Kate Brauning, Editor
Books she's looking for combine beautiful, razor-sharp writing with a high-concept plot and surprising, nuanced characters. High-tension romances, big personalities, deep emotional journeys, rural settings, sibling relationships, and ambitious characters will catch her attention. You can find more about Kate at www.katebrauning.com or find her on Twitter: @KateBrauning.
Sherry Briscoe, Screenwriter
Founder and President of the Idaho Screenwriters Association for over 13 years, Sherry grew up watching Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. Is it any wonder her stories are dark and mysterious with a hint of the supernatural? She has written and directed several short films that have been produced, and has a music video on YouTube she wrote and directed. Short films she’s worked on for the I48 Film Festival have won First Place and People’s Choice Awards. Her book Mists of Garibaldi: Tales of the Supernatural won first place in the mystery category of the Idaho Top Author Awards.
Tim Chizmar, Author
After graduating from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania with his Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, and obtaining his Master’s Degree in Demonology from Miskotonic University, Tim Chizmar has written for various magazines, newspapers and websites including Fangoria, First Comics News, Girls and Corpses, and many others. He has sold short stories to such collections as Chicken Soup for the Soul and has written various screenplays for Hollywood production companies. Tim has been a proud member of various writers’ organizations including the Los Angeles Chapter of the prestigious Horror Writers Association.
Aside from the darker topics, it has not all been a career of terror as his lighter credits to date include ABC, FOX, Showtime, Playboy, NBC, The Hallmark Channel, and many more. He has produced various pilots including in 2010 he developed a comedy/action series for CMT with wrestling superstar Rob Van Dam. As a headlining comedian Tim was a favorite at The World Famous Hollywood IMPROV, The Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, has toured all over the world playing sold-out casinos, clubs and colleges. To date he has worked with such standup legends as Jeff Foxworthy, Gabriel Iglesias, Jon Lovitz, Daniel Tosh, and many others.
When he’s not inspiring fellow writers by being on various panels such as San Diego Comic-Con, WonderCon, Scare LA, or speaking at Hollywood Success events, he's constantly working on his next project. Because for Tim Chizmar... There’s always a next project! After Tim had been successful enough to become a regular at red carpet premieres, he left all the glitz and glam behind in early 2017 for the mountains of Idaho as he completed his book. He always looks forward to having frank, honest, and engaging discussions on the business of the writing craft with his fellow writers. Tim’s advice to young writers is this… “Be inspired. Are you alive, or are you just breathing?”
Donna Cook, Author and Editor
Donna Cook is an author, book editor, speaker, and publisher. Her first novel, the epic fantasy adventure, Gift of the Phoenix, has won several awards, including First Place Fantasy in the North American Book Awards and Best New Idaho Author. She’s also published two series of contemporary romances under the pen name, Jordyn White, and expects to release another by the end of 2018.
Donna is a co-founder of the Idaho Editor and Writers Association, and specializes in developmental and substantive editing. She’s known for her thorough analysis and her ability to wrangle wayward plots into submission. As an author herself, she understands the skill and emotional fortitude it takes to bring a novel to completion, and can be cheerleader, comforter, or drill sergeant as required.
An Arizona native transplanted to Idaho, Donna has happily made Boise her home, except when the temperatures drop to single digits, in which case all bets are off. When she’s not writing her next novel, she spends her time chasing the kids, exploring delicious eateries downtown, and dancing with her talented husband. She’s a sun-worshipper, tea-devourer, and word-slaying ninja.
Learn about Donna’s books at DonnaCookAuthor.com and JordynWhiteBooks.com, or go to DonnaCookEditor.com for information about her editing services.
Jessie Devine, Agent, D4EO Literary Agency
After interning with Kate Brauning at Entangled Publishing, Jessie joined the D4EO team as an agency intern. He has since been promoted to associate agent. Under the mentorship of the brilliant Pam Victorio, Jessie is just starting to actively build his list with YA and MG titles.
From Jessie: My favorite fantasy stories are alive in immersive, multi-layered worlds that feel real. They are fresh, breaking away from traditional Western tropes and archetypes. Sci-fi should be narrowly focused for me. I want laser clarity, high technology, and a ticking clock. I like historical that could be described as charming. Settings should be well-researched and powerful. I’m most interested in places and time periods that haven’t been done to death. In contemporary, I’m interested in looking at anything from issue books to fluff pieces as long as the voice is killer. I’m especially interested in contemporary featuring competition as a driving factor.
Across the board, I’m looking for active, complex, and diverse characters, high stakes, and an emotional punch. Bonus points for forbidden romance and sex positivity in YA. I’m not interested in stories about sexual assault, tragic queer characters, or racism. Finally, I want books by marginalized creators. Ownvoices is great, but most importantly, I want to represent a diverse group of authors.
Cynthia Hand, Author
Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the Unearthly trilogy, The Last Time We Say Goodbye, My Lady Jane (with fellow authors Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows), The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and the upcoming novels My Plain Jane (also with Ashton and Meadows) and What I Want to Know. Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, with two cats, two kids, and an entourage of imaginary friends.
Rosie Jonker, Agent, Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency
As an Associate Agent at Ann Rittenberg Literary Agency, I’ve been building my own list while handling foreign rights and contracts for the agency.
In thrillers, I look for strongly written female leads who don't fall prey to cliche. I want genuinely spine-tingling, keep-you-up-all-night books with well-crafted plots. I love anything with a Southern Gothic flavor, and anything with a strong sense of place. In women's fiction, I look for nuanced portrayals of female friendship and family dynamics. I particularly want to see books about women whose stories haven't been told yet, including thoughtful treatments of characters with marginalized identities. Finally, I'd love to see nonfiction that focuses on odd or obscure subcultures, or on untold stories from history.
I’m not currently looking for: children’s or YA, romance, self-help, poetry, or screenplays.
Recently, I sold Matt Kracht's THE FIELD GUIDE TO DUMB BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA, based on the eponymous blog, to Chronicle.
Mike Lawson, Author
Mike Lawson is the award-winning author of fifteen novels published by Doubleday, Penguin, and Grove Atlantic. He has been nominated for the Barry Award five times and has twice won the Portland-based Friends of Mystery Award. The twelve books in his Joe DeMarco political thriller series revolve around a character who is essentially a fixer for a semi-corrupt politician. The first of the three books in his Kay Hamilton series, titled Rosarito Beach, involving a rogue DEA agent, was optioned for television. Prior to turning to writing full time, Mike was a nuclear engineer employed by the Navy and he lives in the Northwest.
Kurt Orzeck, Digital Media Specialist
Kurt Orzeck is a nationally recognized senior editor, writer and Web content specialist with more than 20 years of experience at media companies encompassing international conglomerates, online startups and independently owned businesses. His 3,000-plus writing credits include cover stories, artist interviews, features, reviews, games and columns published on RollingStone.com, New York Magazine, Reuters, Alternative Press, FLOOD, Filter, Thrasher, The Big Takeover, Soma, Venice, Drowned in Sound and many more publications.
Sarah Phair, Agent, Trident Media Group
Sarah Phair began her career in publishing at Trident Media Group four years ago after completing her M.A. in Literature. She spent two years learning from and assisting two domestic agents before being promoted to Audio Agent. In that position, Sarah negotiated deals with audio publishers for Trident authors. Her next promotion was as a sales agent in Trident’s Foreign Rights Department. In this position, Sarah contacted editors at publishers around the globe to offer the works of Trident authors and negotiate deals on their behalf. In July 2016 Sarah began building her own client list. She is interested in upmarket and commercial women’s fiction, literary fiction, and narrative non-fiction. She is most attracted to stories that are emotionally complex, thoughtfully plotted, and explore different aspects of lesser known experiences.
Colleen M. Story, Author
Colleen M. Story is on a mission to inspire people from all walks of life to overcome modern-day challenges and find creative fulfillment. Her latest release, Overwhelmed Writer Rescue, is full of practical, personalized solutions to help writers and other creative artists escape the tyranny of the to-do list and nurture the genius within.
With over 20 years as a professional in the creative industry, Colleen has authored thousands of articles for publications like “Healthline” and “Women's Health;” worked with high-profile clients like Gerber Baby Products and Kellogg's; and ghostwritten books on back pain, nutrition, and cancer recovery. Her literary novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews' INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, an Idaho Author Awards first place winner, and New Apple Solo Medalist winner, among others.
Colleen frequently serves as a workshop leader and motivational speaker, where she helps attendees remove mental and emotional blocks and tap into their unique creative powers. Find more at her motivational site, Writing and Wellness, and on her author website, or follow her on Twitter.
Nikki Terpilowski, Founder/Senior Agent, Holloway Literary
Based in Raleigh, NC and established in 2011, Holloway Literary is a full-service agency that represents writers in romance, women’s and southern fiction, mystery, thriller, historical, literary, science fiction and select young adult.
After receiving a B.A. in English, Nikki worked in the marketing communications field for several years as a writer and editor for civilian and government clients. Deciding she wanted to align her professional career with her lifelong passion for reading and writing, she interned at the Elaine English Agency based in Washington, DC, and then moved into literary management, representing a small group of women’s fiction and romance writers, that has expanded to include a list of YA, literary, historical, southern, mystery and thriller authors.
Ingrid Thoft, Author
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Ingrid Thoft is the author of the critically acclaimed Fina Ludlow series. In LOYALTY, IDENTITY, BRUTALITY, and DUPLICITY, the Boston private investigator tangles with the city’s criminal element and her family of personal injury attorneys. The series has been called “dazzling” by Publishers Weekly and “modern noir...[with] a new generation kick-ass heroine” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. BRUTALITY won the Shamus Award for Best Private Investigator Novel awarded by the Private Eye Writers of America. LOYALTY was nominated for the Shamus Award for best debut P.I. novel and received the Spotted Owl Award for best debut mystery by a Pacific Northwest writer. In her quest to create a believable private investigator character, Ingrid earned a certificate in private investigation from the University of Washington and is also a graduate of Wellesley College. A member of the popular Jungle Red Writers blog, she lives in Seattle with her husband and participates in Seattle7Writers, a collective of Pacific Northwest authors whose mission is to foster and support passion for the written word. Ingrid is currently at work on a standalone novel of suspense.
Jodi Thomas, Author
With millions of books in print, Jodi Thomas is both a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 45 novels and 14 short story collections. Her stories travel through the past and present days of Texas and draw readers from around the world. In July 2006, Jodi was the 11th writer to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. With five RITA’s to her credit, along with National Readers’ Choice Awards and Booksellers’ Best Awards, Thomas has proven her skill as a master storyteller. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, Thomas enjoys interacting with students at West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence. When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, renovating an historic home, and “checking up” on their grown sons and four grandchildren.
Mackenzie Walton, Editor
Four years into pursuing a B.A. in archaeology, Mackenzie Walton had an epiphany: she didn't like getting her hands dirty, and she enjoyed editing for the university's student publications more than anything else. After a quick panic attack, she decided to follow her heart and go into publishing. Since starting her professional career in 2007, Mackenzie has edited a number of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, and most recently joined Carina Press as a freelance editor in 2016.
She is open to great books in any romance genre, but is particularly eager for LGBTQ, paranormal, contemporary, erotic, and historical in any time period/setting, as well as urban fantasy and mystery. She especially loves reading diverse casts, opposites-attract couples, intricate world-building, and strong, authentic dialogue with distinct character voices.
You can follow Mackenzie on Twitter @mackenziewalton.