Previous Retreat's Speaker Bios
Jenny Bent started THE BENT AGENCY in 2009, after six years as a Vice-president at Trident Media Group. Her bestselling clients include Lynsay Sands, Julia London, Sandra Hill, Jacqueline Sheehan, Kathryn Caskie, Kieran Kramer, and Lori Wilde as well as RITA winners Beth Pattillo, Kate Brady and Tera Lynn Childs. She is actively seeking romance, young adult, suspense and women’s fiction and prides herself on career-building for both new and established authors. Her website is www.thebentagency.com.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Mary Burton is the author of nineteen novels including her latest thriller, THE SEVENTH VICTIM. Mary’s first novel, a historical romance, was published in 2000. Mary wrote eleven more romance novels and three novellas before embracing the dark world of suspense. Her highly praised books include Before She Dies, Senseless, Merciless, Dying Scream, Dead Ringer and I’m Watching You. Writing as Mary Ellen Taylor, Burton will release her first women’s fiction book, THE UNION STREET BAKERY, in February 2013 with Berkley Trade. Info on Mary Ellen Taylor can be found at www.maryellentaylor.com. Mary writes full time. When not killing people, she spends time in the kitchen, practices yoga, enjoys her family and her miniature dachshunds, and completes courses toward her Baking & Pastry Arts Certificate at the University of Richmond’s Culinary Arts Program.
Louise believes in the power of marketing and is constantly on the lookout for authors who know how to promote themselves. She is seeking well written, teen Sci-Fi and Young Adult horror. She is also on the hunt for deep, dark contemporary YA and select Middle Grade fiction with a literary feel– it must be realistic and thought provoking and the characters must be authentic and original.
Louise is loves horror and romance, especially Regency & Victorian.
In nonfiction, please send humor and pop culture manuscripts her way.
If your manuscript is COMPLETE, well-written and edited, send your query and the first five pages to: Louise@Lperkinsagency.com
CLOSED to Unsolicited Queries for the time being.
For more information on Louise or to take a peek at her client list, visit www.louisefury.com or follow her on twitter @louisefury.
From the moment Michelle Grajkowski first opened the doors to the 3 Seas Literary Agency in August of 2000, she has been living her dream. (What could be better than surrounding yourself with amazing authors and their exciting and imaginative books?)
Since then, she’s successfully sold more than 500 projects into all the major publishing houses. Her clients include New York Times Bestselling Authors Katie MacAlister, Kerrelyn Sparks and C.L. Wilson. Michelle primarily represents romance, women’s fiction, young adult and middle grade fiction. She is currently looking for fantastic writers with a voice of their own.
When not curled up with a great manuscript, Michelle loves to spend time with her husband, children and her two crazy puppies, who refuse to grow up, Libby and Gizmo.
Sue Grimshaw is Category Specialist and Editor At Large at Random House Ballantine Bantam Dell. Sue acquires primarily for the digital romance imprints including Loveswept and Flirt. Previously employed as the romance book buyer for Borders and Waldenbooks stores for more than fifteen years, Sue continues to be a highly sought after expert in her field.
Sue has been honored to speak to thousands of romance writers and readers at conferences and workshops. In 2008 she received the prestigious Vivian Stephens Industry Award from the Romance Writers of America. Other honors include the Inaugural Orange County Chapter of RWA, 2008 Helping Hand Industry Award, 2007 & 2005 Colorado Romance Writers of America bookseller of the year award, and the 2005 Romance Times Book Club appreciation award. A voracious reader of romance, devouring three to five books every week, Sue is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry and truly enjoys sharing her knowledge of the romance genre.
Treva Harte became co-owner and Editor-in -Chief of Loose Id in 2004. She holds a B.A..in English Literature from University of Arizona (high honors), a M.A. in English Literature from University of Virginia and a J.D. from University of Virginia. She is a member of the Virginia and D.C. bars. From 1988 until 2008 she was a Trademark Examining Attorney for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Treva is also multi-published with several e-publishers in print and e-book, is a member of EPIC, RWA, including the Passionate Ink and Rainbow Romance Writers Chapters, has been a member of PAN, and was winner of the CAPA 2003 award in the “Erotic Fantasy Romance” category.
Leah Hultenschmidt is a senior editor at Sourcebooks, acquiring single-title romance (paranormal, historical, romantic suspense, contemporary—and any combination thereof) for the Casablanca imprint and young adult fiction for the Fire imprint. In addition to editing, she has a wide array of experience in publicity, marketing, and website development from more than 10 years in the industry. Leah has worked with a number of best-selling authors across multiple genres and has a particular fondness for kickbutt heroines, ice cream of any kind, and Downton Abbey. In 2011, New York’s RWA chapter named her Editor of the Year.
Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, Harlequin’s digital-first single title imprint, is both an avid reader of digital books and a veteran of and advocate for the digital publishing industry. She has enjoyed a decade of experience in her field, including successfully launching, building and serving as executive editor for two digital-first presses, most recently Carina Press. As executive editor of Carina, she was profiled in Fast Company magazine as a digital pioneer in the romance publishing industry. Angela is the creator of the popular self-editing workshop for authors, Before You Hit Send. You can find her daily on Twitter.
NYTimes and USA Today Bestselling Author Darynda Jones has won numerous awards for her work, including a prestigious Golden Heart®, a Rebecca, two Hold Medallions, a RITA ®, and a Daphne du Maurier, and she has received stellar reviews from dozens of publications including starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and the Library Journal. As a born storyteller, Darynda grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike, and she is ever so grateful for the opportunity to carry on that tradition. She currently has two series with St. Martin’s Press: The Charley Davidson Series and the Darklight Trilogy. She lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as New Mexico, with her husband of almost 30 years and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys. She can be found at www.daryndajones.com.
New York Times bestselling author Dorien Kelly is author of nineteen novels and novellas in print, translated into eleven languages. First published in 2002, Dorien has won the Golden Heart and finaled in the RITA. She is also a past president of the Romance Writers of America.
Now editor in chief of the quickly growing Boroughs Publishing Group, Christopher Keeslar graduated from New York University in 1995 and immediately entered the publishing industry. He remained with his first employer, Dorchester Publishing, for over sixteen years, where he built a strong reputation for integrity, enthusiasm and commitment to producing great stories. He takes time to grow and groom authors rather than simply churn out product. In 2004, Chris was chosen to receive RWA PASIC’s national award for best editor, and this was followed several years later by a local award from the New York chapter of RWA. Keeslar’s personal preferences skew toward fantasy and science fiction–style romances, “paranormals” and urban fantasy, and toward medieval historicals, but Boroughs publishes and he enjoys a broad range of Romance.
An award-winning novelist with over 5 million books in print, Jane Porter is still a small town girl at heart, never feeling too far away from her roots in central California’s golden foothills, oak trees, and miles of farmland. Jane’s first published novel, The Italian Groom, sold to Harlequin Presents in 2000. Since then, Jane has published more than 40 classic romance and modern lit novels, including Flirting with Forty, She’s Gone Country, and The Good Woman, published by Berkley Trade in September 2012. Jane lives in San Clemente, California, with her surfer husband and three active sons. When she’s not on the beach or speaking to writers, she’s at her desk working on her next novel.
A lifelong reader, Pamela Spengler-Jaffee channels her passion for books into creating sweeping publicity and integrated marketing campaigns for Avon Books and Harper Voyager, HarperCollins’ powerful romance and sf/f genre imprints. As senior director of publicity, Pam is charged with concepting and implementing traditional, digital media and social network campaigns for single titles and series; creating branding strategies to build author awareness; and generating engaged consumer awareness at key trade and genre shows. Pam also helps spearhead Avon’s digital-first publishing imprint, Avon Impulse, and is currently working with her colleagues to expand the program to other imprints and divisions of HarperCollins.
Marlene Stringer founded Stringer Literary Agency in December 2008. Prior to this time she spent almost seven years with the Barbara Bova Literary Agency. Among her clients are authors Alex Bledsoe, Alyxandra Harvey, Bethany Wiggins, Erica Hayes, Michelle Diener, Andrea Thalasinos, Stephanie Thornton, Gabi Stevens, Beth Orsoff, Suzanne Johnson, Susannah Sandlin, YA author Shari Maurer, Liane Merciel, Geoffrey Wilson, MG authors Jen K Blom, and Randi Barrow, and some select nonfiction.
As a full service literary agency based in Naples, Florida, Marlene represents a wide range of commercial fiction in the areas of romance, mystery, thriller, fantasy, women’s fiction, YA and MG, historical and earth-based science fiction. She also reps select non-fiction. The Stringer Literary Agency website is www.stringerlit.com, on Twitter @marlenestringer, and on FB https://www.facebook.com/StringerLit .
Shiloh Walker has been writing since she was a kid. She fell in love with vampires with the book Bunnicula and has worked her way up to the more…ah…serious works of fiction. She loves reading and writing just about every kind of romance. Once upon a time she worked as a nurse, but now she writes full time and lives with her family in the Midwest. She writes romantic suspense and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy under the name J.C. Daniels.
By day Sarah Wendell is mild mannered and heavily caffeinated. By evening she dons her cranky costume, consumes yet more caffeine, and becomes Smart Bitch Sarah of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books. The site specializes in reviewing romance novels, examining the history and future of the genre, and bemoaning the enormous prevalence of bodacious pectorals adorning male cover models. Sarah is the author of the book Everything I Know About Love, I Learned from Romance Novels, published in 2011 by Sourcebooks, and co-author of Beyond Heaving Bosoms: the Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels, published in April 2009 by Touchstone Fireside.
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