193 episodes

Rob Kent interviews fellow authors, editors, literary agents, and other publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. New episode every Saturday.

MiddleGradeNinja.com.

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/middle-grade-ninja/support

Middle Grade Ninja Middle Grade Ninja

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 9 Ratings

Rob Kent interviews fellow authors, editors, literary agents, and other publishing professionals to discuss the craft and business of producing middle grade and young adult novels. New episode every Saturday.

MiddleGradeNinja.com.

Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/middle-grade-ninja/support

    185: Author Amy Christine Parker

    185: Author Amy Christine Parker

    Amy Christine Parker and I talk about the Sunday school lessons that terrified and shaped us to write horror stories such as her newest young adult novel, FLIGHT 171. Of course, Amy did live in a haunted house when she was in the third grade, so that might also have had something to do with it. We discuss how she went from a stay-at-home parent to a professional writer in two years per an agreement with her husband, how she met her agent in a writers critique group, how she outlines her novels in such a way as to create a near first draft, how she stays fit while writing, how she watches out for serial killers, and so much more.

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    Buy FLIGHT 171  by Amy Christine Parker: https://amzn.to/3SPGwgb 

    Buy ALL TOGETHER NOW: A ZOMBIE STORY by Robert Kent: https://amzn.to/2JjsnpH  

    Amy Christine Parker earned her degree in elementary education at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and then proceeded to try out many different jobs, including collectible doll maker, fondue waitress, and inner-city schoolteacher. It wasn’t until she became a mom and began making up bedtime stories for her children that she finally realized what she was meant to do. Now Amy writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat.   

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/  

    https://www.amychristineparker.com/


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    • 1 hr 24 min
    184 Literary Agent Stephanie Fretwell Hill

    184 Literary Agent Stephanie Fretwell Hill

    Stephanie Fretwell-Hill and I discuss her career in publishing from working in foreign rights with Walker Books to becoming an editor with Peachtree Publishers up to her current role as a literary agent with Red Fox Literary. We talk about making a living as an agent solely on commissions, submission follow-up practices for her with editors and for querying writers, the importance of industry relationships, the importance of maintaining an attitude of gratitude, the difference in editorial feedback from an editor vs an agent, increasing diversity in traditional publishing, and so much more.  

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    Download BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES for free: https://amzn.to/2XyTyG2 

    STEPHANIE FRETWELL-HILL started her publishing career in 2004 at Walker Books Ltd. in London, where she sold foreign language rights. Working in a design-led company with legendary artists such as Helen Oxenbury and Lucy Cousins sparked her love of illustration, while her sales role gave her an international perspective on children’s publishing. In 2011, Stephanie moved back home to Atlanta, where she spent four years at Peachtree Publishers as an editor. During her four years there, her acquisitions received such honors as YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year, Parents’ Choice Awards, and starred reviews from major trade magazines. Stephanie joined Red Fox Literary in 2016. She represents authors and illustrators of literary fiction and narrative nonfiction picture books, middle grade, and young adult. Her clients include two-time Newbery Honoree Christina Soontornvat, Beth Anderson, Carolyn Crimi, R. W. Alley, and Archana Sreenivasan. The books she represents have won numerous awards, including Newbery Honor, Sibert Honor, the Jane Addams Book Award, the Youth Book Prize for Social Justice, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction, and many, many starred reviews. Stephanie’s tastes are eclectic, but across all genres, she looks for compelling, diverse voices and strong hooks combined with literary merit and classroom value. Most of all, she loves stories and art with the perfect mix of humor and heart. Stephanie lives in Asheville, NC with her English husband, two feisty little girls, a border collie, and 4…3…6 chickens. When she isn’t working, she can often be found hiking, sewing, playing the ukulele, or hanging out at the playground.  

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/ 

    https://redfoxliterary.com/


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    • 1 hr 16 min
    183 Illustrator Meaghan Tosi

    183 Illustrator Meaghan Tosi

    Meaghan Tosi and I discuss her career as an artist from stop motion filmmaker to illustrator to graphic novelist. We talk about her new books, DWEEDY and SQUASHED, and how she first stared in a movie version of the latter. She shares details about her artist workdays, her creation process, collaborating with her father, self-publishing experiences, freelance services, ghost sightings, and so much more. 

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    Buy SQUASHED by Meaghan Tosi: https://amzn.to/3DyFWPJ 

    Download BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES for free: https://amzn.to/2XyTyG2 

    Meaghan Tosi was born and raised in New Hampshire and earned a BFA from Laguna College of Art & Design. They illustrated the middle-grade novel "Six Thousand Doughnuts" alongside author Thomas Tosi, and created the graphic novels "Dweedy: The Imagined Adventures of My Deceased Cat" and "Squashed". They are currently continuing "Dweedy" as a graphic novel series and are illustrating the next book with Thomas Tosi, "The Curse of the Crummy Mummy". They now lives with their partner Daniel and many plants in Portland, Oregon, for the art scene, extraordinary hikes, and many neighborhood cats. 

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/  

    https://www.dooneypress.com/


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    • 57 min
    182 Author Diane Magras

    182 Author Diane Magras

    Diane Magras and I discuss fantasy worldbuilding, monsters, and horror in her newest middle grade novel, SECRET OF THE SHADOW BEASTS. We talk about author day jobs, why it’s important to get in the habit of finishing your story (even if it’s bad), her writing process, the power of constructive criticism and how she learned to open herself to it, Stephen King, Kurt Vonnegut, what it’s like to be an author married to a book critic, and so much more. 

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    Buy SECRET OF THE SHADOW BEASTS by Diane Magras: https://amzn.to/3Bcs3UK 

    Download BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES for free: https://amzn.to/2XyTyG2  

    Diane Magras, award-winning author of the New York Times Editors’ Choice The Mad Wolf’s Daughter, its companion novel, The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter, and the upcoming Secret of the Shadow Beasts, grew up on Mount Desert Island in Maine, surrounded by woods, cliffs, and the sea. An unabashed fan of libraries (where she wrote her first novel as a teenager), history (especially from cultures or people who’ve rarely had their story told), and the perfect cup of tea, Diane lives in Maine with her husband and son and uses the pronouns she/her.  

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/  

    https://www.dianemagras.com/


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    • 1 hr 23 min
    181 Literary Agent Patricia Nelson

    181 Literary Agent Patricia Nelson

    Patricia Nelson and I discuss how she got her start in publishing and joined the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency as well as why it takes an average of around five years to make a living as a literary agent. We do a deep dive on the questions she asks through Query Manager, how she evaluates the answers, submission red flags, the future of publishing after so much recent disruption, the importance of not being an agent’s “first pancake,” and so much more. 

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    Download BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES for free: https://amzn.to/2XyTyG2 

    Patricia Nelson joined Marsal Lyon Literary Agency in 2014. She represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively looking to add to her list. She is always especially interested in seeing novels by BIPOC, queer, and disabled authors in all genres that she represents. In general, Patricia looks for stories that hook her with a unique plot, fantastic writing and complex characters that jump off the page. On the children’s side, Patricia is open to a wide range of genres of YA and MG, with particular interest in contemporary/realistic, magical realism, mystery, science fiction and fantasy. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s fiction both upmarket and commercial, historical fiction set in the 20th century, and sexy, smart adult contemporary and historical single title romance. Patricia’s clients include NYT bestselling author Axie Oh (The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea, Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan), National Book Award finalist and Printz Honor award winner Candice Iloh (Every Body Looking, Dutton Children’s/Penguin Random House), Printz Honor award winner Mary McCoy (Indestructible Object, Simon and Schuster Children’s), Dahlia Adler (Cool for the Summer, Wednesday Books/Macmillan), Anna Meriano (This Is How We Fly, Philomel/Penguin Random House), Alexandra Leigh Young (Idol Gossip, Walker US/Candlewick), Hayley Chewins (The Turnaway Girls, Candlewick), Margaret Dilloway (Summer of a Thousand Pies,  Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins), Kristi Wientge (Honeybees and Frenemies, Simon and Schuster Children’s), Sandy Stark-McGinnis (Extraordinary Birds, Bloomsbury Children’s), bestselling women’s fiction author Loretta Nyhan (Digging In, Lake Union Publishing), bestselling romance authors Kate Bateman and Charis Michaels, and forthcoming debut authors Jen Ferguson (The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, Heartdrum/HarperCollins), Claire Forrest (Where You See Yourself, Scholastic), Juliana Goodman (The Black Girls Left Standing, Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan), Edward Underhill (Always the Almost, Wednesday Books/Macmillan), and Kirya Traber (Dutton Children’s/Penguin Random House), among others. Patricia holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California and a master’s degree in Gender Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to becoming an agent, she spent four years teaching literature and writing at the college level.  

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/ 

    https://www.prospectagency.com/


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    • 1 hr 27 min
    180 Author Greg van Eekhout

    180 Author Greg van Eekhout

    Greg Van Eekhout and I discuss climate change, Norse mythology, and the awesomeness of dogs, all of which are on display in his newest novel, FENRIS AND MOTT. We talk about the psychology of writers, how he found the confidence to know he’ll adapt as a writer, helpful activism in the face of book bans (beyond Twitter), Whovian philosophy, writing from outlines designed for contracts, Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster, murder hornets, and more.  

    PLEASE SUBSCRIBE for more great content:)

    Buy FENRIS AND MOTT by Greg van Eekhout: https://amzn.to/3CCIETQ

    Download BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES for free: https://amzn.to/2XyTyG2 

    Greg van Eekhout was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, in neighborhoods with hippies, criminals, working people, and movie studios. His parents were Dutch-Indonesian.  Like many writers (and many people who aren’t writers, for that matter), Greg has done a number of things to put food on the table and keep a roof over his head. He has worked as an ice cream scooper (or dipper, as people who sell ice cream are sometimes called), a political fundraiser (or telemarketer), a comic book store clerk, a bookseller, a bookstore assistant manager, an educational multimedia developer, and a college teacher (of English and of multimedia development). Among other things. His next book, Fenris and Mott, comes out August, 2022.  Greg has lived his entire life in the Western half of the United States. He prefers beaches to deserts. He currently lives in San Diego.  

    http://www.middlegradeninja.com/  

    https://www.writingandsnacks.com/


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    • 1 hr 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

@nickgosswrites ,

The Wisdom needed to succeed

Greetings from Nashville, TN! This podcast has kept me company many times while commuting to and from my J.O.B. Someday I will not have to bother with a commute as I plan on becoming a full-time author. But I'll STILL listen to this podcast! It's good stuff, and I need all the insight I can get!

Karyn Pamer ,

Binging!

Fellow Hoosier listening from Terre Haute! I recently discovered your podcast and as a writer, I have been binging your very helpful show. I particularly enjoy the literary agent interviews because that’s the stage I’m at, but each episode is packed with inspiration and paving stones for the path I am on! Thanks!

TeresaLisaLou ,

Extremely helpful

I’ve hungrily consumed all of Rob’s episodes and can’t wait till the next one drops. For aspiring writers of any genre, this podcast is gold. It brings literary agents, editors, and best-selling authors right into your living room. They are right there, having coffee with you, providing an absolute wealth of knowledge, anecdotes, and advice. A definite must for anyone dreaming of, and working towards, a career as a writer.

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