Success Story Interview - Janet Taylor

An Interview with Janet Taylor (Janet_T on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Mollie Glick of Creative Artists Agency.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Janet Taylor:
My book is called THE DIM, it's a YA-Time Travel about a girl with an eidactic (photographic) memory, who learns members of her "dead" mother's family are actually time travelers. And that her mom isn't dead, but trapped in the twelfth century. Hope is called upon to join up with the group of young Indiana Jones-ish "travelers" to help rescue her.

You know, I'm in love with the past and have always wished there was a way to visit. What a killer vacation destination, huh? It could be the newest vaca craze. So I thought, if I can't actually DO it, at least I can write about it.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Janet Taylor:
I've written off and on my whole life. When I was in second grade, I was writing (and directing, of course) plays for the neighbor kids to act out. But kids and life got in the way. Once my kids went to college, I started writing seriously again. So about two and a half years, this time.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Janet Taylor:
About a year and a half, give or take.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Janet Taylor:
Of course! We all feel like that from time to time. What kept me on course was the love and support of my family, particularly my amazing husband. And my phenomenal writing group, the fabulous ladies of the SFWG! There are ten of us in our group, and we are diverse. Hisfic, Sci-Fi, YA, women's fiction, Fantasy...When we came together, only two in the group had agents. Fast forward to now and ALL of us but three have agents and three of our members have books either recently published or coming out in the next few months. If you're not already in a writing/crit group, I highly recommend finding or creating one of like-minded writers. I think it's essential. They don't all have to write the same genre, but the key to a successful writing group is positivity. You have to support each other through the good times and the bad.
QT: Is this your first book?
Janet Taylor:
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Janet Taylor:
No, my degree is in Science. But I studied the craft SO hard. Still am.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Janet Taylor:
I'm insane. I start writing at 3:30 in the morning.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Janet Taylor:
Tons. Tons and tons.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Janet Taylor:
Oh you betcha!
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Janet Taylor:
Total pantser on this one, though I don't think I'd ever do it that way again.
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Janet Taylor:
I tried querying about a year ago, but it didn't take. I actually got a lot of interest then, but it just wasn't ready. The whole time, though, Querytracker was a HUGE part of my life. I can't tell you how much the site meant to me. The support and caring and information on QT is just the best! Thank God for Querytracker. Reading the success stories on QT kept me going when things weren't looking too great.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Janet Taylor:
I won Brenda Drake's #pitchmadness back in January. That was pretty cool. Out of over 1500 entries, mine got into the top ten, then had the most agent requests. But I'd sent out about 18 Queries before that. Things happened very fast and I ended up accepting an exclusive revision req. from a VERY high-profile agent. In the end, we just didn't see the book in the same light and I'm so glad it turned out that way. Because now I'm with the best agent EVER.. Mollie Glick...Agent Extraordinaire!!
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Janet Taylor:
Oh yes. I researched each agent very carefully.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Janet Taylor:
First off, NEVER give up. NEVER get discouraged. All of us started the same way. Do your homework on the agents you query. Make SURE your book is ready first. And never, NEVER misspell an agent's name. :)
QT: Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Janet Taylor:

Query Letter:

When sheltered Hope Walton discovers the mother she believed dead is alive, though marooned in the twelfth century by a vindictive time-traveler, the sixteen-year-old joins a team of time-jumping Indiana Joneses to stage a rescue.

But Hope and her crew aren’t the only intruders into the past. Bran, son of her family’s worst enemy, is searching for a priceless relic that is her mom’s only hope of escape. Though Hope detests Bran for betraying her family and team, something about him dredges up memories of an impossible, shared childhood. In a brutal time, poised on the brink of the 1153 coronation of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, the brilliant teen must choose between her mission and her heart—both of which could leave Hope trapped in the past forever.

I work with the Historical Novel Society’s website, and conduct author interviews for them. In addition, I have four years’ experience writing web content for a major television network-affiliate fansite (CBS) for the television series, Big Brother. I am also a member of several writing organizations, including the SCBWI and the Historical Novel Society.

THE DIM is complete at 96,000 words and I hope will appeal to fans of both historical and dark, edgy fiction. It’s the first in a planned series, in which Hope and her friends travel to different eras in time.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Janet Taylor