Author: johnmcusick

Agent with Folio Jr., representing picture books, middle grade, young adult, and everything in between. Author of GIRL PARTS and CHERRY MONEY BABY. Mostly harmless.

Welcome New Client Sajidah Kutty

9vEV8jr1

Update: Check out this awesome piece by Sajidah on her quest to find an agent.

I’m so excited to welcome new client, Sajidah Kutty! Sajidah’s gorgeous and brilliant YA debut is called SAINTS, MISFITS, MONSTERS, AND MAYHEM, and I can’t wait for you all to read it. Welcome to the Folio family, Sajidah!

You can follow Sajidah at @sajidahwrites.

Happy Pub Day to Marina Cohen and THE INN BETWEEN!

Congrats to Marina on her awesome (and I do mean awesome– and spooky) middle-grade…

Inn Between cover

Order THE INN BETWEEN on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Check out Marina Cohen online and on twitter.

Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.

When Quinn’s best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara’s parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara’s family before it’s too late?

An Amazon Best Book of the Month Editor’s Choice Pick!

 

“Cohen’s emotionally gripping tale perfectly captures the essences of friendship and sibling love. Readers looking for a mystery with heart, humor, and hairy moments will be captivated.”―Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The well-placed narrative balances emotion and plot, and the strong underlying mysteries offer up plenty of clues for attentive readers to piece together. Quinn is a likable, authentically muddled young character, and occasional flashbacks to events surrounding her sister’s loss flesh out her guilt-ridden motivations without overtaking the story. Ultimately offering a happy resolution, this middle-grade supernatural story functions well as horror for beginners and a clever concept for fans of imaginative fiction.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“For readers who enjoy being scared silly, this will fit the bill while also providing them with a thought-provoking ending.”―Booklist

 

 

Happy Pub day to Sharon Biggs Waller & THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID!

Congrats to Sharon on her second amazing novel…

ForbiddenOrchid_Cover

* “Elodie and Ching Lan are feminists of their era, refusing to bend to the rules and limits placed before them.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “A historical romance with a strong female protagonist, sure to find fans.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“The characters are strong and full of life, and the plot combines the perfect amount of both adventure and romance. . . . This book is a must-have.”—VOYA

“Similar in tone to Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty (2003), this is a perfect read for timid teens who dream of adventure.”—Booklist

“Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read.”—Kirkus Reviews

The adventures of a British girl in China, hunting for the orchid that will save her family.

Staid, responsible Elodie Buchanan is the eldest of ten sisters growing up in a small English market town in 1861. The girls barely know their father, a plant hunter usually off adventuring through China, more myth than man. Then disaster strikes: Mr. Buchanan reneges on his contract to collect an extremely rare and valuable orchid. He will be thrown into debtors’ prison while his daughters are sent to the orphanage and the workhouse.

Elodie can’t stand by and see her family destroyed, so she persuades her father to return to China once more to try to hunt down the flower—only this time, despite everything she knows about her place in society, Elodie goes with him. She has never before left her village, but what starts as fear turns to wonder as she adapts to seafaring life aboard the tea clipper The Osprey, and later to the new sights, dangers, and romance of China. She comes to find that both the world and her place in it are so much bigger than she’d ever dreamed. But now, even if she can find the orchid, how can she ever go back to being the staid, responsible Elodie that everybody needs?

You can order THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (Viking Children’s Books) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads.

You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Images Inspiring Fiction

I’ve heard various artists say they’re often inspired by images. Most famously Ron Howard claims he draws inspiration for his movies from single still images and photographs.

On Tumblr today I stumbled across this painting by Edward Hopper, which was the initial inspiration for my book CHERRY MONEY BABY. Something about this woman (an usher?) alone, apart from whatever’s transpiring on stage / screen, lost in her own thoughts…it got me thinking about a young woman who feels tangential to someone else’s larger drama, a girl on the outside looking in, and I wanted to tell her story.

tumblr_o3a9223Hpv1qz6f9yo1_540.jpg

Fellow writers, are there pictures and images that inspire your stories? I’d be curious to hear about them (and see them).

Happy Pub Day to THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE!

Huge congrats and multi-person-jump-in-the-air-freeze-frame-high-fives to Tommy Wallach. His latest novel, THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE, pubs today!

Thanks for the Trouble Final Cover“Was this story written about me?”
I shrugged.
“Yes or no?”
I shrugged again, finally earning a little scowl, which somehow made the girl even more pretty.
“It’s very rude not to answer simple questions,” she said.
I gestured for my journal, but she still wouldn’t give it to me. So I took out my pen and wrote on my palm.
I can’t, I wrote. Then, in tiny letters below it: Now don’t you feel like a jerk?

Parker Santé hasn’t spoken a word in five years. While his classmates plan for bright futures, he skips school to hang out in hotels, killing time by watching the guests. But when he meets a silver-haired girl named Zelda Toth, a girl who claims to be quite a bit older than she looks, he’ll discover there just might be a few things left worth living for.

“Wallach (We All Looked Up) delivers well-rounded, witty characters—all contemplating whether living a full life is better than living a long one. Bittersweet moments intersect with the intricate fairy tales Parker writes, compelling readers to judge what is real and what is make-believe.” (Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW)

“An absorbing coming-of-age narrative about the power of connection.” (Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW)

“A unique and compelling tale. The narrator’s hilariously crass but poignant voice is sure to intrigue even the most reluctant of readers.” (School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW)

“This novel is a good read-alike for John Green fans.” (VOYA)

“Organic and well earned.” (The Horn Book)

Check out THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE on Goodreads, and order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.

You can also check Tommy’s New York Times best -selling WE ALL LOOKED UP on Goodreads. Order now at Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Indiebound.

Thanks for the Trouble Book Launch

It’s coming! To the Strand! February 22nd!

Come join Tommy, pal and fellow-author Adam Silvera, and a whole host of brilliant human beings at the book launch for Tommy’s second novel, THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE…

Thanks for the Trouble Final Cover

 

“Tommy Wallach, Brooklyn-based musician and author of the best-selling We All Looked Up, comes to the Strand for a night of stories and songs to celebrate his brand-new novel! Thanks for the Trouble is a story of first and last loves that blurs the line between real and make-believe. Tommy will be in the Rare Book Room to discuss the characters, the story, and how it all came together with Adam Silvera, fellow chart-topping author of More Happy Than Not.”

Check out the event page on the Strand’s website to get your “ticket” (a copy of THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE). I’ll see you there!

Happy Pub Day Michelle Modesto, REVENGE AND THE WILD!

Happy Book Birthday to Michelle Modesto’s totally, mind-blowingly awesome and unique, REVENGE AND THE WILD!

“This strong debut will delight fans of the genre” (Kirkus Reviews)

“Modesto’s genre-bending novel offers full-bodied romance and electrifying twists.” (Publishers Weekly)

“A page-turning, steampunk-esque Wild West adventure crawling with supernatural creatures.” (School Library Journal)

“A good match for reader who like their fights bloody and heroes unapologetically brash (Booklist)

RevengeAndtheWild_Cover

True Grit meets True Blood in this delightfully dark and fantastical Western perfect for fans of Gail Carriger, Cassandra Clare, and Holly Black. This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s just perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Seven years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

You can order REVENGE AND THE WILD (Balzer & Bray) at B&N, Amazon, and Indiebound, and review on Goodreads. You can also find Michelle on her website and on twitter.

February Reads!

Congrats to Sharon Biggs Waller, Tommy Wallach, and Michelle Modesto– all three are on this awesome list of Barnes & Noble’s 30 Most-Anticipated February Reads. 

Febmostanticipated.jpg

 

About the books and their authors:
You can pre-order Sharon Biggs Waller’s THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID (Viking) on Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, or check it out on Goodreads. You can also find Sharon at her website, on Facebook, and on twitter.

Check out Tommy Wallach’s THANKS FOR THE TROUBLE (Simon & Schuster) on Goodreads, and pre-order on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound. You can also check out WE ALL LOOKED UP on Goodreads. Order now at Barnes & NobleAmazon, or Indiebound.

And finally, you can pre-order Michelle Modesto’s amazing debut REVENGE AND THE WILD (Balzer & Bray) at B&N, Amazon, and Indiebound, and review on Goodreads. You can also find Michelle on her website and on twitter.

 

 

 

Congratulations Valynne Maetani, ALA Honor Winner!

10257706_10207311268233659_139249570128047634_n-1.jpg

Huge congratulations to the absurdly talented Valynne Maetani whose debut YA INK AND ASHES has won the ALA Asian/Pacific American Honor Award for Youth Literature!

23009011ValynneMaetani

Check out Ink and Ashes on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, and Amazon.

Check out Valynne Maetani on her website and twitter.