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2018 Reading Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on January 3, 2018

I tried (and failed) at this challenge last year – though I did get to ten of them, so that’s pretty good.

My only rule I am making for myself is that it cannot be a 2018 book. These have to be books that were published in 2017 or earlier.

#2-30 were chosen at random using and my TBR spreadsheet. The rest are books i really want to get to this year!

1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter
3. The Woman in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
4. Openly Straight by Bill Koningsberg
5. Every Breath by Ellie Marney
6. Wildthorn by Jane Eagland
7. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
8. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
9. Boomerang by Noelle August
10. Every Soul is a Star by Wendy Mass
11. The Countdown Conspiracy by Kate Slivensky
12. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
13. Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
14. Land of a Hundred Wonders by Lesley Kagen
15. The Passage by Justin Cronin
16. Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia
17. The Last Best Kiss by Claire LaZebnik
18. The Lying Game by Sara Shepard
19. Pivot Point by Kasie West
20. The Quartet by Joseph J Ellis
21. The Boleyn King by Laura Andersen
22. The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore
23. You Deserve a Drink by Mamrie Hart
24. Dreamfall by Amy Plum
25. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
26. We are Quiet, We are Loud
27. Summer Skin by Kirsty Eagar
28. The One That Got Away by Bethany Chase
29. Wicked Little Wildfire by Lana Popovic
30. Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
31. Shiny Broken Pieces by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
32. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
33. Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
34. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
35. The Map of Time by Felix J Palmas
36. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
37. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
38. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
39. Dear Martin by Nic Stone
40. Endsinger by Jay Kristoff
41. Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte
42. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
43. The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
44. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
45. Willful Machines by Tim Floreene
46. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
47. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner
48. The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen
49. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
50. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

5K twitter followers giveaways!

Posted by Caitie F on August 21, 2017

I wanted to do a big giveaway for 5K followers. You can win a book, a query critique, or a 10 minute Skype call

Here are the rules:

  1. Enter for as many as you want to! One entry per person per giveaway (and yes, I’ll check!
  2. All giveaways are worldwide.
  3. You must follow on twitter in order to win. I’ll be checking this too.
  4. It closes midnight September 1st, EST
  5. The number of winners for query critiques and skype calls will depend on the number of entries and the number of twitter followers gained during this time


I’m giving away my two favorite books of the year, plus an ARC of an amazing book that is coming out later this year with each. Contemps: LITTLE & LION by Brandy Colbert and BROODING YA HERO: BECOMING A MAIN CHARACTER (ALMOST) AS AWESOME AS ME) by Carrie DiRisio. Fantasy: GODSGRAVE by Jay Kristoff (the B&N special edition!) and ARC of FOREST OF A THOUSAND LANTERNS by Julie Dao.

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2016 Reading Statistics

Posted by Caitie F on December 31, 2016

Thanks so much to Jamie at Perpetual Page Turner for doing this again! She’s the best, you should follow her on all social media.


Number Of Books Read: 104

Genre Break down:
YA fantasy: 15
YA Science fiction: 8
YA contemporary: 36
YA historical: 5
Middle Grade: 7
Adult fantasy: 5
Adult science fiction: 2
Graphic novels: 5
Adult romance: 12
Adult mystery: 3
Women’s fiction: 3
Nonfiction: 3
Books with male authors*: 32
Books with female authors*: 78
Diverse books**: 62

*Some books counted twice because coauthors
**This means books written by and/or with a main character who is not white, straight, cis gendered, or abled.

1. Best Book You Read In 2016?


I am going to list the best 10.

My Sister Rosa by Justine Larbalestier
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

The Great American Whatever – just not for me.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

My Sister Rosa – I didn’t think it would be so amazing, but it was phenomenal!

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Nevernight – I hand sold more copies of this book than any other. ❤

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

Best series started: The Lotus Wars
Best sequel: A Court of Fist and Fury (book two is way better than book one!)

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Roshani Chokshi

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Three Dark Crowns

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?


10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

Nevernight. I mean, just look at it – that cover is sexy.


11. Most memorable character of 2016?

My instinct is Mia from Nevernight because she is everything. But also Travis from the Serpent King. And Rosa from My Sister Rosa is still in my brain.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I hate to sound like a broken record, especially since we are pals, by Jay Kristoff writes the most beautiful books. So Nevernight, Stormdancer, and Kinslayer are al on that list.

And I Darken gets an honorable mention

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

Stormdancer. I was in the acknowledgements but didn’t read it until now. Oooops

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

We are the Ants – such a great book.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Mia and Mr Kindly (NN) and Dill, Tavis and Lydia (TSK)

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Nevernight, because My Sister Rosa was my first from Justine.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

Mia (let’s pretend she’s not a teenager for this one, okay?). Also Cora from Loving you Easy.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

The Star-Touched Queen

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Gemina! Such a great setting

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

You Know Me Well by NIna Lacour and David Levithan

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The Serpent King and Goodbye Days. Jeff Zentner is the worst

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Nevernight because it’s what Jay does best

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

I have a whole list over at my challenge.

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

The last book in the Illuminae Files series

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The Ship Beyond Time

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

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2017 Reading Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on December 29, 2016

I tried (and failed) at this challenge last year. I wanted to try again to read 48 specific books, and try to balance it to four a month. This is just my own personal challenge.

My only rule I am making for myself is that it cannot be a 2017 book. These have to be books that were published in 2016 or earlier.

Most of these are books I really want to read this year. The bottom 15 were picked at random from my spreadsheet of books I want to read.

1. Endsinger by Jay Kristoff
2.These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meghan Spooner (and the rest of the series)
3. Mr Mercedes by Stephen King
4. Planetfall by Emma Newman
5. Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older
6. The Midnight Star by Marie Lu
7. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
8. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
9. The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon
10. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
11. Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
12. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
13. The Map of Time by Felix J Palma
14. The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
15. A World Without You by Beth Revis
16. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
17. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
18. Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
19. The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley
20. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton
21. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
22. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
23. Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
24. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
25. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas
26. In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce
27. Mortal Heart by Robin LaFevers
28. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
29. The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
30. Lost in a Good Book by Jasper Fforde
31.This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
32. Adaptation by Malinda Lo
33. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
34.Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do by Gabriel Thompson
35. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
36. The Shoemaker’s Wife by Adriana Trigiani
37. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
38. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
39. Drama High by Michael Sokolove
40. The Rebel Wife by Taylor M Polites
41. Timekeeper by Tara Sim
42. The Diviners by Libba Bray
43. The Liar Society by Lisa Roecker
44. Run by Kody Keplinger
45. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
46. Hard Choices by Hillary Rodham Clinton
47. Changeling by Philippa Gregory
48. The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scott

Posted in Challenges, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Life in Agenting: What I Might Ask During “The Call”

Posted by Caitie F on August 25, 2016

The call is always exciting! It happens when I love a manuscript and want to talk to the author to find out more about them and what the see for the book. Usually at some point in the call, I make an offer, but a lot of that depends on what happens during the call.

There is a lot about what authors should ask agents during the call, and you should look for those resources, but not as much as what you might get asked. Every agent is different, but here is what I tend to ask.

“What are you working on next?” 

This is always a question I ask! I look to represent a writer, not just one book, so I want to know what’s next!

“What is your preferred way to communicate?”

I am very flexible with this, but it can give me a good idea of how the author and I will get along and gives me a chance to bring up different ways to communicate if they prefer something other than the phone.

“Are you open to working with a sensitivity reader?”

If it is anything that is not #ownvoices, this is now one of my guaranteed questions. Sometimes, even if it is, because I think it is a good idea to have more than one person look at it because we all have different experiences.

“Specific questions about the book*

This can range from characters to plot to edits I see. I can find out more about why they wrote it or show them things that stood out to me, while I get to find out more about the book and who they are as a writer. So just be ready to talk about the book a lot!

“Who are some authors you would compare yourself to?”

This question can show me where they hope their career goes and where they see themselves on a shelf. It can also be a lead in to find out if they want to be a full time writer, or if they are the kind of person who wants that day job too (both are good!)

“What social media do you use and like the most?”

Social media is not  must, a platform is not a must at all, but this is how I can gauge how comfortable someone is with social media. Even more, it shows me what social media they like to use, which is important! If you don’t like it, you won’t use it.

“What questions do you have for me?”

I will always expect you to have questions, and usually a lot of questions. I have had calls last 15 minutes, I have had calls last an hour.

Those are just some questions i might ask!

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10 Reasons You Need To Read NEVERNIGHT

Posted by Caitie F on August 19, 2016


I posted about NEVERNIGHT earlier this year, and it basically sounded like the book was written for me. And turns out it is my favorite published book of the year so far. I may have even gone as far to say “Compared to NEVERNIGHT, ILLUMINAE is garbage”. And I love ILLUMINAE. So that should tell you a lot.

So here are my ten reasons you need to go buy it now. And it is only ten. I had five others. I don’t even mention the teachers! Or the other awesome students! Or that it kept me guessing!

1. That first chapter

The writing in this chapter is mind-blowing with its awesomeness. Once you get it (and it may take you a bit to get it), you will make some kinda of shocked and awe noise. Mine was an audible gasp. And once you finish the chapter, you’ll probably go back and read it again. And again (it took me five times to get to chapter two).

Writers should all read this first chapters to see how important every single word can be.

2. Mia 

Are you sick of “the strong female character” and all the tropes that come along with her? Then this is a book for you! Mia is nothing like that stereotype. She is a kick-ass female, but it isn’t over done and she is a full fleshed out character. I feel like I know her. I want to check in how she is doing.

3. The world building (and the maps!)

Gah I love this world. It is so complex and awesome. The government! The politics! The secret societies! The magic!

And the maps in this book. Virginia Allyn made them and WOW they are gorgeous. I spent 10-15 minutes pouring over them, and I am usually not a maps in books person.

4. The swears

Okay, this seems like a little one, but I love how much swearing there was in this. There is a whole conversation about the c-word (and that is actually what started the entire book) and it makes me kinda annoyed that I still feel like I have to say it like that.

The swearing makes the characters feel natural.

5. The humor

This book is so funny. I was laughing out loud a lot, and it takes a lot to make me actually laugh out loud. The humor really fit my comedy taste, but I think everyone will enjoy it too. There is even a time when the author imagines your reaction to the humor and has a footnote about it. It’s brilliant.

6. The darkness

And this book is DARK. Obviously because it is a school of assassins, but it really goes for it. I love the dark and sad. There are actual consequences to things. There is no victory without suffering. This delivered 100%

7. The writing

Goddamnit Jay Kristoff can write. And he keeps getting better and better. This book took me three times as long as normal books because I kept reading things over and over and over because they were so well-written.

8. The smutty bits

I mentioned this is my goodreads review that if Jay wrote romance under a pen name, I’d totally read it. For a dude writer, it is pretty good from the female perspective. I do wish we saw more with the Hall of Masks teacher…

9. The footnotes

When I first heard about the footnotes, I got a lot less excited about it. Used well, they can work and add a lot. But they are often not used well. But they add so much to the world and there is so much VOICE in these footnotes that I couldn’t imagine the book working without them.

10. It will be a classic

It will go down as a classic in the fantasy genre. It is that good. People will be talking about this book along with the other greats. And don’t you want to read it before then? So you can say “Ah, I read it the month it was released and I knew it was headed for greatness”? You do. And if you hurry, you can still get a signed 1st edition! DO IT.

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2016 Query Statistics

Posted by Caitie F on August 18, 2016

I have been neglecting this poor blog far too much this year, because it has been such a busy year!

I am going to try to be better these last few months. So to jump back in, I wanted to share my query statistic for 2016 – as I type this, I have 25 unread queries in my inbox. These numbers do not include requested materials from conferences, but I have not made any offers on anything from conferences so far this year.

Queries Responded to: 2,451

Partials requested: 179, which is 7.3%

Full manuscripts requested, from those partials for the most part: 21, which is .85% of all queries sent

Offers made: 5, which is .2% of all queries sent. (two of those people are with fabulous agents who are not me)

What genres am I requesting most? I have those stats too! This isn’t saying I don’t want things that are at the lower end of requests, usually it just means i am VERY picky on those genres.

YA contemporary 34
YA fantasy 28
YA science fiction 27
women’s fiction 24
MG contemporary 12
MG fantasy 6
YA mystery 6
LGBTQ romance 6
romance 6
MG historical 4
MG science fiction 4
historical fiction 4
thriller 4
MG horror 3
YA historical 3
mystery 3
MG mystery 2
nonfiction 2
memoir 1

Now to the less fun statistics. People who did not follow my submission guidelines  (included pages, sent attachments) or sent genres I don’t represent at all (picture books, chapter books, adult SFF, literary fiction mostly):

306 writers didn’t follow my guidelines. That is 12.4%

126 writers, 5.1%, submitted things I do not represent.

So those are my statistics! Be on the lookout for more here soon – I have a few in the works right now: What I might ask in the call, R&Rs, thoughts on #ownvoice. And I am going to be gushing about my favorite book of the year early next week.


Posted in Agenting, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Things that make me happy

Posted by Caitie F on February 28, 2016

A meme went around twitter yesterday and I was feeling kinda crappy, so I decided to do it! For every like, I listed on thing (not person) that makes me happy). I didn’t want to lose it to the timeline of twitter, so I wanted to post it here too.

1. Getting a client’s edited or new manuscript in my inbox.
2. There is a google hangout I get to be a part of. It brings me happiness every single day.
3. Obviously, books. They make me happy in multitudes of ways (may get more specific later)
4. Podcasts. I get to learn about other people’s experiences, see the world differently, and learn new things.
5. That feeling when I read a manuscript and know I am going to offer on it.
6. Playing board games. All kinds of board games (except purely co-op games. Someone needs to be able to win).
7. Twitter. Sometimes it isn’t great, but it is my favorite social media and most of the time, it makes me really happy.
8. Messages or emails from my friends around the world. I can’t always reply right away, but seeing them hit my inbox = instant happiness
9. My job. It have my dream job, it makes me so happy, even though like all jobs it has its moments.
10. Music. I love every genre of music.
11. Random acts of kindness. Every time I see people being kind to each other, it makes me really happy.
12. Swimming. I am so glad I am doing it again.
13. Saving money. I would rather save money so I can do big things than instant gratification, so whenever I save, I’m happy.
14. Theater. I love theater almost as much as I love books.
15. Singing. I don’t do it is public anymore, since I used to really do it and just notice mistakes, but doing it makes me happy.
16. Great public transportation systems. If I can get around on my own, it makes me beyond happy.
17. Small dogs. Especially shih tzus. They make me smile all the time.
18. To get political – the results tonight in SC are making me pretty happy right now.
19. Deadpool. Weeks later and I am still randomly thinking of lines and scenes from that movie.
20. My bathrobe. It is SO comfy.
21. Spending time with funny people.
22. Ice cream. It probably makes me too happy but it is my weakness.
23. Jeopardy. We have a bunch on our DVR, and will watch them all. Trivia in general makes me happy.
24. Disney and Pixar movies. I see almost all of them.
25. Puzzles. Word, logic, jigsaw, and more. (I am such a nerd)
26. Going to a bookstore. Even if I don’t buy anything, just being there makes me feel better.
27. Intersectional feminism.
28. Cross stitching. I don’t do it as often as I should.
29. Throwing things away. I love it when I realize I don’t need something anymore.
30. Alcohol. I am a happy drunk.
31. Playing poker. I haven’t in forever but it’s awesome.
32. The golden age of television. So much great stuff!
33. Lazy Sunday breakfasts. They are the best.
34. My fruit infuser pitcher. Having delicious strawberry water right now.
35. Living a three minute walk away from my library.
36. Travel. I want to do it more, but traveling makes me so happy.
37. Coffee. And tea. Hot beverages in general are pretty awesome.
38. Books that give me all the feels. If a book can do that, it is amazing.
39. This video of dancing baby goats.
40. When my friends get good news I get almost as happy as if I got that good news
41. When I see my clients are excited about what they are writing/editing.
42. Hotels with great water pressure.
43. Marriage equality.
44. Hamilton. (I know, what a shock!)
45. Geeking out about books with editors over coffee or lunch.
46. Starting a new book and diving into a new world. Also reading the next book in a series and getting to go back into a world I love.
47. Conversations about pop culture with smart people.
48. Spending time with @jasonflum
49. Pre-ordering books months before they come out.
50. Getting my query inbox to 0.
51. Planning vacations. Going on them is fun, but planning them just makes me happy. I plan trips I will probably never take.
52. Sarcasm. How did it take me so long to list sarcasm?



Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Query critique giveaway!

Posted by Caitie F on January 20, 2016

Since I got to 2,000 Twitter followers before 10:00 PM today, it is time for a query critique giveaway! Don’t worry – if you aren’t to the querying stage yet, you can hold onto it until you are ready. It is open to all genres.

At least 50 people are going to win. If my following increases significantly before this ends, there will be more.

The rules are simple:

You must follow me on twitter when I draw the winners
You must still follow me on twitter when I get to your query to critique
You must enter by January 25th.

If you win, I will critique your query. I’ll tell you if I would request or reject and why. I will also make comments in the query itself pointing to specifics.

Good luck!

Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Hello 2016 – 2015 recap

Posted by Caitie F on January 1, 2016

I feel weird not wrapping up 2015 in some way and it was a very good year.


– I started agenting in addition to assisting. It has been great and stressful. Most of my agenting is done nights and weekends, but turns out I am good at time management.

– I signed four clients – two in the last two weeks of the year.

– two projects are on submission and being out on submission is hard. Publishing is not for the impatient.

– I am so happy with the agency I am at. Liza Dawson Associates grew this year and got a West Coast office. Our clients are great and so many came out with fantastic books in 2015


– I read 100 books. I didn’t think that would happen.

– 25% of the books I read were diverse. Last year it was about 10%, so that is an improvement.


– was a mixed bag. Have some new friends, some friends who are closer now, and some who aren’t anymore. It is life.

– I started seeing a hip doctor, did physical therapy for 6 months, but plateaued and had to stop. Wish I could still go because it really helped.


– was great this year. Hamilton! Supergirl! Things on Netflix! Bring Me the Horizon! Star Wars! Crazy Ex Girlfriend! So much more!


I met someone from my internet/publishing past this year and that moment may have actually changed my life, which feels so over dramatic to say. It made me look at some things professionally differently and made me think big picture in a new way. I am not sure just how long range that will be, but it was a big fucking deal.

Onto 2016

This year will be exciting. I am going to BroadwayCon this month, being a tourist in NYC, going to Chicago, going to a writers conference in Seattle, and going on vacation…plus hopefully selling lots of books.

I don’t think I am setting specific goals this year like i have in the past. other than hoping to read 100 books. I doubt i will be able to. I am going to keep swimming and participate in my first meet, work my ass off, and try to enjoy whatever 2016 brings.

Here’s to 2016 being the best year yet!

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