New in our series with literary agents and debut authors, we chat with Writer’s House agent Allie Levick, and her client Cameron Kelly Rosenblum, author of the Kirkus starred young adult novel, The Stepping Off Place. This novel is described by Booklist as, “Beautifully written examination not only of the sadness of grief, but the uncertainty it can bestow upon everything, from your relationship to others to the relationship with yourself.”
Allie and Cameron’s professional relationship is the star of this podcast. We’ll chat about how Cameron’s first page dazzled Allie, and how she knew it was special. The inspiration behind Cameron’s work and explore the inner workings of a highly effective professional relationship.
CAMERON KELLY ROSENBLUM grew up in Connecticut. She studied English literature at Kenyon College and earned a master’s in education at Lesley University. Throughout her teens and early twenties, she filled journal after journal with anecdotes and characters she met, knowing someday she’d draw from these pages to write her novels. Currently, Cameron is a children’s librarian living on the coast of Maine with her husband and two children. The Stepping Off Place is her first book. Visit her online at www.cameronrosenblum.com, on Twitter @ckellyrose, or on Instagram @ckellyrosebooks.
Alexandra Levick is a literary agent at Writers House where she is developing her picture book, middle grade, young adult, and adult lists. She represents a diverse list of creators whose styles range from literary to commercial, and just about everything in between.
Kirkus review says:
For six years Reid, 17, has warded off anxiety, social awkwardness, and the loss of her mother’s attention (her younger brother is autistic and her mother has thrown herself into fundraising for autism research) by hiding behind vibrant Hattie. But since Hattie summers on her affluent family’s private island in Maine, with unreliable cell service and no Wi-Fi, Reid hadn’t seen her in weeks when, days before the start of school, she learns that Hattie has drowned, and her death is likely a suicide. The storyline bounces back and forth between past and present to fill in details of Reid and Hattie’s relationship, including all Hattie deliberately hid from Reid—and quite a lot that Reid hid from Hattie. Reid always understood that her role in Hattie’s life involved not demanding answers or intimacy. At the same time, Hattie was central to Reid’s life, and learning to navigate each day without her seems impossible. Reid and Hattie are white and straight; other important characters are Asian, Latino, and gay. The large cast of characters, particularly the high school students, are well and sensitively drawn. The novel doesn’t glorify suicide or dwell on the details of Hattie’s death. Instead it explores loss, futility, honesty, and love, with a richness of prose and excellence of characterization rare in a first-time author.