Another Hook, Line & Sinker Success Story!

Interview courtesy of Kat Ellis.  :)
Another Hook, Line & Sinker success story? HELLZ YES.

I am so excited to announce that Pat Esden has signed with Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates! Pat's entry for MOONHILL got a lot of agenty attention in the contest, so I'm over the moon (and not at all surprised!) that she is now officially an agented author.


Of course, I immediately asked Pat for the lowdown...

First of all, please tell us what MOONHILL is about.

MOONHILL is a YA contemporary gothic tale about Anie Freemont, a seventeen-year-old antique dealer. Anie’s never believed the stories her father told about their ancestral home, Moonhill. Mystical rings which eat souls, genies in jars . . . she figured the frightening tales were simply another of her antique-dealing papa’s eccentricities. That is, until he’s diagnosed with dementia and a court order forces her to take him back to Moonhill and the estranged family they fled when she was three years old.

All Anie wants is to help her father get stabilized so they can leave as fast as possible. But from the moment they arrive, she’s isolated from him by their family. She notices disturbing things too, including human-shaped shadows in Moonhill’s gallery and a witch’s pentagram under her bed. When her father turns violent and Anie discovers he’s not seeing a doctor like she was told, the deceit leads her to a decade-old mystery surrounding her mother’s death in Moonhill’s graveyard. A mystery she must unravel if she wants to help her father.

But to separate truth from tale, Anie will have to use all the tricks she learned while dealing antiques with Papa to outwit a family who prefers to keep her in the dark—and an entity which is far different than the Christian demon she first suspects. If she fails, Papa will end up institutionalized for life--and she may never escape Moonhill, unless it's in a body bag like her mother.

Who or what inspired you to write it?

It was Johnny Depp and our shared love for the old TV series Dark Shadows.

When I heard he was working with Tim Burton on a remake, it struck me that having fun and creating something you’ve always wanted to try was important to me as well. However, I didn’t have the desire to create a campy remake of Dark Shadows. I wanted to write a gothic novel which had an atmosphere reminiscent of the show and to that of the classic mid-century gothic novels written by Phyllis Whitney, Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt—but with an updated flare and sizzle to make it appealing to the modern teen reader. 

What made you decide to enter Hook, Line & Sinker?

In August I sent out queries to agents who had read previous manuscripts of mine and asked to look at future works, and to several who specifically liked gothic. While I was waiting to hear back from them, I was also working on an under seventy-five word pitch for Authoresses’ upcoming Baker’s Dozen contest. When I saw HLandS required a pitch that was under sixty words, I thought I couldn’t do it. But it was a challenge I couldn’t resist. Once I got the pitch where I wanted it, I was pretty much compelled to enter—and I had never queried any of the agents in the HLandS contest.

When Pooja made her offer of representation, how did The Call happen?

Like I said, I’d queried other manuscripts. I’d waited over a year to hear back from agents and up to nine months on several occasions. Pooja totally caught me off guard.  When the last round of the contest went live, she quickly requested fifty pages and a synopsis. A few hours later, I received an energetic request for a full. Less than twenty-four hours after that, she emailed me an offer of representation and asked if I’d like to chat on the phone. It was an amazing relief to receive the offer before “The Call”. It also made it easier to judge what a normal working relationship with Pooja would be like, instead of worrying about whether I get an offer or not.

What's next for you?

Pooja has several new clients, so I’m planning on working on a new project until she’s had a chance to go through MOONHILL and get back to me with revision suggestions.

Actually, I think learning to balance working on several projects at once is going to be my biggest writing challenge over the months to come.

Thank you so much for hosting the YA portion of the HLandS contest.  It was an amazing and life changing few weeks for me.


Brilliant answers, right?? Make sure you follow Pat for more news about MOONHILL!

On twitter: @PatEsden

People who leave comments are winners. FACT.


  1. I love these stories, they fill me with hope for when I get my MS done :) Congrats to Pat and kudos to Pooja.

  2. This is a wonderful story to start the day with, Pat! Congratulations! You had me at antique-dealing teenager. Seriously.

  3. Congratulations! So exciting! This story sounds great.

  4. What a fantastic interview, and it's so nice of you to celebrate your friends' successes! I love that you asked some good, meaty questions (like the one about what the call was like). I always love to read stories like this. Sounds like a great agent-client match.

  5. Very happy for Pat, and glad to read the low-down. :)

  6. Congratulations! That's very exciting news, and your story sounds really fascinating.


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