Since the summer, literary agent Paula Munier has been working hard to pitch my new novel to traditional publishers based in New York City. Publishing is always a long process. And yet this past year has proved extra hard as editors are working from home while also juggling so many other responsibilities like everyone else during a global pandemic.

But Paula is a senior agent at Talcott Notch Literary, a veteran agency that has an impressive list of bestsellers with the New York TimesWall Street JournalUSA Today and Amazon. She has worked at Talcott since 2012 and is also a USA Today-bestselling author of the Mercy Carr Mystery series.

Not surprisingly, Paula has already received numerous bites for REAL GIRL from well-known editors who are currently reading my full science fiction thriller about a lifelike robot who tries to escape from an augmented reality competition where people can hunt and kill her for sport. One editor Paula pitched recently requested a synopsis—one of the hardest materials to write. Like a good movie trailer, synopses must distill hundreds of pages down to just one or two that make people want to learn more.

Thanks to the help of publishing expert Jane Friedman, I submitted a powerful synopsis of my main plot and characters that Jane edited through her professional consulting services. Jane was the second editor I hired to review my materials for REAL GIRL. I also received some incredible feedback from a professional developmental editor with Writer’s Digest 2nd Draft critique service. The editor assessed my full manuscript, which he described as “Ex Machina/Blade Runner atmospheric science fiction with a Pygmalion twist.”

“This is one of the best unpublished manuscripts I have ever read,” that editor wrote. “This is a science-fiction novel with a lot of heart in addition to the action. It has a strong female character and a man who becomes a better person as a result of his relationship with her—even though she isn’t a ‘real girl.’ This should appeal to everyone who enjoyed Ready Player One plus those who enjoy a coherent future world populated with empathetic and realistic characters.”

Working with these professional editors and a literary agent like Paula is a dream come true for me. Fingers crossed that 2021 proves to be the year we sell REAL GIRL to a publishing house!