Signing with my agent was one of the best days of my life (right up there with graduating from college, getting married, having my Neaglets, etc) and it’s something I want you to experience as well. Before I get into all the things that give me grabby hands, allow me to introduce myself.
My name is Natasha, but most people on the interwebs call me Nat. Either one is fine. I am repped by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger, Inc. I’m happily married to my college sweetheart, have two amazing Neaglets (Evil Genius and Mini Me), two demented cats, and a 55-gallon tank full of Molly’s that seem to enjoy breeding like rabbits.
By trade, I am a teacher. I have a degree in Biology and a Master’s in Curriculum & Instruction. I taught middle school and high school Biology for almost ten years with a two-year break where I worked as an administrator (AKA Instructional Specialist), teaching teacher’s of all subjects (English included) how to write meaningful lessons that wouldn’t bore students to tears, while catering to all learning needs. I’ve enjoyed writing since childhood and always incorporated writing into my classroom. I hosted a writing club that met once a week to work with students that had novels they hoped to one day publish. I loved the teaching profession, but decided to leave it to pursue writing full-time.
What Am I Looking For?
NA & Adult
No YA or MG. Sorry folks, maybe next year.
The following will give me grabby hands and fill my heart with happiness.
The novels on our bookstore shelves do not represent the world. They never have. This is a problem.
Does your book feature LGBTQIA? GIMME.
I’m particularly interested in F/F because I have a harder time finding these relationships on the shelves in contemporary novels, but if you have any LGBTQIA characters represented in your novel, I WANTS IT.
Does your book feature POC? GIMME.
We don’t look the same and our books need to reflect this.
Does your book feature a physical or mental disability? GIMME.
These characters are missing from books. If you have them in your novels, I call dibs on your manuscript.
Thrillers and Mystery.
Any story that will make me wonder who dunnit. I love reading books where I refuse to stop reading because I have to know if the characters are going to get out of their current situation.
Life isn’t always pretty. It’s messy and complicated. Not every book should be about the perfect girl (or guy) and their perfect prep-school upbringing as they struggle to get the guy/girl of their dreams.
My teen years could make for one hell of a dark contemporary novel (don’t worry, the plot bunnies already attacked), but if you’ve written something like this, then I WANT IT.
Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Speculative Fiction/Magical Realism & Horror.
These will always be my first love. My first manuscript was a fantasy. I became hooked on reading fantasy and horror when I bought my first Christopher Pike book from the mall bookstore when I was 8.
I love novels that mix the real world with crazy supernatural elements.
Your Genre Not Listed?
That’s okay! If your novel is filled with the voice of quirky characters that will make me laugh, ugly cry, or feel ANY emotion, then GIMME. I’m not a huge historical fiction or a strict romance reader, but that doesn’t mean I won’t read them. Because I have. It makes me happy when books surprise me, and I love them. If your manuscript has any of the elements I mentioned above, definitely consider me. If you think I might be able to help you take your novel to the next level, consider me.
What Kind of CP Am I?:
I’ve CP’d for agented and unagented authors. I have a very analytical mind and pay attention to details. While I’m reading your manuscript, I will give it my undivided attention. My feedback will be honest, just like the feedback you will receive once the book is published. I always offer up suggestions when I find an error and turn things into teachable moments (the teacher in me will never die) or ask questions to make you think outside of the parameters of what you wrote. I look at each manuscript I read as if someone paid me to give them genuine feedback. There’s no sugar coating or ass-kissing here, but I’m not mean either.
If I don’t like something, I will tell you.
If I love something, I will tell you.
When I CP and beta manuscripts, I read them with the intent of making them spotless. I always preface my emails to people I CP and beta with the reminder that I am only one opinion and I’m always available to discuss my feedback. Just ask.
As your mentor, my goal is to make your manuscript as close to ready for sub as possible before you even query the first agent. That’s not an urban legend, it does happen. I know. Cause reasons.
I will help you edit your manuscript and point out the following:
- plot holes (especially if they are science related)
- Say you’ve convinced me that The Headless Horseman is real, don’t lose me in a plot hole because you don’t understand the physics behind gunshots and the explosion that happens when a tire is shot out (Yeah, Sleepy Hollow season finale, I’m talking about you).
- continuity issues
- passive voice
- filter words
- overused words/phrases
- words/phrases used too close together
- lacking voice/internal dialogue
Don’t Take My Word For It:
Nat’s brilliant feedback will help you see your words in a new light. But, most importantly, she’ll be your loudest cheerleader and biggest fan. You definitely want her in your corner when the going gets tough.
~Amanda Heger, Rep’d by Jessica Watterson, Dijkstra Literary Agency
As a CP, Nat has a great knack for spotting passive sentences as well as plot holes and big picture issues. She’s someone I can count on to be honest and real with me on what needs work, and she really knows her stuff. Her crits are da bomb diggity.
~Sonia Hartl, Rep’d by Rees Literary Agency