EXCITING HAPPENINGS AT THE BARBARA CASEY AGENCY

This has been an extremely busy year, and as we approach the end of 2014, I wanted to give you an update on what books have been published over the past several months and represented by the Barbara Casey Agency. All of these books were published by traditional, royalty-paying publishers, either highly rated independents or major houses. You will see that the subjects are many and varied. These books are available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or by ordering at your favorite bookstore.

In addition to representing established authors, one of the things I especially enjoy as a literary agent is successfully representing new authors. My new authors this year have really made me proud.

 

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Never Try to Drink a Chinese Woman under the Table: Plus Other Fun and Practical Tips for Doing Business in China and at Home, written by Richard Bradspies and JD Fox. This was released in early March and has already gone to its second printing. Rich and Jim are marketing dynamos; they think outside the box and have managed to come up with a new idea to add to their marketing each week since their book’s release.

 

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Troubled Water, the third book in the Lark Chadwick Mystery Series written by John DeDakis, a former White House Correspondent and copy editor for CNNs Wolf Blitzer, was released in June of this year and is doing exceptionally well in sales. This is a thrilling mystery series told from a female’s perspective.

 

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Patriot Priest: The Story of Monsignor WIlliam A. Hemmick, The Vatican’s First American Canon written by Patricia Daly-Lipe, came out in February of this year. A biography of Patricia’s famous great uncle, this is a well researched, fascinating read of one man’s personal experience over several epochs and periods of history and his close connection to royalty, Hollywood, and politicians.

 

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Tarnished Heels: How Unethical Actions and Deliberate Deceit at the University of North Carolina Ended The Carolina Way, written by Rob J. Anderson, was released in June of this year and is already in its second printing. Ranked among the 100 top sports books on Amazon since its release, this is a comprehensive insider’s report of what has taken place over the past few decades leading up to the scandal UNC now faces.

 

In addition to my new authors, I represent over 100 additional authors who have had successful careers in publishing with several titles. Three of these titles released in the recent months are below.

 

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Among my established authors, Hawk Mackinney’s The Missing Planets, the second book in his science fiction series The Cairns of Sanctuarie, was just released and is currently on an international book review tour.

 

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Hunting the President: Threats, Plots, and Assassination Attempts from FDR to Obama, by British author Mel Ayton, just recently came out and will be followed next year by a sequel that will cover the period between President George Washington to the Depression. This is an exceptional book which reveals information about presidential assassination attempts never before reported.

 

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Beyond Reasonable Doubt, also by Mel Ayton, brilliantly addresses the Warren Commission’s report on the John F. Kennedy assassination as well as new information about the assassination.

 

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On a more personal note, two of my own novels, The Coach’s Wife and The House of Kane, were re-released in trade paperback in July. They are now available in hard cover, trade paperback, and ebook. My young adult novel, The Cadence of Gypsies, will be re-released with a new cover in hard cover, trade paperback, ebook, and audio book in 2015. The sequel to it is under contract. There is also a third book in this series underway. Finally, for all of you who like scary stories, my short story, Late in the Tenth Month, was published in CATACOMBS ANTHOLOGY.  This collection of short stories is available in hard cover, paperback, and e-book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and your favorite local bookshop.  The audio version will be ready next month.

Thanks for stopping by. Next time I will talk about writing romance novels, the most popular genre in the publishing world. I will cover such things as what makes a good romance novel, what is required to make it a romance, who is publishing romance, and what are the different types of romance novels.
See you soon!
Barbara

CHILDREN’S BOOKS AND “HAPPILY EVER AFTER”

Many of the submissions I receive as an agent are children’s books. I find that inexperienced writers often decide to write a children’s book because they think it is easier than writing for adults. That simply is not true. There is more latitude when writing for adults. Things like change of perspective or point of view, length of text, language and word choice are just some examples. When writing for children, however, there are certain things that will make your manuscript stronger. For example:

1. Keep the first chapter short. By keeping the first chapter short, the writer gives young readers a boost in confidence, a win, a success. Our youngest readers are often intimidated by the length of a book. By keeping the first chapter short, the reader gains immediate gratification and is more likely to tackle subsequent chapters

2. Do solve the main conflict of your story. Open-ended conclusions are fine for adults, but kids—especially young kids—need closure. They need to feel that all is right with the world—their world.

In Mercer Meyer’s classic picture book There’s a Nightmare in my Closet, a young boy is afraid to turn out the lights and go to sleep. He is absolutely positive there is a monster lurking in his closet. He solves the problem by confronting the nightmare—who is afraid of the dark, too—and inviting it under the covers with him. As the two snuggle down to sleep, the boy says, “There might be another nightmare in my closet, but my bed isn’t big enough for three.” That is a satisfying ending.

3. Do have your protagonist solve the main conflict in the story—not a doting auntie or kindly teacher. Give the power to the children—not the adults.

In my young adult novel The Cadence of Gypsies, three high-spirited 17 year olds, with intelligent quotients in the genius range, accompany their teacher and mentor, Carolina Lovel, to Frascati, Italy, a few weeks before they are to graduate from Wood Rose Orphanage and Academy for Young Women. Carolina’s purpose in planning the trip is to remove her gifted, creative students from the Wood Rose campus so they can’t cause any more problems (“expressions of creativity”) for the headmaster, faculty, and other students – which they do with regularity. Carolina also wants to visit the Villa Mondragone where the Voynich Manuscript, the most mysterious document in the world, was first discovered and search how it is related to a paper written in the same script she received on her 18th birthday when she was told that she was adopted. That search will fill in all of the missing pieces of Carolina’s past, but it also allows her students to discover something meaningful within themselves, accept their own pasts, and look forward to the future

4. Do have your protagonist change in some way by the end of the book. He or she should learn something significant about his or herself and the world. Valid changes must be gradual and tied logically to your plot and characterizations

5. Do remember to end your story when it ends. After the climax, when the main conflict is solved or the situation accepted, the story is over. Tie loose ends quickly. At the conclusion of Cinderella the glass slipper fits, crowds cheer, the wicked stepmother is foiled, and Cinderella and her prince live happily ever after. THE END. Readers aren’t the least bit interested in reading about where the prince took Cindy on their honeymoon, what they ate for breakfast, or who cleaned the cinders from the palace hearth.

6. Do offer honesty… and hope. Not every day is a sunny one, but your protagonist should always triumph, should always get what he or she deserves—and so should your villain.

The philosopher Aristotle believed that history shows us things as they are, whereas fiction shows us things as they could be or ought to be. Offer children a satisfying ending in which hope plays a paramount role: that they have the power to change their lives to what could be… and should be.

Next time I will discuss the different types of children’s books, current trends, and what needs to be included for the age they are written.

Thanks for stopping by.

Barbara