Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
About the Book:
Title: THIS RAGING LIGHT
Author: Estelle Laure
Release Date: December 22nd, 2015
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
“A funny, poetic, big-hearted reminder that life can—and will—take us all by surprise.” —Jennifer E. Smith, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.
Estelle Laure is a Vonnegut worshipper who believes in love and magic and the power of facing hard truths. She has a BA in Theater Arts from New Mexico State University and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and thinks everyone should have to wait tables or work in a kitchen at least once in their lives. She lives in Taos, New Mexico with her children.
PLEASE WELCOME ESTELLE
Five Tips From Literary Agency Insider and Author of This Raging Light, Estelle Laure
Working at a literary agency is like being a waitress and eating in a restaurant simultaneously. You know how important tips are, you know if you’re horrible service will be affected, and you know they’ll remember if you were nice the next time you come in, so you’re on your best behavior. Also, you’re eating delicious food. Wait, maybe it’s not a perfect metaphor.
What I mean is that working for an agency, you get to see the business end of things, sift through queries, learn what editors and agents are looking for, what the market is doing, and be part of the exciting process of what happens from receipt of the query letter to the printing of the story and everything that comes after.
I was lucky enough to understand that my agent knew best when it came to the editing process, that she knew best about who to submit to, how to structure the deals, and I know that she will always have my back, armed with years and years of irreplaceable knowledge and wisdom. I was lucky enough to have a really good agent from the get-go.
So I believe the first step is to get that really good agent. If you have that and your work is up to par and filling something missing in the market, you’re off to an excellent start. Beyond that, I have gathered some agency intel and I’m here to pass it along to you. (Please note that these are my personal bits of advice and have nothing whatsoever to do with my employers):
- Sound professional in your query letter. Keep it short and sweet, and never ever apologize for not having published before. Agents will tell you whether or not they’re interested in publishing a debut, and if they are, you need not mention it, but please do mention anything professionally relevant.
- Don’t rush. Some manuscripts come in and I think, if they would have given themselves a little more time, they would have been incredible. You usually only get one chance with an agent, so be your own harshest critic before you send in a sample.
- In my experience, upmarket is most coveted, meaning the story has both a plot and some decent writing, so go for that. Some stories are full of gorgeous writing but fifty pages in, nothing has happened. And sometimes it’s all plot and action and the writing is dull. Intersect the two if you can.
- This is a collaboration between art and business. Best not to be too precious about your work. Have boundaries but be malleable too.
- Mostly and most importantly: do not be a pain in the ass. Do not be a pain in the ass. Do not be a pain in the ass. If your agent is good, they’re thinking about you all the time, and strategies to make the most of your career. They have more than one client. Your editor does too. So be professional but not needy and (OMG) don’t be entitled. That’s the worst. I have to remind myself of this whenever my fragile writer ego gets its knickers in a bunch. Your agent’s inbox fills up overnight, every night, and every single day is an exercise in rigorous time management. So, you know, like I said, don’t be a pain in the ass!
3 winners will receive a hardcover of THIS RAGING LIGHT and a bottle of Essie Nail Polish that matched the book cover. US Only.