QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

New Year's Resolutions that Actually Work

Statistically speaking, by the time the chips and dip are passed around at the pre-bowl game on Superbowl Sunday, as many as half of people who make a New Year's Resolution have already broken it. One month of an unused gym membership has been paid for. The dairy-free/gluten-free/sugar-free diet was replaced with an ice cream sundae by January 15th. Sure, the intention was to avoid eating out at all costs, but surely it doesn't count for a friend's birthday... or a weekend getaway... or when you're just really busy... right?

It can be all too easy to let resolutions like "lose weight" or "go to the gym more" fall by the wayside as life gets in the way. Don't let this happen to your writing goals.

All too often, I see writers with New Year's Resolutions like "sell a book," or "get an agent," or or "finish my next novel." Now, unlike "lose weight" or "go to the gym more," they are measurable goals. After all, the moment you get an agent, you'll be shouting from the rooftops! So it should count as a reasonable resolution for the year... except it doesn't.

Why not? You do not have all the control when it comes to whether you get an agent or not, and even less control over whether a book sells. Thinking that you do places all the blame on yourself if it doesn't happen, and that isn't good for your self-esteem, which writers struggle with enough. It isn't great for your writing career, either.

So, what to do? Don't set writing resolutions at all? Of course not! Just make sure they're SMART. (Specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time-bound). With one month under our belts, there is plenty of time to re-evaluate not what we want to achieve, but how we get there.

Want an agent for a book you've already revised to perfection? Maybe your goal looks like this: By December 31, 2016, I will have queried at least 75 agents and entered two contests. I will work on my query until it shines, and tweak it if I'm not getting the request rate that I want. I can stop querying before I reach these goals if and only if I get an agent sooner.

Boom. That is a SMART goal, one you can achieve regardless of the market, or your story, or what an agent ate for breakfast the day she read your query.

"Finish my next novel" sounds like a great goal at first. I've been writing lists of New Year's Resolutions for more than ten years and I had to learn the hard way that this one isn't SMART. It turns out, books are never finished--at least not until they hit the printing press and you're out of time to revise. After realizing that I never defined "finish," I set a different goal for the next year: Work on WIP until it is ready for critique partners to review, then take their advice for another revision. By December 31, 2016, have WIP ready enough that I feel comfortable querying it. 

As you're writing this year, don't set yourself up to fail your goals. Make sure they're SMART, then implement a way to track them (I just started tracking my word count using stickers on my calendar, and it's working like magic) that keeps you accountable. Then you'll be amazed what you've accomplished by the end of the year.

Rochelle Deans sometimes feels like the only writer on the planet who rushes through the writing so she can start editing. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two kids under two. Her bad habits include mispronouncing words, correcting grammar, and spending far too much time on the Internet.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Editing the Muse #writetip

As a writer of all lengths of fiction, I always seem to have a work in progress. My muse, who apparently has some sort of attention deficit, like to bounce between novels and short stories and back again. Sometimes, I actually finish things. More often than not, I’m editing.

I’ve learned a lot about editing and revising over the years, through books and online classes and (my favorite) reading books by authors whose style I adore. I’m heading back to my WIP for a long, hard look and I’m considering doing some editing. For those of you who are also currently wallowing in edits, I thought I’d share some thoughts on the process.

I have a huge list of bookmarked articles on the subject... and these are the ones I always re-read when I need to refocus.

Fellow writer and former Query Tracker blogger Elana Johnson recently posted an article on “good vs. done.” It’s a rallying cheer we all need to remind us of our talent and our self-worth (as well as an opportunity to visit her fun vocabulary. I love to listen to her write.)

Sometimes, an editor or feedback group will recommend edits or revisions. It’s easy for us to think it’s because what we wrote is, as Elana puts it, sucktacular. But it’s not. Changes make something that’s already good even better.(And anyways, if it was truly sucktacular, they would have told us to shred it and start over.)

So, once we’re firmly reminded that we’ve already written something worth keeping, it’s time to edit it. Dustin Wax writes that there is no good writing, just good re-writing. Having edited my first novel over the space of three years, I have to agree with him. I find this to be a splendid philosophy for anyone facing the daunting task of staring down a first draft.

Before you start, it’s important to ask yourself what, exactly, you need to do. Are you making surface edits or major revisions?  I came across Dennis G. Jerz’s article “Revision vs. Edition" and found a great quick-reference list.

While polishing a short story can be done in a manageable amount of time, editing a large volume—say, a four-hundred page novel—can be downright overwhelming. One trick many authors--and editors--use is to break the process into steps. You can find an example of a breakdown here.

It also helps to make a list of changes you want to make throughout the piece. Just tackle them one at a time and you make big progress with every small step. Take it chapter by chapter, task by task, and remember: keep going. It’s worth the work.

And then, once you think you have that WIP right where you want it, read Nathan Bransford’s advice to see how close to “done” you’ve gotten. If necessary, lather, rinse, and repeat.

But if it’s done, then it’s all good.

Right? *evil smiley because we all know done is never, ever, really, truly, done*

Ash Krafton is a speculative fiction writer who, despite having a Time Turner under her couch and three different sonic screwdrivers in her purse, still encounters difficulty with time management. She's the author of the urban fantasy trilogy The Books of the Demimonde as well as WORDS THAT BIND. She also writes for YA and NA audiences under the pen name AJ Krafton. THE HEARTBEAT THIEF, her Victorian dark fantasy inspired by Poe’s “The Masque of the Red Death”, is now available.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Pulling the sword from the heart of my novel

Twenty years ago, a friend said, "I have a suit of asbestos permanently welded to my skin," and I adopted that mantra for critiques. You hate my book? Tell me why. In critique, I want to hear about one-dimensional characters, comma overusage, exactly what you think of my 96-word sentence, and plot holes big enough to hangar a 747. Even if you're nasty, it won't hurt my feelings, and then I can get to work.

So why, for six months, have I trembled every time I think about working on THAT book?

THAT book has been around for a while, and it's on schedule for release this year. I need to get it up to snuff, but I actually wrote a different novel last November rather than look at the file for this one.

Huh. My asbestos suit is still welded in place. So what happened?

Let's go back in time, back to when I was confident in THAT book and got a request from Janet Reid (who kindly gave me permission to quote her in this post.) She had already given me an R&R for Honest And For True, so I knew I trusted her judgment. Actually, I hadn't known I'd trusted her judgment, but when I'd read her editorial suggestions to my father, he'd said, "That's huge! Are you sure you trust her?" and the word, "Absolutely" slipped out before I even heard myself. (And she was correct, which is why she's named in the acknowledgments.) So this time, when she rejected THAT  book, it was kind and it was firm, very detailed, and then this:

“The rest of the tension just seems like daily living and while that's how we all live, I think novels require more of the higher kind of tension.”

It's been years now, and whenever I think of how to deliver bad news well, I come back to her rejection because this is the nicest way anyone ever told me my book was boring. And she was right. I'm not going to sugar-coat it: in the version she read, that book was boring. It was numb. Not enough happened. Sometimes a writer produces a boring book, and this time it happened to me.

I rolled up my sleeves and rewrote. I started from a blank document and re-crafted, moved scenes around, gave my protagonist a Hero's Journey, and took out the parts that didn't make sense.

[While I'm rewriting THAT book, please enjoy this scene from my college novel-writing class, taught by a bitter professor who hated the entire publishing industry and would cast his disbelieving eye upon your manuscript, growling, "This is craaaaaaap" as if he himself were in the midst of producing a bowel movement. Do not take advice from this man. I don't care how many PhDs he has or if his book was on the NYT bestseller list. Just don't.]

Once again, after the rewrite I loved THAT book. So why this year couldn't I look at it for six months?

Because in the interim, I had someone else with editorial credentials take a look at THAT book and put a sword in its heart. Not with words. I could have dealt with a critical skewering. No, it was in the attitude, in the way this person wouldn't get started, complained about having to do it, wouldn't finish, blew every deadline they themselves set, and in the end refused to understand the book at all. Blamed me. It was my fault the book was awful, my fault the person's job was awful, mine, mine, mine.

After a while, I joked with people that I couldn't even pay someone to read THAT book.

Nothing ever happened with it. I put it away. I wrote other things. I published other things. And now...

Well, for years I've told writers, "Listen to all critique. Throw out what's bad. Even if the person is mean-spirited, analyze the comment to determine if it meshes with the text."

After weeks of scrubbing toilets rather than look at my own book, I'm going to change my advice: Don't listen to critique from someone who is emotionally wrung out on the industry and is taking it out on you. Because a critique isn't all in the words: it's in the speed with which they deliver it. It's in the energy of their comments. It's in the zest of their suggestions.

You can easily dismiss "This is craaaaaap," but when someone sits on your manuscript for longer than it takes to gestate a human baby, then delivers a half-assed set of comments and expects to earn money for the pleasure, you blame yourself. Especially if you trust them: you absorb their ennui.

So back to THAT book. On January 2nd, I sent two chapters, unread, to my real-life critique group because then I would have no choice but to jump in the deep end. I closed my eyes and hit send. I asked for help and prayers from a locked Facebook group. And then, emboldened, I finally re-read THAT book.

It's funny.

It's energetic.

It moves at a decent pace.

Don't get me wrong: I have six weeks slated to edit it. My critique group found loads of reasons to utilize their red pens. BUT! But it's good! It's not this boring, dry, horrible thing you want to hold at arm's length. It's not confusing and dead. It's a book. It's got a pulse. It's mine.

I love it again.

Don't listen to jaded people. Or rather, listen for the things they're not saying, and if Heaven forbid you detect that ennui, weld my friend's asbestos suit of armor to your heart and take back your book.  Some people have nothing to say, and they'll try to make you say it for them.


PS: Janet Reid has an amazing blog for writers. Go check it out.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Listen. Listen.

In exchange for tuition to get my MA in English, I tutored at the college's writing center. Tutoring is a bit like editing, and I discovered I loved it. Every day I'd show up for three hours. If no students came, I was free to work on my coursework or my own writing. When students showed up with papers, I would read their essays with them, point out mistakes in grammar or spelling, make sure they addressed the question, and suggest areas for improvement.

Over time, I picked up "regulars," and I got to know their quirks. One in particular was a young man battling dyslexia, and if I had no other students waiting, we would talk after his essay review. He had a difficult home life.

One afternoon he brought me the second version of an essay about "a vivid experience." He'd attended a sporting event locally, which I understood to be one of the rare ways he connected with his father. While there, the action on the field had gone terribly wrong, resulting in the death of one of the spectators. My student had seen it happen.

We went over his essay, taking care to read it aloud for sound, rearranging the paragraphs for impact ("You'll want to delay saying she died until afterward, to raise the tension") and experimenting with different words that better fit the description.

He said to me, "This is so tough."

I shrugged. "It is, but you have something important to say, and I want to make sure you know how to say it the best you possibly can. Like in this paragraph, where just by inserting a line of dialogue, you draw us into the story a little more."

I looked up and the kid was staring right at me, his mouth trembling, his eyes shining. Tears.

I stiffened. "What's wrong?"

He swallowed. "You really think I have something important to say?"

And there I sat with this college freshman, a guy who worked hard for every word he wrote and who could hardly talk to his family except about a sport that had left him traumatized, and I realized he'd made it through thirteen years of schooling without anyone telling him he had something worth saying.

Why do we teach people to write except that we think they have something important to say? Why was I the first person in this young man's entire life to make sure he knew his perspective was important?

You're writers: you want to tell your stories. For Christmas or whatever holiday you celebrate, give yourself the gift of believing you have something important to say. Give your message the gift of saying it as well as you can. That's why you're reading blogs about getting published. Believe in yourself. In the end, the only reason writers persevere against the odds (and the rejection and the critique and the blocks…) is that we believe our stories are worth telling.

And then pass along the gift -- the gift of making sure those around you know they've got something worth saying -- because everyone has a story, whether they're writers or just human beings living their daily lives. Give the gift of listening, the gift of affirming, the gift of letting others know their voices should be heard.

(This is a repost from 12/2010.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When should I give up?

Over on the QueryTracker forums, someone has asked us when is it time to give up. What happens if you've got a manuscript you love and the agents just don't love it the same way you do? How many queries do you send and get rejected (or get nothing but silence) before you stand down? How many times can you hear an agent say, "I love this, but I just don't know any editors who would take it"?

I'm kind of an expert on that, so I wanted to weigh in.

Giving up sounds really fatalistic.  We're in the business of communicating, so let's change that wording. Giving up implies there was winning and losing instead of the whole spectrum of successes and fallings-short that encompass the drive toward publication. I'd say it's more like "standing down" than giving up. If it happens, it happens, but you're no longer tense and expectant, no longer swimming against the current.

Being sick of the querying process is a sign that you need to stand down for a while in order to protect your emotional and mental health. Publication is grueling and it's a long haul. If you were training for a marathon, you wouldn't run on a sprained ankle; you'd rest and give yourself time to recover before lacing up the sneakers again. This is the same thing. As soon as you start hating the process, or before if you can catch yourself, cut yourself off. Stand down. Lower your weapon. Let any queries still out there come back, but don't send any more.

Why? Because you'll make yourself bitter. Think about a guy who's asked four people to the prom and been rejected each time. He starts going lower down his list of prioirities because all he wants is "a date," not a particular person's company, and probably starts showing it in the way he asks. Then when he's turned down (because he's asking indiscriminately, or because he's asking with an eye toward the coming rejection) he becomes bitter and says dating sucks. Don't let yourself get to that point. You don't need a date to the prom, and you don't need an agent.

When you're getting regular feedback along the lines of, "I love this, but I can't sell it," that might be time to consider that you're not writing blockbusters, and publishers are looking for blockbusters. They need money, and their first two questions are whether the book will pull them out of a debt hole and whether the book is safe enough not to lose money. The agent is looking at your book to evaluate whether it's similar enough to something popular that it won't lose money and different enough to stand out, that way the publishers she approaches will feel comfortable looking at the book.

In other words, your book could be amazing, but editors "aren't sure they can break it out in a big way." (Ask me how many times I heard that rejection.) And maybe, "I love it, but it's kind of different." (Ditto.) And here's my favorite: "This would be a great second novel, but not a debut."

That's my favorite for two reasons. My sarcastic side says that's the editor or agent sticking a bookmark in you. They don't care to nurture your talent or give you a chance, but on the other hand, they don't want you to go to someone else. So they tell you to just, you know, spend another couple hundred hours writing something else in the hopes that maybe they'll take both books.

The other side of me says, "Second novels are how careers are made." You'll only have one debut, but having a string of solid follow-up novels is how you develop a following and end up with checks to deposit every year for the rest of your life.

So when should you stand down on querying your manuscript?

1) The minute you start to feel bitter, give your querying a vacation.

2) If you're hearing a lot of the same feedback, examine your novel and decide whether it's accurate.

3) If you keep being told this is a great second novel, rejoice, for you have it in you to turn out many solid novels that will keep your fans happy.

And your alternatives once you stand down?

1) Give it a rest and try again when you have your energy back. (Speaking for myself, though, I have gone to a permanent stand-down.)

2) Look into small publishers that aren't as intent on earning a billion dollars right out of the gate. They may well love your solid novel that "isn't a debut."

3) Read up on indie publishing, where you can nurture your back list so that when you do write a blockbuster that would make a billion dollars, you have the option of querying again, and the blockbuster will feed sales of the prior books.

Never give up on writing itself. Your stories are still there. Give them daylight, and let them breathe.

If you push when you're feeling bitter, the bitterness may transfer to your writing itself, and that will choke your stories. Please don't let that happen.

And finally, never give up on yourself. YOU are not the problem here. YOU are not "not good enough." You just didn't create a product they thought would sell. That's not a statement of your worth.

Keep writing. Put down the queries and take a break -- stand down if you must -- but always keep writing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Don't Let NaNo Ruin Your January

There is a board on the NaNoWriMo forum dedicated to reaching 50,000 words. A noble goal: after all, isn't that what we're all there for? But some of the suggestions that I've seen (not necessarily in that forum) seem counterproductive at best to me. What I love to see in that forum are threads for encouraging one another,

We've reached the final stretch of NaNoWriMo, the last seven days in which everyone will write like crazy, trying to reach 50,000 words. There's even an entire section of the NaNoWriMo forum dedicated to reaching that elusive 50k. However, I've seen suggestions there and elsewhere that seem counterproductive at best. Sure, they'll get you closer to that beautiful purple bar on your profile, but will they really help your book?

Tricks that Almost Never Work

Spell out all your contractions

No, just don't. It may add lots of words to your word count in a semi-legitimate way, but it won't be much fun come January when you have to go back and decide which ones need re-contracted.

Rehash the plot to a new character

Sometimes the plot needs to be rehashed for believeability. But in the final draft, you know it will suffice as, "I told my sister everything that had happened since she left for France last week," rather than a whole conversation.

Have a flashback to the beginning of the book... and copy-paste the first scene

No. Pretty please don't do this. This doesn't help you find the story. It doesn't help your editing process. It doesn't help anything at all.

Give characters really long names/titles

Imagine if every reference to Voldemort in the Harry Potter series was "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named." An extra five words every time someone mentions him. Five words you'll probably delete later. How many times does that full phrase appear in the million-word series? Not many. Even worse if you do this at the end, using find/replace to beef up a character/place name just to hit 50k.

Write Every. Single. Line. of dialogue

Obviously, you should write all the dialogue that belongs in the book or gets you closer to understanding the book. What I'm talking about are the pleasantries and small talks that happen in real life and never, ever happen in novels (unless they're used as foreshadowing, but that's a topic better suited to revision). It will add words to your story if you write, "Hello." "Hi, how are you?" "Fine, you?" "Good I guess." "So what did you do today?" "Not much, just played video games. You?" "Well my sister's in the hospital." That's a given. But in the final book it will almost certainly look like two characters approaching each other and one of them saying immediately, "My sister's in the hospital."

When all else fails, add aliens/a zombie apocalypse/a meteor crashing/etc.

The further along you are in your novel, the worse an idea this is. I often see it advertised as prompts for sprints or for people who are stuck, "just to shake things up." There may be a few times it's worked and prompted the story to go in the direction it was always meant to go. But for the love of revision in January, don't go adding these things to a contemporary just so you have the words. What's the point of writing them when you know without a doubt they'll be deleted the moment you re-read?

Tricks that Can Work

Write a scene from a non-POV character, or outside the timeline of your story

This is the kind of suggestion you should take if, for instance, you're having a hard time getting to know a character, or want to explore a character's history to see how it would be affecting their present. There is a lot of value in this, even if it is the kind of thing you're going to immediately cut come January. (You are going to cut it immediately, right?) The catch lies in not getting so distracted from what you actually want to write that you can't get back on track. This should be a quick troubleshoot, a diagnosis... not the new program.

Add a fight

Fights are always appropriate in books, regardless of the genre. You have battles, fist fights, gun fights, cat fights... all of them can not only add words but conflict to your novel. The trick here is to keep it organic. It's important to be true to your characters and the story, but you don't have to have best friends being besties all the time. It can be useful to think about a verbal fight in terms of "What's the worst thing she could possibly say right now?" and then, of course, have her say it. Even if the fight doesn't stay in the final book, you may have learned something about their relationship dynamics.

Relentlessly describe everything

Unlike including every bit of dialogue you possibly can, this can be useful. There are two ways in which I mean it, too: first, describe all aspects of the setting and make sure you're using all five senses (assuming your character uses all five senses). Make sure you personally know the setting and the layout so that the scene begins to come to life around your characters. Second, if you aren't sure which way to word something, use both. I know there are times I have to stumble through a paragraph of description before I hit on the perfect two- or three-word phrase I was looking for. The way to make sure you ease into January here is to make sure you cross out the words you know you won't keep. Don't make your future self do more work than s/he has to.

If a scene isn't working, try again

Sure, you're not supposed to edit during NaNo, but what about a do-over? Wondering what that scene would be like if a different character were present? Thinking a witty line of dialogue might have sent the plot off in a completely different direction? There's no use not trying. In the end, one or both of the scenes will have to go, but you should be closer to finding your story in the process.

The Litmus Test

In my opinion, whether these methods of padding your word count are "good" or not comes down to one question: Does this further my story and/or my understanding of the story? If the answer is yes, then do it. If the answer is no, you might want to rethink which is more important to you: winning NaNoWriMo or eventually having a polished novel that you're proud of.

What are some ways that you power through the last week of NaNo?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Surviving Submission

For aspiring writers, climbing out of the query trenches and finally getting an agent can seem like winning the lottery. But then what? Obtaining representation gives you an advocate and a foot in the door, but what actually happens when your book is on submission? Or, what if you're on submission directly to a publisher and frantically refreshing your inbox every thirty seconds? To help navigate the process, I asked Gina Panettieri from the Talcott Notch agency to answer some questions about surviving submission. 

Do agents submit to editors via query letter like authors or by phone call or other method? Do you agonize over queries like we do?

Gina: Agents pitch projects to editors in a variety of different ways, and sometimes the same agent might pitch your project in a letter, on the phone and in person, depending on who she's pitching to and what opportunities arise. I think most of us take the time to carefully craft a very winning pitch letter, and I know that it's not infrequent that I find the book's description that I created for my pitch being used by the publishers as the back cover copy and the catalog and website copy for the books that I sell, so I know they must feel it hit the spot, too. So, yes, we agonize over what to write! We realize the value in conveying the important properties of the story to the editor quickly and convincingly, and often tailor the letter to the specific editor we're addressing, knowing her specific interests.

What advice can you offer to an author on submission? 

Gina: First and foremost, check the website of the agent or publisher you're submitting to to find out what they want you to send and in what format and follow the instructions. 
Don't send hardcopy when they want electronic and vice-versa. Send proper size SASE if you want material returned.
Don't send submissions by registered or certified mail (everyone hates that). If you're worried about whether it got there, just ask for delivery confirmation, which doesn't require a signature on the other end, or you can send it priority, which includes tracking.
Observe formatting instructions. I know editors who won't read something if it's not formatted correctly. 
Don't fudge and say something was requested when it wasn't in order to submit to a publisher or agent who only reads solicited work. We know. 
Include information on your platform and marketing with your submission, even for fiction. It may push your submission over the edge into a 'yes'. 
Don't call to check on your submission! This is true everywhere. 

How long does submission usually take? 

Gina: That can range wildly, but a few weeks to several months, depending on the editors, their backlog and reading pace and what other events are taking place (like sales conferences, book expos and vacations) that can slow down responses. But agents (and authors) often do multiple rounds of submissions,  and it's not unusual for it to take a year, eighteen months or longer to sell a book. It takes patience, perseverance and faith in the book in many cases!

If an editor is interested, what happens from there if the MS gets to acquisitions?

Gina: If the editor is interested, she may ask other editors to read it for their feedback, and she may get additional input from other departments. The editor will create her own pitch, perhaps drawing from the pitch given by the agent, and compile her own materials for the book, requiring competing titles and sales data, to pitch it to the editorial board and determine what could be projected for the sales potential for the book. The editor has to win over the rest of the editorial board, who may raise objections to the book based on other projects which haven't done well, or perhaps concerns over a book being too similar to another one the publisher has done, or issues with the book don't being on-trend or being too niche. The editor has to come in prepared to counter anticipated arguments, or present her pitch tailored to address those concerns pre-emptively and be prepared to fight for her book. It isn't always that easy! I often call the acquisitions board The Board of Sales Prevention! It's important to give your editor as much ammo as you can to bolster her. A great platform and marketing statement, great comp titles, good data on why your book is trending, and any data you can give to overcome objections (perhaps a poor performing comp title did poorly for a specific reason and you can show why your book is different).

What's hot and not right now with publishers?

Gina:  You know there are always the exceptions to every rule, of course! Mythology- and folklore-based YA continue to get immediate requests. Both YA and MG are getting darker and edgier so that's getting attention. Sweet....not so much! Sci-fi action-y YA is selling well. Mystery series for MG, boy-friendly fiction (everyone asks, but it's hard to find), and ghost stories (hey, they're bringing Goosebumps back!) are very welcome. Anything King of Thrones-y would get a look. Vikings are hot. There's a big push for diversity in publishing (yay!), so diverse casts of characters are encouraged. Cozy mystery series are always popular, and if you can add an animal character POV or cute paranormal quirk, all the better!  YA editors are all asking for nonfiction (and you'll see a lot of YouTube stars books topping their lists, but let's hope that's not the extent of it!). Coloring books for adults are all the rage, too, so if you can come up with a unique concept for one, go for it!

Many thanks to Gina for taking the time to demystify the process. Good luck to all you folks on submission!

Kim English - A native Floridian, Kim is the author of Coriander Jones Saves the World and the upcoming Coriander Jones On Assignment at Sabal Palm Academy. She lives in southwest Florida with her family and an ever increasing number of rescue pets. You can learn more about Kim and her books at CorianderJones.com