Tag Archives: Natasha Hanova

2014 OWFI Agents, Editors, Publishers Appointments


If you’re attending OWFI 2014 and are interested in booking an agent/editor/publisher pitch session, Natasha Hanova is your gal.  Feel free to repost and/or tweet if you or someone you know might be interested in this writer’s conference. Thanks!

Please email her at NatashaHanovaOWFI (at) gmail (dot) com with your top two choices to request an appointment or if you have any questions.

Sign up DEADLINE is Monday, April 28.

NOTE: These appointments are only for people who have registered for OWFI 2014. Click here for online registration or download registration.

See you in May!

Here’s a list of attending agents, editors, and publishers. Please be sure to check their websites for current wish lists.


Susan Brower from the Natasha Kern Literary Agency

I love finding and developing authors and connecting them with the reader.  Book publishing has changed dramatically over the past several years and it’s no secret that the novels that create buzz through their unique writing or concepts are the ones that become bestsellers.  Over the past 25 years in publishing, I have done marketing, editing, story development and acquisitions for Zondervan, a division of Harper Collins Publishers. Most recently, I was Executive Editor and had the privilege of working with New York Times bestselling authors Karen Kingsbury, Tim LaHaye, Stephen L. Carter, and Terri Blackstock and was named ACFW’s Editor of the Year in 2010. And now I am fortunate to partner with Natasha Kern at the Natasha Kern Literary Agency.

I’ve been an avid fiction fan since childhood and love the way stories are able to change lives, heal hearts, and bring joy to readers.   Today, I want to read and acquire women’s contemporary, any kind of romance, suspense, mystery and historical novels.  I would love to discover the next breakaway author in any of these genres.

I am originally from Arizona and now live in Michigan with my hubby, and three furry “kids,” Shep, Ollie, and Pepper.

Susan Bower Agency Website     •     Susan’s Website   

Dawn Michelle Hardy from Serendipity Literary Agency

Dawn Michelle Hardy has been called a “literary lobbyist” by Ebony magazine for her ability to help authors reach their readership using strategic promotions, win awards and garner national and local media attention.

She began her career in publishing in 2002, first as a assistant to a self published turned New York Times Bestselling author, then as an award-winning publicist and author consultant and now as an associate agent with Serendipity Literary Agency led by Regina Brooks.

While actively building her client list, she likes memoirists who can capture a larger narrative through their personal story and strong hook, best-in-class professionals in a variety of fields, the relatively unknown that has unique and incomparable life experiences, and the music, sports and pop culture enthusiasts with a ‘hip’ idea from an untold vantage point.

Her client list is diverse ranging from a veteran entertainment writer, to a single mother, to a Washington Post award winning sports journalist. Her first acquisitions as agent included a biography on the Grammy winning pop-star Nicki Minaj (Hip-Pop Moments for Life by Isoul Harris), a previously self published memoir that garned SyFy Channel docu-series fame (Forgotten Burial: A Restless Spirit’s Plea from Beyond the Grave by Jodi Foster) and a forthcoming narrative inspired by the #2 most shared news story in 2013 on NBA 16-time Allstar Allen Iverson.

As an agent she is continuously seeking acquisitions for platform driven general interest narratives that can spark debate and heavy conversation. She welcomes the process of collaborating with editors and authors on topics in the area of sports, pop culture, blog and trend, music, lifestyle and social science.

Dawn on Twitter  

Amanda Luedeke  from the Chip MacGregor Literary Agency

Amanda was a 2006 graduate of the acclaimed Professional Writing program at Taylor University Fort Wayne. Since college, she’s made her living as a writer, working as a freelancer for local newspapers and marketing companies, while operating her own writing business.

Her love for writing and her ability to think strategically landed her a full time job in marketing at an agency in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Since starting there in 2008, Amanda has written web and print copy for Vera Bradley, Baekgaard, Brecks and Peg Perego. She’s also assisted in marketing strategy for these companies, conducting research, launching social media sites and proposing and working on major projects targeted at the online consumer.

Yes, she knows … she’s one of those people.

She met Chip at an author signing in Barnes and Noble in 2008. After realizing they had a commonality in Taylor University, one thing led to another, and before she knew it, she was helping him with projects, research, and all the little stuff she now assumes he just didn’t feel like doing. Shortly after, Amanda was hired on as Chip’s Assistant.

On board as an Agent since 2010, Amanda brings unique interests to the MacGregor Literary team. She represents general market and CBA projects, and her areas of interest include nonfiction, literary fiction, women’s fiction (all types except historical romance), paranormal and speculative fiction (including steampunk, fantasy, etc), YA, middle grade fiction, and twenty-something/post college-aged hip lit (think Joe Meno, Brett McCracken, Brad Land, JD Salinger).

Having lived all over the Midwest, from Iowa to Minnesota to Illinois, Amanda considers the Chicago suburbs to be ‘home’, though she’s currently settled in Fort Wayne, Indiana, with her husband, Tad.

Amanda on Facebook     •     Amanda on Twitter

 Maria Vicente from the P.S. Literary Agency

Maria Vicente is an associate agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is a creative and editorial agent, providing support to her clients through all stages of the writing and publication process. Maria is dedicated to managing authors’ literary brands for the duration of their careers.

Her reading preferences vary across categories and genres, which is reflected in her client list. She is actively looking for literary and commercial fiction, young adult, middle grade, illustrated picture books, and nonfiction projects in the pop culture, pop psychology, design, and lifestyle categories. She has affinities for literary writing, strong character development, and original storytelling formats.

Maria’s publishing career began as an intern with Bree Ogden at D4EO Literary Agency. She also interned at P.S. Literary before joining the agency as an associate agent. Maria has a B.A. in English Literature from Carleton University, a Bachelor of Education from The University of Western Ontario, and many years of experience editing and designing literary magazines. She is currently an editor for Underneath the Juniper Tree, a literary/art horror magazine for children.

Her blog, I Believe in Story (ibelieveinstory.com), features book reviews, advice for writers, publishing industry articles, and lifestyle posts inspired by literature. You can find Maria on Twitter at @MsMariaVicente.


Mari Farthing

Mari Farthing is a writer and editor with over 20 years of practical experience in private industry, government, media and publishing. Mari has worked with writers on technical documentation, procedural manuals, memoir, children’s fiction (middle grade, young adult), women’s fiction, suspense and horror.

Mari on Twitter     •     Mari on Facebook

Mary-Theresa Hussey

Mary-Theresa has been at Harlequin for nearly a quarter century—but it certainly doesn’t feel that way.

As an executive editor for Harlequin Books, she is surrounded by fantastic stories, terrific colleagues and has had the pleasure of working on thousands of entertaining, enlightening and exciting novels.

Mary-Theresa—sometimes known as Matrice—works with authors on both series and single title imprints, and is always eager to talk about books.


Rhonda PendersRhonda Penders from Wild Rose Press

Rhonda Pender is President and co-founder of The Wild Rose Press, a publishing company that publishes books electronically and in print.  The company began in May 2006 and is home to over 1600 titles and 500 authors. The Wild Rose Press began as a romance only publishing house but in 2013 opened its submissions to other genres of fiction including erotica, women’s fiction, mystery and suspense including thrillers, and historical fiction.

TWRP prides itself on never issuing form rejection letters and on being a kinder and gentler publishing house.  Their web site, which is referred to as “the garden”, is truly a community garden where everyone feels as if they have a part in its growth.  Writers, authors, readers and editors come together in chats, loops, blogs, and email to discuss ideas, thoughts, concerns and plans for growing the company.  The editors and the owners are completely accessible to their writers. Currently they are accepting submissions in all lines and all lengths.  All submissions should be made electronically and specific guidelines can be found on their website at http://www.thewildrosepress.com.

Vivian Zabel from 4RV Publishing

Vivian Zabel has a degree in English and speech. She taught in public schools for 27 years, covering such subjects as English, composition, writing, yearbook newspaper, literary magazine, drama, debate adn speech. Vivian has published short stories, articles and poetry until she retired from teaching, and now has 7 published books. Vivian is the founder and president of 4RV publishing, a traditional, royalties-paying publishing house with over 75 authors, including many OWFI members.

Vivian’s Blog     •     Vivian’s Website



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NaNoWriMo or Bust? Not so much…

crest-bda7b7a6e1b57bb9fb8ce9772b8faafbI’m a NaNoWriMo veteran, but I made the determination that even though I succeeded, it wasn’t for me. I absolutely was NOT doing it again. No way. Recently, Rebekah Loper, a Municipal Liaison for National Novel Writing Month, did a guest post titled Five Reasons Why You Should do NaNoWriMo on my CP, Natasha Hanova’s blog. Rebekah was quite convincing.  However, I just finished intensive revisions of my YA novel, and I’m in the middle of rewrites of my adult thriller so it really isn’t a good time for me. Though the temptation to NaNo is great, I’m not starting a new  project. Yet.

So, like my CP Leatrice McKinney said in her NaNo, NaNo, it’s off to Write I go! post, I’ll NaNo my way by working on the rewrites of my thriller. Dedicating myself to a goal of writing every day rather than meeting a certain word count. I plan to write every day in November like I did in October with one exception, I tried to also blog, grade essays, do lesson plans, laundry, etc. while writing every day. I can’t keep that pace up because I managed only to get behind in October. So, I have to cut some things back, and the blog is one of them. Rather than write a post each week in November, I’ll post something inspiring (I hope) for all of those NaNoing. I’ll continue my writing of posts again in December. I’m about a third of the way through The Drought of Sam Dakota with a significant amount of rewriting to go, but I think I can make it.

NaNo, here we go.


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Thankful Thursday

This month I have determined to write every day regardless of what else comes up and so far it’s worked. I’ve had to accept that some days I write a lot and some days I don’t. It’s okay. As writers we’re terribly hard on ourselves. I know that I tend to see what going wrong before I see what’s going right. This month of allowing myself this grace has been nice. I realized that it’s time to stop being so hard on myself as a writer. This also made me think about my fellow writers. We’re all in this together and we struggle along our own paths, which sometimes intersect. Usually we’re all so busy we can’t take time to say to another writer, “How are things with you?” or “Thanks for that post on scene endings. I needed that.”

It’s not that we don’t think those things. It’s that writers are always struggling to find time in their days just for the essentials, writing, social media, querying, etc. And most writers work in order to put food on the table. We have families who love us and who we love and we devote hours of our day to them. While I have taken this time in October to write each day, I decided that I’d open my Thursdays between now and  Thanksgiving for writers to thank people for any of the wonderful things done for them. From something as simple as a kind word when you got a rejection to a piece of advice that led to a breakthrough, anything you’re grateful for.

I’ll start:

Thanks to my CP’s Natasha Hanova and Leatrice McKinney for the consistent and often enlightening input that keeps my characters and my stories progressing forward.

Thanks to Les Edgerton for being a great mentor to writers like me. Your advice and your knowledge make such a difference in our work.

Thanks to Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglish for their Emotion Thesaurus, a phenomenal tool in the writer’s toolkit, and for the Amazing Race which is a pay it forward for writers by writers.

It’s easy. Thank someone in the comments so we can pass it on throughout the next month and a half. Have a great weekend.


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Summer, Sunny Days, and Schedules

This year my critique group set up an editorial calendar for our group blog and then, we followed through for our individual blogs. That was helpful while it lasted. Since the calendar ran out (oops), I have returned to the drawing board and come up with a new one. I have commitments for most of the summer at Novel Clique’s blog so some weeks this post will merely redirect to Novel Clique. I’m looking forward to a summer of blogging double duty. No, seriously. Which definitely puts me in the seriously twisted category. The new editorial calendar for Write On:


Write On

Novel Clique





New Editorial Calendar




Living the Writer’s Life




Conventions, Classes, Degrees, Oh, My!




Insecure Writer Post




Pacing: What Film Shows Us




Facing a Character Uprising: Whip and Chair, Please.




Blog Chain




Insecure Writer Post




How NOT to Critique (Warning: Sarcasm Intentional)




How TO Critique




How to Behave as a Professional Writer




Newbie Mistakes




Insecure Writer




Novel Editing Tips




Blog Chain ALL




Blog Chain ALL




Conquering Queries




Letter to Editor/Agent

 Hope everyone has plans for an amazing summer!

My summer companions

My summer companions


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Edge of Truth


Edge of Truth is a dystopian tale by author Natasha Hanova. Trapped in a world where she can never achieve more than the society has ‘approved’ for her, Rena Moon is a typical teenager. She rebels against everything from the Overlord to the Synbots to her father and aunt. Rena wants more and determines she can get more. The slight wrinkle to things is her ‘secret’. She’s an Other, one of those gifted with a hidden ability.

Like most girls she’s got a bestie, Blaze, and a crush, Nevan, and she has a lot on her plate. There’s the Solstice Celebration, avoiding her problematic little brothers, and her constant search for a way out of ‘Hollowdump’ as she calls her hometown. On one search into Westrock, she stumbles upon a treasure. That might be an understatement since Rena’s ‘Other’ trait is the ability to sense earthquakes. In this case, the quake unearths the cave of riches.

The fortuitous find represents freedom from the oppressive Overlord Andrick and the way of life she’s fought against. A reluctant Blaze agrees to help her market the treasures. Unfortunately, they don’t make it home before curfew and seek refuge from the Synbots at Nevan’s home much to Rena’s horror. Embarrassing moments pile up for her there, and she’s still got to face her father the next day. Rena’s grounding forces Blaze to go to market without her and attempt to sell the goods. This is Blaze’s strength and she does well. Both girls gear up for the Solstice Celebration now that they have outfits fit for who they really are, not who society has made them.

The first sign of a problem is when Rena shows up, but Blaze doesn’t. When it becomes apparent someone has kidnapped Blaze, Nevan joins Rena in the search for her bestie. Balancing her growing attraction to Nevan with her worry for Blaze and her guilt that her desire to leave Hollowdump is what caused her friend to go missing, Rena follows the path of clues. She knows her ‘directions challenged’ best friend is completely unable to lead her kidnapper to the cave and fears what he’ll do when he realizes it. What results is a suspense filled ride across uncharted territory during the ‘burn’, a dangerous sun without the protection of the ozone layer. Problem with her ability is she also causes quakes. She has to worry about and control her emotions as they search. This would be totally easier without Nevan by her side.

Rena is an independent minded female character, which is a huge plus in YA. Blaze is also a strong character although quite different from Rena. Nevan is the quintessential guy crush who can send a girl over the edge causing her to almost forget everything, even her missing bestie, by simply touching her hand. Power is at the heart of the book. In a dystopian society, it often is. However, independence and hope and loyalty win the day in Edge of Truth. The book is an edge of your seat roller coaster ride through a mine field, at the same time it maintains a sweet tale about friendship and first love. It’s a YA must read.

I received an ARC of Edge of Truth for the purpose of this review.


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Demons, Monsters, and Mayhem


Ever since I picked up my first Nancy Drew when I still rode a dinosaur to school, I have loved mysteries. Wilkie Collins, Moonstone was one of my first after Nancy. Soon, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Ellery Queen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie joined the party. In high school, noir fascinated me, Raymond Chandler, specifically. Later, I developed a love for thrillers and suspense novels which share common factors, crime, tight plotting, but are uniquely different as well. In suspense/thriller the point is not usually whodunnit but will they get away with doing it?

Edgar Allan Poe introduced me to horror in print and Alfred Hitchcock scared me silly with his films. My favorite horror story doesn’t lean on blood and gore or serial killers but takes me to a dark place in my heart. That place where all humans can go when pushed to the limits of their endurance, that breaking point. For me too many times horror hinges on the visual gore or the one-upmanship of being more far out than the one that came before. I love horror that is all the more scary for its understatement. The horror that slips up behind you, when the world appears completely normal and at peace, and guts you in seconds. A good example of this for me is Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery.

Mystery stories are tightly plotted, and one of the attractions for me. There are specific rules of this genre that the writer must adhere to in order to “play fair.” As a reader, I like this. Tropes of this genre are well-known; the murder weapon, clues, red herrings, the now interesting CSI effect – follow the DNA, the crusty detective or cop, the fem fatale, the gathering of the potential perps for the big “reveal”. Huge rule in mystery, if you draw emphasis to a scarf on page ten, you better plan on strangling somebody with it by page 30.

Horror stories include tropes such as the mad scientist, the ‘invention’ that overcomes the master, monsters and creatures of our nightmares. Horror has the quality of being able to manipulate the reader into believing that his own fears are coming to life. It can elicit the same physical reactions as experiencing it in reality. For me horror has to walk a fine line to avoid missing the suspension of disbelief. Today’s horror films have disillusioned my sons because they find them funnier than scary. This is the risk with horror. When you go too far, the reader or viewer disengages.

All writing requires attention to detail and foresight. Mystery, however, requires more planning than some genres if you hope to have 2 + 2 add up to the required 4 at the end. Horror, I believe, requires insight into a place few people want to go. If the worst were to happen, what am I capable of? The answer to that question, when pursued honestly, is horrific.

Talking genre is a lot of fun. Be sure to check out Natasha’s post on the paranormal genre here. L.L. McKinney’s post on Sci-Fi and Fantasy can be found on Tangynt. And pop over to Novel Clique to take a poll on genre.

What are your favorite tropes for mystery? Horror?


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It’s that time, again! Goals for 2013

I missed my post deadline again! Sigh. The not so exciting story is that we got a call at 6 a.m. yesterday morning. Those are never pleasant. A horse was in the road and injured. The rest of the day was hauling the horse to the vet, moving the other horses, repairing the fence, and then moving the horses back. By the time we got home, I ached everywhere, and the blog was not at the forefront of my thoughts. My apologies. I think I should add to my goals for the coming year to focus on writing posts in advance, preventing emergencies from intruding.

Since I brought up goals, we made ours at Novel Clique this week. It’s always fun for me to set goals. I’m one of those people who likes to make a list of things and check off each thing as I do it. If I don’t lose the list, of course. This year we determined we would add a “pleasure” goal to the mix. I’ll admit I spent a lot of time thinking about that one. 🙂

My goals for 2013:

  • Complete the agent requested edits of The G.A.P. Project
  • Edit of Sam Dakota
  • Summer project: Overhaul of Fires of the Soul
  • Tech goal: my plan is to put more into the blog this year, more time, more effort, gulp, more money.
  • Our group established a huge goal and commitment by establishing an editorial calendar for our Novel Clique blog. It all begins January 23 over on: Novel Clique
  • Another group goal this year: a writer’s retreat. We love this time devoted to our writing and each other.

Last but not least, my pleasure goal:

  • Time with the horses! Now that we’re here at the ranch where I can see them regularly, I plan on utilizing that time.
Angel and Storm

Angel and Storm


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