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Introducing a new writing tool from the maker of QueryTracker. Learn More...

Success Story Interview - Colette Auclair

An Interview with Colette Auclair (ColetteAuclair on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Emily Sylvan Kim of Prospect Agency.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Colette Auclair:
I accidentally wrote it. I was taking a class on screenplay structure and developed the storyline for the class. When the class ended, I had the makings for a movie. The scene after the end of the film wouldn't get out of my head, so I wrote it out in prose. I had such a good time writing it, I wrote the whole thing as a novel, and never did get around to writing the screenplay.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Colette Auclair:
Four years. THROWN is my first novel ever.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Colette Auclair:
Four years, start to finish, with many breaks. I wrote another novel in the meantime.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Colette Auclair:
I never felt like giving up because I had a lot of encouragement along the way. I have acquired many writer friends through Romance Writers of America, and it's a marvelous support group.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Colette Auclair:
After college I took a class on writing short stories, and a few on writing screenplays, but never one for novels.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Colette Auclair:
I do now, but at first I just wrote whenever I found time.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Colette Auclair:
Too many to count! Seriously. No idea.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Colette Auclair:
Yes, and they were great.
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Colette Auclair:
Since I came up with the plot as part of a class for screenplay structure (see answer to question 1), this book was outlined to within an inch of its life. I had a 15-page treatment, which is a list of every scene in the book. I didn't stick to it completely, because the characters went off and did their own thing once I started writing.
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Colette Auclair:
I seriously queried this book for about four months.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Colette Auclair:
About 40.
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Colette Auclair:
I looked to see if they represented authors who wrote contemporary single title romance, and further if they wrote funny or quirky stories, because that's what I write.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Colette Auclair:
Oh yes. I tried to mention the author(s) they represented who wrote books that were similar to mine. If that wasn't the case, I tried to find something about them that I could use--like if they went to my college or had a dog in their picture on their website.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Colette Auclair:
Make your manuscript as great as you can before you send it out. Have other people read it who have a good eye and who will tell you flat out what needs to be changed. Then polish your work, make sure there are no typos (as much as possible!) and only then should you send it out.