Success Story Interview - Cameron Witt

An Interview with Cameron Witt (cameronwittbooks on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Cameron Witt:
A few years ago my friend moved into an apartment across from the Salt Lake City Cemetery. She once told me, "If magic exists anywhere in Salt Lake, it's here." I was looking for a new project to write and knew I wanted to include boarding schools. The idea of one all boys school and one all girls school with a graveyard between became the backdrop.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Cameron Witt:
I've been writing as long as I can remember! I've always wanted to be an author but I only started taking it seriously about six years ago.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Cameron Witt:
THE BONEYARD COVEN took me about two years from start to finish, but I started it right when COVID began and had some long breaks in the middle.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Cameron Witt:
There was an aspect in the manuscript that I included that ended up hitting very close to home for me in my personal life. I wasn't able to work on it while I was going through the motions of healing from that aspect, and wasn't sure I would be able to come back to it at all. Time and therapy helped.
QT: Is this your first book?
Cameron Witt:
THE BONEYARD COVEN is my fourth! But it's the second project I've queried.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Cameron Witt:
I am self-taught. There are so many wonderful references online and I maintain that reading widely is the best teacher.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Cameron Witt:
I get most of my writing done when I finish my tasks during my day job. There's no set schedule.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Cameron Witt:
One major revision and one minor revision.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Cameron Witt:
I have critique partners and a few very good friends who helped me every step of the way through the drafting process.
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Cameron Witt:
Big plotter, here! I have extensive documents. I have notebooks filled with my ravings. I need to have things set before I start or there will be tears (mine).
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Cameron Witt:
I queried 8 months before I received my offer! My previous project that I ended up shelving I queried about four before moving on.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Cameron Witt:
115 exactly!
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Cameron Witt:
I made sure they represented my age range and genre, checked for other projects that were similar to mine, and read many, many manuscript wish lists to see if elements from my manuscript were things they were looking for.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Cameron Witt:
No lol. The few times I did, it was because I had something in common with the agent and wanted to mention it because it was relevant to my project.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Cameron Witt:
As tough as it is to hear, expect lots and lots of rejection. Let rejection become your friend. Let it fuel you. I could have given up after 50 letters, but I didn't. When it's time to let go, you'll know. Good luck out there!

Query Letter:

Dear [Agent],

Rosemary Espinoza receives two gifts from her tía for her fifteenth birthday: a deck of tarot cards and a premonition she'll fall in love in October. Rosemary has no idea who she could fall in love with at her all-girls Catholic school until she meets the irreverent force-of-nature Frankie. As Rosemary's feelings for Frankie grow, her bruja powers manifest, and she starts to see the auras of people's souls. Caught between her awakening ability and being her mother's good Catholic daughter, Rosemary's warring guilt and redefining faith threaten to shatter the fragile equilibrium of her split-religion family.

Queer, dyslexic, and secretly in love with his fraternal twin's best friend, Atlas Carmichael is determined to prove he earned his spot at Edevane Prep, his dad's alma mater. Atlas is the Carmichaels' black sheep for more than one reason—his queerness, his learning disability, even his hair color. His father's approval would mean everything to him. But when Atlas wakes on his fifteenth birthday, he has another secret to keep: the psychic ability to know the history of everything he touches.

Cassidy is the Carmichael family's golden boy. His father expects Cass to uphold the family image, impress politicians, and work to become the next captain of Edevane's rowing team. But all Cass really wants is to play piano and keep his twin, Atlas, safe.

When Atlas accidentally discovers the freak fire that killed a beloved nun was set on purpose, he, Cass, Rosemary, and Frankie decide to use their new powers to track down the murderer and bring them to justice. The investigation is riddled with dead ends. Edevane's principal disapproves of their snooping. The nearby cemetery, jokingly coined the Boneyard, is desecrated in the night. Students who vocalize suspicion are being attacked and do not remember by whom. Worst of all, the kids are forced to reexamine their suspects when it becomes increasingly clear one of their own may be the killer.

Set against the backdrop of a New England autumn in Rhode Island, THE BONEYARD COVEN is a stand-alone with series potential, complete at ___k words. A character-driven young adult contemporary fantasy, it will appeal to fans of elite private school murders like The Ivies and the queer-kids-in-religious-environments setting of The Lesbiana's Guide to Catholic School. Winner of mentorship program #QueeryFest, THE BONEYARD COVEN is a #ownvoices novel for other kids who grew up queer in a religion that undervalued love. Content warnings for mentions of religious trauma, navigating mental health, and discussions of grief and loss.

I am a passionate collector and reader of tarot cards. I have published two serialized novels through Tapas Media's Premium Program, available to a growing subscriber count of 13,000.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Cameron Witt