A post in which Kel tries not to be bitter, but can’t quite help it

I was doing my daily perusal of agent’s blogs and learned–on PubRants–that children’s editors are looking for:

–voice and character driven fiction (isn’t that what all editors want?*)

–a family-oriented story with complicated relationship between main character and parents or main character and siblings etc.

–gritty fiction

–novels where the reader watches as the main female protagonist making bad choices or learning to survive

If only I’d thought to make Waiting For Spring a YA novel, it’d probably be in bookstores as we speak.

*parenthetical question is in the original quoted post, not a snarky addition by me.


About R.J. Keller

R. J. Keller is the author of Waiting For Spring. An avid independent movie enthusiast, she was Managing Editor of The Movie Fanatic website and created episodes of the writer-centric YouTube series, Inside The Writers' Studio, with author Kristen Tsetsi. She co-hosted Book Chatter with Stacey Cochran from 2011-2014. She lives in Central Maine with her family, where she enjoys gardening, collecting geeky memorabilia, and watching other people cook. View all posts by R.J. Keller

6 responses to “A post in which Kel tries not to be bitter, but can’t quite help it

  • Zoe Winters

    I can’t even cope with this “fill in the blank with trite concept of book that we want this week” situation.

    I’m just doing my thing. If I ever build up enough of a reader base or sell enough copies of anything, then I’ll worry about whether or not I should mess with mainstream publishing.

    As it stands though, I’m not impressed with most of their business practices, and I’m just not stressing over this.

  • R.J. Keller

    Oh, I know it. I still can’t squash my irritation at it, though.

  • Robin

    It’s so incredibly dumb. Especially since my kids only want to read about sorcerers, magic, ninjas or secret agents. I’ve never heard them long for more character driven fiction.

  • bunnygirl

    Yeah, I saw that, too. If it were true, I would’ve gotten more interest in Steal Tomorrow than I did, since it has at least five of the eleven “criteria” and depending on what constitutes a “Meg Cabot” or “hip” story line, could be as many as seven.

    Of course, I didn’t try very hard to pitch ST, either. Maybe I just didn’t query any of Kristin Nelson’s friends!

    Still, I know too much about the publishing business to put much into pursuing traditional publication before retirement. Querying is a time-suck and doing all the things a published author has to do is even more so. It’s incompatible with a full-time job that pays a lot better than being a mid-list author would.

    I’ll do a token pitch of my current WIP when it’s done and I’ll be curious to see what happens, since it has paranormals in it. I doubt I’ll get much interest, though, since I play the paranormal thing for laughs rather than dark erotic appeal.

  • Robert

    Perhaps I’m being naïve here, but couldn’t you tweak WFS to make it a YA novel?

  • R.J. Keller

    Good question, Robert. But I don’t think so. WFS is decidedly adult.

    Feel free to check it out. 🙂


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