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New Client Alert: Savannah Mandel

Name: Savannah Mandel
What you Write: Non-Fiction
Agent: James McGowan


Why BookEnds? Why not?! I could tell from the moment I found the BookEnds Youtube Channel that working with them would be a dream come true. Everyone who’s appeared on the channel seemed warm, welcoming, and super knowledgeable about both the publishing and writing process. 

What book do you wish you had written, and why? Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I remember when I first read that book, I felt strangely jealous after I closed the cover for the final time. I’m used to feeling angry at an author (“why did you kill off my favorite character?!”) and I’m used to admiring them (“that was soooo good!!!”) but jealous? It was weird, but I wished I had come up with the plot idea myself. It was just so unique and unreproducible and magnificently done. In a sense he had capitalized on a subtle form of science fiction that would be difficult to match.

If you’re not reading or writing, what would we catch you doing?  I think my hobby is having hobbies. I always have my hands busy with art projects, embroidery, yoga, and video games. 

Where can readers find you on the web and social media? 

Website: https://www.savannahmandel.com/

Twitter: @thespacesav

Instagram: @savthespaceanthropologist

What’s the last book you read? The last fiction book I read was Ariadne by Jennifer Saint (I’ve been on a major magical realism/mythology kick) and the last non-fiction book was I’ll Take Your Questions Now by Stephanie Grisham.

If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location? I’m torn between taking a very Fitzgerald approach to writing on the move while touring the Mediterranean or simply curling up in front of a roaring fireplace at a woodsy cabin retreat!

What’s your favorite piece of writing advice you’ve received? There’s a couple of key pieces of advice that I’ve got burned into my head. The first, (shoutout to my 6th grade teacher!) is the easiest: eliminate as many helping verbs from your vocabulary as possible. That teacher went as far as to make us memorize all helping verbs to the tune of “jingle bells” to make this task easier for us. Second, the first manuscript is probably not going to be “the manuscript”. This is a hard pill to swallow but so true, and here I am with three manuscripts in the trash finally finding my way! The last piece of advice is to read A LOT and specifically in the genre you’re writing. Consider it research. If you’re writing romance, read romance. If you’re writing a book about space, read books about space!

What advice would you give to other authors in the query trenches? Take your time with things and listen to beta readers. Feedback is crucial (even if you don’t agree with it!) and you can’t rush a masterpiece.

How did you know your book was ready to submit? Gosh, my submission story is a little embarrassing and definitely unique! I didn’t think my book proposal was complete at all. In fact, I barely had an outline. My query wasn’t even a query! I simply reached out to Jessica Faust for advice on the process of developing a book proposal on my topic and before I knew it she had sent James McGowan my way. The two of us connected and the rest is history! I don’t recommend this route to anyone, and if you’re a fiction author you should ALWAYS have a completed (and edited manuscript) before querying, it just so happened that in my case James was looking to represent the exact non-fiction book I wanted to write! 

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