfortunate events. At first it was one thing, then another, and then another -- so many craptastic things just in the month of January, I actually had to laugh. And then after all of that, I parted ways with Mr. Agent Man in February after working with him exclusively for almost two years.

Oh, but it gets better. Because in March, I was laid off from my job after six years of service (along with 150 others). Seriously. What a grand year, right? I was afraid to even ask what more could happen.

It took months for me to realize that getting laid off was a huge blessing in disguise. I was so unhappy with some of the turns I'd taken in my career and even more saddened by a job that slowly stopped being the amazing creative adventure it once was. But when I sat back and looked at it for all it was worth, I realized I finally had the time to write. Hours every day, be it two in the afternoon or two in the morning...my time was finally mine

So I wrote. I picked back up on WHERE THE WATER FALLS after putting it on the back burner in 2010, when I started working with Mr. Agent Man on THE LUCKY FEW. It only had four chapters under it's belt, but it kept pecking at the back of my mind to get in there and finish it. And so I did.

It took a couple of months to complete, revise, and send out to all of my wonderful CP's -- only to start the revision process all over again, once I'd received their feedback. When I finally felt it was in a good place, I took a break away from it all around the beginning of August...and then I started to query -- the first one went out on August 29th and I heard back within a few hours, with a request for the full.

I was beyond ecstatic. Beyond

Because my journey - while not nearly finished - has been an incredibly long road. After all, I sent out my very first query on September 27, 2009 -- yep, that's over four years ago. And since then, I've wrote three more novels and started in on sequels for a few of them. But it was WTWF that snagged Super Agent Lisa, thanks to something on Twitter called #MSWL.

But let's back up to September: After the first request, I received three more for full's right off the bat, which was AWESOME. But then I received three rejections in one day, from big agents I'd queried and had my fingers crossed on. Then a fourth one came in. And then a fifth. And then I started to think maybe this pattern was indicative of what was to come.

I even emailed a few of my CP's letting them know I was considering throwing in the towel -- you can bet all of them told me I was nuts and most of them threatened me with the dull end of a spoon if I ever thought that way again. But it was all so exhausting, like querying usually is...and the sudden slew of negative responses was getting the better of me. Especially after four years of it.

I decided instead to take another query class from Writers Digest with agents Kate McKean and Jim McCarthy. I rewrote my query based on their feedback -- and sent it out. And then I jumped on Twitter and realized it was #MSWL day. For those not in the know, #MSWL stands for manuscript wish list: a day when literary agents Tweet their wish lists for manuscripts they hope will find a way into their slush pile. It happens only a few times a year and was started by Agent Jessica Sinsheimer and on 9/24 it was lighting up the Twitter feeds. 

A few agents were looking for YA Contemporary, so I queried them. And received four new requests within a day -- one of them was from Lisa. Then another request came in based off my new query letter prior to #MSWL. Then another. And soon I had submissions out with FIFTEEN agents and TWO smaller publishers.

Holy shit. Best querying EV-VER.

And then I leave for Mazatlan, Mexico on 10/3, to celebrate my 8th anniversary with my husband. No phone reception, no internet connectivity, no nothing but sunshine, pool time, the beach, and plenty of mai tais. Of course being the person I am, I have the hardest time unplugging...so when we were walking by the small deli on our hotel grounds - the only place with free wi-fi - I connected my phone for a few minutes, just to see.

And low and behold not only was there a letter of intent from one agent, but I also received an email from another agent a few hours later, with AN OFFER OF REPRESENATION!

Me. An offer. !#$%!#!!#%@#$!

But of course I'm in Mexico...and the connection is reminescant of the old AOL dial-up days, if that. And my internet goes down. And then I get it back up again, but for some reason I can't reply to any emails. And the deli is getting ready to close for the night. OMG, by this point, I'm just slightly freaking out. I have 1.5 agents interested and I can't respond to ANYONE. How is this happening? 

It's too late to go in to town and find an internet cafe, so we go back to our room and I literally cannot contain myself. I spend the rest of the night sending I-don't-even-want-to-know-how-expensive text messages to my CP's (because for some reason I can text, but can't call or email...WTF??!?!) and writing out in my notebook what I'll email back to both of these agents, should I ever gain access to the internet again. Okay, a little overly dramatic, but seriously: NO INTERNET + AGENT OFFERS = NOT GOOD.

Around 7am the next morning as soon as the little deli opened, I was waiting at the door like that woman in the old Mervyn's commercial saying "open, open, open!" with my iPad in hand and $250 in pesos, just in case I needed to buy my way to a computer. And I finally connect. It was like the clouds had parted. OMFG, I love internet connectivity. LOVE.

I replied to the offering agent letting her know I was thrilled to get her offer, that I was down in Mexico for the week, and that I'd love to chat when I returned. Then I promptly emailed the other agent and let her know I'd received an offer. 

I spent an hour that day, emailing all of the agents that currently had my MS to let them know I'd received an offer - but they would have plenty of time to read / make their decision, since I was out of the country. I also emailed all of the agents I'd queried in the last two weeks. In the end, I heard back from all agents with my MS, letting me know they'd read and get back to me -- along with two new requests from those I'd queried the week before.

Over the next week another agent offered - Lisa, actually!!! - then an editor...and several politely declined. But let me tell you that while there were many great agents in that mix of R's, I now had TWO offers of rep from TWO outstanding agents and one from an editor -- and I just couldn't find it in me to feel bad about those R's!

In the end, after speaking with Lisa on the phone, I knew she was the one. She loved my story and my characters. She had notes - a couple of pages worth - that could make WTWF even stronger. And I loved every edit we talked about. It didn't feel like she was ripping apart my story. Instead it felt like she had this great vision of where she could see it going...and I was so there with her. And when I spoke to two of her current clients and they RAVED about her, it became clear. While one of the hardest decisions I've ever made, it was also one of the easiest.

I couldn't be more happy with where I've landed. And even through all the chaos of crappy internet connections, all the YEARS of querying, and everything else it's taken to get to this point, right here, I'm thrilled Lisa will champion my work. And I'm grateful for things like #MSWL that brought us together.

Final stats for WTWF:

First query sent: 8.29.13
Total queries sent: 25
Total rejections received: 6
Total requests received: 19 (16 fulls and 3 partials)
Total offers received: 4 
Lisa's offer accepted: 10.23.13 

I can't believe I finally get to say, I have an agent. 

I have an agent.

Wow, it doesn't get any less exciting the more I say it.

Thursday
Oct242013

Wherein I Get To Write THAT POST!

Last week I mentioned what a crazy year this has been and that hopefully soon I'd get to share some exciting news...

Well, I finally get to share that news because...

I'VE OFFICIALLY SIGNED WITH AN AGENT!!!

And that Super Agent is:

Lisa Grubka of Fletcher & Company

A little bit about Lisa direct from the agency's website:

Lisa Grubka spent a decade first at the William Morris Agency and then Foundry Literary + Media, before joining Fletcher and Co. in 2012.

Lisa works with a broad variety of authors, from debut novelists to Food Network stars, and has represented several New York Times bestsellers. She represents and is looking for both fiction (literary, upmarket women’s, and young adult) and non-fiction (narrative, food, science, and more). She takes a very hands-on approach in working with her authors, and is a thorough editor, ensuring the best possible proposal or manuscript. She works closely with her authors every step of the way, and takes pleasure in matchmaking her authors with the right publishing home.

She began her career at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

I'm THRILLED to be working with her and can't wait to see where this road leads for the both of us!

I'll be sharing the full story on how I signed with my agent, tomorrow -- so stop by again! But now, I'm off to go celebrate...dinner with my husband this weekend, some shopping, and who knows what else!

Friday
Apr122013

Miss Snark's Contest Follow-Up, THE LUCKY FEW, & Other News

Oy, I'm so late in posting this, I know!

So a follow-up to Miss Snark's March secret agent contest. Overall, it was a great contest last month - and I'm happy to say my results were much better than my sad attempt with the pitch fest over at WriteOnCon, prior to that!

I was oh so excited to see I was one of five winners (out of 50 entries) selected by Ms. Hannah Bowman of Liza Dawson Associates!

Hannah left a great comment, right off the bat - and it had been just what I needed. And while I'll take all the comments from the other participants / readers with a grain of salt (sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they comment???), I'm just glad to be back out there, at least trying. You can read about all of the winners, here. And of course, if anything comes of my submit to Hannah, you all will be the first to know. 

In other news? Well, I did another pass-through on my manuscript, THE LUCKY FEW. When I left it with Mr. Agent Man, my word count had skyrocketed - something he had reassured me, would not be a problem - because getting the story right was important. But then, well, we parted ways, and here I was with a MS that had bloomed in size. Yikes.

So before I started querying, I dug my heels in and started slowly hacking away. And before I knew it, I had cut several thousand words. 

Which still didn't feel good enough and so I went back at it again last week. And this time, I was able to cut almost 5k more. And I think it's definitely a lot tighter. And I'm happy with where it is. But will I leave it alone? Who knows. There will always be room for improvement.

Aside from all the contests and revisions I've been doing, I also got myself back into running. It's been awhile - for various reasons - but I've missed it so.

Don't let me mislead you - for the most part, I've always said I was allergic to working out...I'm a Taurus for cryin' out loud and definitely not like some of my uber runner friends that chug out more miles than I put on my car each week. But something about running has always made it one of my favorite forms of *cough* exercise. 

So, I set a personal goal that I would start running one "marathon" a week - and to do that, that means 5.5 miles every day, Monday - Friday (yes, that's technically a tad more than 26.2 miles, but it's a nice round number to target). And today wraps up my third week - which makes 3 marathons I've run - and I couldn't be happier!  

And just like with writing and the importance of having fabulous CP's, I have an amazing workout partner that encourages me to show up every day and get at it. And without her motivation, I'm not sure if this would happen. But now I have someone I can't let down, cheering me on - so it does make it that much easier. And I'll take it.

And even though 2013 didn't start off great - believe me, when they say bad things happen in 3's, well, I've had enough in just the last 4 months to cover the next 3 years - it's definitely turning around. My writing is going well, the contests I've entered have been fun, and I'm back out pounding the pavement - both figuratively and literally. And that's all good news, in my book. 

Anyone else have news to share - be it in contests, writing, or personal goals?

Wednesday
Mar272013

I've Gone And Thrown Myself To The Wolves...Again

Yes, because one contest this year just wouldn't be enough - I've gone and entered myself into Miss Snark's March Secret Agent contest. Some may call me a glutton for punishment - but as I've said before, bring it on. All of it.

There's so much to be learned from entering these contests - and of course, they can help ready a writer for everything that comes with wanting to be a published author. 

First, there's actual feedback from an agent - which as you all have seen before through my blog, can be either good or bad. But there's also a chance said agent may request your work, so that's a plus!

Then there are all the great commentors - writers who leave truly helpful critiques to help the authors learn and grow...which is the entire premise behind these contests. Yes, it's only the first 250 words of your manuscript, but feedback can be invaluable. 

But of course there's also the cynical commentors, which these contests attract like none other. You can always tell the ones that are just being negative, because, well, they can - and anyone who frequents Miss Snark's contests, know who these people are...because they always tend to have the same theme. 

Regardless, I'm submit #47 THE LUCKY FEW - stop on by, read my first 250 submit, and of course, check out all the other great entries in the contest. Along with all the great comments, too.

And wish me luck - if it's anything like the last one, I'm gonna need it! 

How about any of you? Entered your writing in anything lately?