Success Story Interview - Breanne Randall

An Interview with Breanne Randall (jubilee on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Natalie Lakosil of Looking Glass Literary & Media.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Breanne Randall:
My book is a women's fiction with magical realism, all about food, magic, and family legacies. It was inspired by grandmother, who passed away several years ago.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Breanne Randall:
I've been writing for almost ten years. I worked as a freelance writer and journalist while working on my novels.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Breanne Randall:
I started writing the first draft in early 2018.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Breanne Randall:
There was exactly one time I felt like giving up, and I got an offer of representation about a week later. Glad I stayed the course! Honestly, I got a lot of inspiration and encouragement from Jenny Bent and Russell Galen, two agents I admire hugely. I wanted a great agent, and I knew I needed a great book. That inspired me to keep at it.
QT: Is this your first book?
Breanne Randall:
I wrote three books before this one. The first was a science fiction, and it was horrible. I didn't even query it. The second was an urban fantasy. I queried that one and got over forty agent requests, but ultimately the book didn't live up to the query. The third was a YA contemporary that I wrote with my best friend. Same scenario; a ton of agent interest but no offer.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Breanne Randall:
I graduated with a degree in English Literature and worked as freelance writer for about seven years.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Breanne Randall:
I try to write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. Even if they're bad ones. I need to get words on the page. If I miss a day, I try to make up for it by writing 2,000 words or more!
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Breanne Randall:
About halfway through finishing it I realized something wasn't right. I absolutely did NOT want to re-write it, but knew I had to. So I went back to the beginning and made some major changes. Since I've gotten my agent, I've done two major edits.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Breanne Randall:
My mom.
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Breanne Randall:
I started outlining about a quarter of the way through the book. I learned so much this time around and know that going forward I will always do a chapter outline for sure!
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Breanne Randall:
I sent my first query in August of 2018. I received my offer of rep 10/01/19.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Breanne Randall:
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Breanne Randall:
I made a list of my favorite books that were similar to my own and found out who agented those authors. That list was pretty small so I widened the net and searched on MSWL for agents seeking magical realism, family dramas, magic, food, etc.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Breanne Randall:
Absolutely!! I'm huge on tailoring query letters if I can find enough info about the agent to make it work (it's not always possible). I would mention authors they represented with books I felt were similar to my own but not enough so that it would be a conflict of interest. I'd scour their blogs if they had one to find any mention of what they were looking for. Same for their Twitter feeds, MSWL, and of course their agency websites.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Breanne Randall:
DON'T GIVE UP! Make your list of agents and rank them by how badly you want to work with them. Start off by sending your query to a few in the middle of that list and see how they respond. If you don't get any requests, tweak that query and try again. Find your people in the writing community whether it's on Absolute Write, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads wherever. Ask people to read your query and see what they have to say, but only take their advice if it resonates with YOU!

Query Letter:

I would love to send you my upmarket women's fiction AN ENCHANTMENT OF CURSES, which is complete at 75,000 words.

Sadie Revelare has always believed that the curse of five heartbreaks that accompanies her magic would be worth the price. But when her grandmother is diagnosed with cancer and her first heartbreak returns to town after a decade, her carefully structured life begins to unravel. Add to that a strained relationship with her twin brother Seth who is still searching for his own magic, a mysterious spirit hanging about the garden, and a deeply buried family secret, and Sadie has a recipe that will test the very bonds of family, magic, and love. Secrets unravel, and betrayal abounds as Sadie struggles to reconcile the wounds of the past before her curse casts her into chaos and she loses her magic once and for all. AN ENCHANTMENT OF CURSES is the first in a proposed series (though it can also stand-alone) that will follow the characters and town presented in this novel, the latter of which is inspired by my home in Gold Country in Northern California. This novel will appeal to fans of Sarah Addison Allen's Garden Spells and Alice Hoffman's Practical Magic but is also reminiscent of Sweet Home Alabama with that tumultuous and feisty kind of first love. Tinged with enchanted confectionaries, a magic garden, and the idea that family are the ones who can hurt and heal in equal measure, this novel reaches to the heart of anyone who's ever struggled with the fear that accompanies heartbreak while also reminding us that magic doesn't necessarily ensure a happy ending. At least not the one you imagined.

I graduated with honors with a double major in English Literature and Psychology. I've worked as a freelance journalist for the past six years with pieces published in Good Housekeeping, Parents, Fit Pregnancy, Brides, Family Circle, et al. I've also lived and worked in over forty countries, studying the genus, species, and symbolism of local flowers, herbs, and spices mentioned in this book. You can also find me on Instagram @houseofrandall (11.4k followers) where I share recipes, remedies, and more. I've included the first ten pages below, and the full manuscript is available upon request. Thank you so much for your time and consideration, and I hope to hear from you!