Category: Interviews


Author – Daniel Swenson

One of the great things about being a published author is the ability to promote fellow stable mates from your publisher. Today I’m showcasing Daniel Swenson who’s debut novel ‘The Shadow Above The Flames’ was released on June 6th 2017. So, without further ado here are Daniel’s details.

Daniel Swenson lives with his wife and children in Utah, nestled between the foothills of the mountains and the shore of Utah Lake. He and his family enjoy hiking, riding bikes, playing outdoors and game nights where they play different board and card games.

Daniel has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy since he first sat down and watched Star Wars, Voltron, Masters of the Universe and the Transformers. Since witnessing the spectacle of Star Wars, Daniel has been an avid movie goer. He found his love of reading at a young age when he journeyed in the lands of Krynn and Toril alongside the creations of R.A. Salvatore, Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.

He is the creator and host of the Hugo-nominated podcast Dungeon Crawlers Radio, a successful podcast that covers all things geek including interviews with upcoming and best selling authors. Because of the show, Daniel has been able to build relationships among the writing and publishing community that has helped to cultivate his talents.

For the past twenty years he has been refining his craft of story telling by creating profound and unique adventures for various gaming groups. Now he spreads his love of gaming with his kids and their friends.

His debut novel, “The Shadow Above The Flames,” was released by Immortal Works on June 6th 2017. He will also have a short story, “Tremors Within The Storm,” that will be included in Jason King’s Valcoria Awakenings anthology later in 2017.

How do you save the world from two monstrous entities? A power-hungry corporation and a newly awakened dragon…

In a world left reeling at the loss of fossil fuels, and after giving years of service to the military, Henry Morgan just wants a normal life. But between nagging feelings from his past and a strained relationship with his brother Rick, “normality” always feels just out of reach.

The Union Forest Corporation puts profits ahead of safety and with a dragon on the loose threatening to kill innocent people, something incredible happens…

Henry learns that Rick is among the force of elite commandos sent by Union Forest to battle against the dragon at the drilling site, he’s forced back into the roles of soldier and protective older sibling. He’ll do anything he can to save his brother . . . including risking his own life at the hands of a ruthless corporation. Henry may be the only person who can keep the world safe from total annihilation…

If you like fast-paced thrillers, brutal dragons, witty heroes, and evil villains, then you’ll love Daniel Swenson’s first novel – The Shadow Above The Flames. It’s a high octane thrill ride!

Contact details for Daniel:

Twitter: @DanielSwenson77
Facebook: AuthorDanielSwenson
Instagram: DanielSwenson77



Today I am very pleased to introduce Mark Gottleib from the Trident Media Group literary agency. Mark represents a friend of mine, Andrew Buckley.  Below is a short bio and the ten questions I set.  I hope you enjoy this insight.

Mark Gottlieb attended Emerson College and was President of its Publishing Club, establishing the Wilde Press. After graduating with a degree in writing, literature & publishing, he began his career with Penguin’s VP. Mark’s first position at Publishers Marketplace’s #1-ranked literary agency, Trident Media Group, was in foreign rights. Mark was EA to Trident’s Chairman and ran the Audio Department.

Mark is currently working with his own client list, helping to manage and grow author careers with the unique resources available to Trident. He has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on in Overall Deals and other categories.


1. Why did you become a literary agent?

Unlike many people who choose book publishing as somewhat of an accidental profession, it was always expected of me that I would one day work at Trident Media Group, a family-owned and operated literary agency. I think it comes as a comfort to many of my clients that I’m not leaving the literary agency, nor book publishing anytime soon. Anyway, you could say I was sort of groomed for the position at a young age. That’s why I chose Emerson College in Boston, as they were one of the only schools at the time offering an undergraduate study in publishing. My company bio expresses my professional journey from my time at Emerson College, onward.

2. What do you not like to see in a query?

There are many mistakes that I’ve seen in query letters, but I will name just a few that would absolutely deter me from requesting the manuscript from an author.

-Submitting queries for novellas, short story collections, poetry or textbooks will usually turn a literary agent off, as most literary agents do not represent such things. Publishers tend not to buy from literary agents in those areas in the first place.

-Word count is also very important. Traditional book length is 80-120K, and commercial fiction tends to be in the 80-90K-word range. Going outside of normal book-length will not produce good results for an author querying a literary agent for a shot at going into major trade publishing.

-Writing within struggling genres such as cozy mysteries, erotica, or urban fantasy is also another way to turn a literary agent off in the querying process. We tend to be weary of that at Trident Media Group.

3. Do you always read the attached material?

Our query letter submission policies, listed on our website’s submission/contact us page, first dictate that the author must send us a query letter, only. If the letter appeals to us, we will then request a manuscript:

4. How many queries do you receive in a week and of those how many, would you say, result in a request for material?

I receive hundreds of query letters per week, but I give each letter its due. Of those letters, I might request only a few on a slow week, maybe several on a week where there’s a big influx of query letters. If you think about it, that’s very good odds of getting your material read, since most of what’s submitted is simply unpublishable. If the material speaks to me, then I’m quick to read and offer representation from there. Of course getting published is an entirely different matter, although representation through the Trident Media Group literary agency certainly increases an author’s odds of getting published.

5. How hands on, editorially, are you with your clients?

If interested in a manuscript, I tend to offer representation upfront, with the expectation that an author will remain open to editorial discussion, if need be. Every manuscript is different; I have read manuscripts that read very tightly and needed few if any editorial comments from me. In those instances I might provide just a few bulleted points or so for the author to keep in mind. In other instances I have written ten or twelve-page editorial letters. While that may seem like overkill, it expresses my firm belief in an author’s career growth.

6. What is on your wish list at the moment?

An ideal project would carry an important social message or moral to the story, and while not only being beautifully written, it should be accessible or have some aspects of commercialism to the writing, even if it is literary fiction. We represent all genres, generally excluding poetry, short stories, novellas, and textbooks. We are always seeing a high demand for commercial fiction, genre fiction, thrillers, women’s fiction, romance, YA, literary/general fiction, high-end nonfiction and health books written by authors with major platforms in the areas of history/politics/current affairs, business books and celebrity nonfiction.

7. What qualities would your perfect client possess?

The ideal client should be patient, since book publishing can be a slow process, but at the same time they should be curious about the book publishing process, and how their role fits into it/how they can help as a central figure in the success of a book’s publication. An ideal project would carry an important social message or moral to the story, and while not only being beautifully written, it should be accessible or have some aspects of commercialism to the writing, even if it is literary fiction. I also look for authors that have good writing credentials such as experience with writing workshops, conferences, or smaller publications in respected literary magazines. Having awards, bestseller status, a strong online presence/platform, or pre-publication blurbs in-hand for one’s manuscript is also very promising in the eyes of a literary agent.

8. If you could interview a favorite character, who would it be and why?

I think that the protagonist of Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN, an unnamed African American man who considers himself socially invisible, would have loved to see the day where a black man walked on the bare Moon. I’d throw a party with him in space on the white face of the Moon and get to know him there. I would invite all of the heroes of jazz and blues, especially the ones who were popular in the days of Ralph Ellison. I’d probably invite the poet Langston Hughes, as well as the biggest names of the Harlem Renaissance. We’d all have crazy spacey costumes, so the party would resemble the French silent film director Georges Méliès’s “A Trip to the Moon” (the 1933 hand-colored version of the film print, rather than the 1902 black and white version).

9. Favorite food or drink while reading queries and manuscripts?

I usually get most of my reading done over the weekend, laying down on my couch with a pot of coffee.

10. Favorite book and/or movie?

My favorite book is Ralph Ellison’s INVISIBLE MAN as it helped me through a difficult time in my life and made me feel as though I had a friend in that book.

Andrew’s thoughts on Mark:

When Sam and Frodo needed to get through the Dead Marshes, they needed Gollum. Captain Jack Sparrow has that magical compass thing. A certain young wizard has a magical map for marauding. Luke Skywalker had Obi-Wan. Arthur Dent had a very informative book that encouraged people not to panic. That’s what an agent, a good agent, represents for an author. It’s great to have someone in your corner who is willing to represent your work and help navigate the murky publishing landscape. Mark Gottlieb is my Obi-Wan/Gollum/Compass/Map/Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy when it comes to the publishing world. And he’s exceptionally good at his job!

God’s Play by H.D. Lynn – Blog Tour

cover1000God’s Play, by H.D. Lynn

Genre: young-adult, urban-fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Date of Release­­: September 18, 2014

Cover Artist: Alexandria Thompson


The review tour is scheduled for 10.06.14 – 10.17.14; excluding weekends. If you’re interested in participating, please sign up here:


Sixteen-year old Toby was trained by a family of hunters to kill shape-shifters — but he has a unique weapon in his arsenal. With a touch of his hand, Toby can lift the magical protection shape-shifters use to disguise themselves as human. It’s an unusual skill for a hunter, and he prefers to kill monsters the old-fashioned way: with a blade.

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Crown Of Ice by Vicki Weavil – Blog Tour

Crown-of-ice-CoverABOUT CROWN OF ICE:

Title: Crown of Ice

Publication date: September 9, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Vicki L. Weavil

Thyra Winther’s seventeen, the Snow Queen, and immortal, but if she can’t reassemble a shattered enchanted mirror by her eighteenth birthday she’s doomed to spend eternity as a wraith.

Armed with magic granted by a ruthless wizard, Thyra schemes to survive with her mind and body intact. Unencumbered by kindness, she kidnaps local boy Kai Thorsen, whose mathematical skills rival her own. Two logical minds, Thyra calculates, are better than one. With time rapidly melting away she needs all the help she can steal.

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Avian by Nicole Conway – Blog Tour


Title: Avian (The Dragonrider Chronicles #2)

Publication date: August 26, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Nicole Conway

What kind of power is lurking inside him?

After a year of training to become a dragonrider, Jaevid Broadfeather has been sent home to rest during a three-month interlude. But when he returns to find the king drake has chosen Beckah Derrick as his new rider, Jaevid realizes something big is about to happen. Every fiber of his being is pushed to the breaking point as Jaevid battles through his avian year, preparing for the final graduation test of the battle scenario. But there is more standing in his way than a few pushups and fancy sword moves.

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Queries That Hooked An Agent #3 – Jeffrey Nicholas – SAM VALE: PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR

jeffnicholasOur third query comes from Jeffrey Nichols author of SAM VALE: PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR.

Jeffrey writes books for children and their parents…and believes there’s less distinction between the two than most people think. He enjoys reading books of all genres, from children’s fantasies to hard-boiled mysteries. Some of his favorite non-literary things are good coffee, bad-for-you desserts, old Nintendo games, and new TV shows. He lives in NJ with his wife & best friend. They met at Rowan University, where they each earned a couple of degrees. He’s represented by Sarah Negovetich of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.


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Author Interview – Alisse Lee Goldenburg

AlisseAlisse Lee Goldenberg is an author of Horror and Young Adult fantasy fiction. She has her Bachelors of Education and a Fine Arts degree, and has studied fantasy and folk lore since she was a child. Alisse lives in Toronto with her husband Brian, their triplets Joseph, Phillip, and Hailey, and their rambunctious Goldendoodle Sebastian.





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Author Interview – R. L. Drembric

drembicR.L. Drembic has loved reading from an early age. It wasn’t until shortly after high school that he got the idea for a book of his own. Inspired by a friend’s courage to try and get her own novel published, Drembic began writing and has continued through his college career. Drembic has plans for a dozen more books and hopes for a chance to share these adventures with avid readers everywhere.



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Jennie Goloboy Of The Red Sofa Literary Agency

Our next agent is the wonderful Jennie Goloboy from the Red Sofa Literary Agency.  Below is her bio and the ten questions I set for her.  Enjoy 🙂

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Queries That Hooked An Agent #2 – Peggy Eddleman – SKY JUMPERS

Peggy Eddleman for blogThe second query in our series comes from the amazing Peggy Eddleman, author of SKY JUMPERS (published by Random House).  Peggy is represented by Sara Crowe from the Harvey Klinger Literary Agency.  Peggy Eddleman lives at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Utah with her husband and their three kids. She enjoys painting, playing games with her family (especially laser tag), and of course, reading.

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