The HSW Literary Agency



Mary Jennifer Payne

Mary Jennifer Payne was born in Kingston, Ontario. She studied English and History at Queen’s University, and holds a Master of Arts degree as well as her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. Her writing has been published in journals, anthologies, and magazines in both Canada and abroad. Her graphic novels for young adults, Most Valuable Player, Friends or Enemies, Lion of Africa and Dog Disaster, are a part of the Boldprint Graphic series, which was awarded the 2010 Texty Award from the Text and Academic Authors’ Association and the 2011 Teachers’ Choice Award for Children’s Books.

Mary Jennifer is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers’ Summer Workshop in Creative Writing where she was mentored by the award-winning, young adult writer Marsha Skrypuch.

Since You’ve Been Gone is her first full-length, young adult novel, and it was written with generous support from both the Toronto and Ontario Arts Councils.

Works on Offer:

Since You’ve Been Gone

Fifteen-year-old Edie Fraser and her mother, Sydney, are on the run again, trying to make a new life for themselves. This time they’ve ended up in London, England. For Edie it’s the beginning of a new academic year in another unfamiliar school. Things weren’t always like this.

Seven years ago, Edie’s childhood in a middle-class, Toronto suburb appeared perfect to anyone who didn’t know the family secret. Her father, a successful and respected psychologist with the Toronto police, had a penchant for good scotch, great hockey and abusing his wife. When his temper turned on Edie, Sydney was compelled to run, but James Fraser has continued to use every resource at his disposal to find them. He simply won’t let them go. Deep down, Edie blames herself for what’s happened in their lives and fears that she’s inherited some of her father’s uncontrollable rage.

Now things have gone from bad to worse. Not only is she in a new school; Edie’s in an entirely new country. And, as she discovers all too quickly, some of the students and teachers in her new school are less than welcoming. Though her mother promises that the situation will get better, especially now that she’s secured a job in central London, Edie is still skeptical. Then Sydney suddenly disappears and Edie faces the most difficult challenge of her life…

Since You’ve Been Gone is a page-turning look at domestic violence, displacement, and teenage self-discovery.

Manuscript available
Rights: World

Stolen Sister

Life hasn’t been easy for fourteen-year-old Jasmine Guzman since her twin sister, Jade, disappeared. Jasmine’s spent much of the last six years unsuccessfully trying to deal with her intense feelings of guilt and anger, and to forget the “thing” she saw abduct her twin. Things go from bad to worse when a series of bizarre occurrences make her fear she might be losing her mind again.

With help from Raphael, a mysterious boy whom she meets at her new school, Jasmine discovers she is a Seer, part of a worldwide group of twin girls that have the power to read minds, see the future, and battle supernatural forces.

After a chance encounter with an ibeji doll, Jasmine is drawn into the Place-In-Between, or Limbo, where armies of demons roam and lost spirits are forced to live through the most violent periods in London’s history. She discovers Jade is being held captive in this underworld and vows to rescue her sister. With the help of Raphael and two other Seers, can Jasmine save her sister?

Manuscript forthcoming
Rights: World