Success Story Interview - Kailen Renae

An Interview with Kailen Renae (KailenRenae on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Tamanna Bhasin of The Rights Factory.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Kailen Renae:
I awoke from a dream in late November of 2022. In my dream a beautiful fair skinned woman with hair as black as ink was cradling another woman against her chest after having saved her life. The woman with the dark hair, who I knew to be named Emily, was filled with such a feeling of love and adoration for the woman she was holding. She was so afraid to lose her because she had waited so long for her. I woke up scrambling for my laptop. I couldn’t let myself forget the dream.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Kailen Renae:
I’ve been writing as long as I’ve been able to grasp a pencil. I still have the glittery blue notebook where I wrote “Skamp’s Journey to Hope”, a tale of an orphan puppy looking for a home to call his own for Christmas.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Kailen Renae:
I began writing “Consequence of Heart” in November of 2022. It took me around eight months to complete the manuscript, and another few months to edit and revise.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Kailen Renae:
To a point. But my intense love for my characters and their story compelled me to keep going.
QT: Is this your first book?
Kailen Renae:
That depends on what you would consider a “book.” This is the first manuscript I have handled with as much care as I have. I have written stories before that had a word count high enough to be considered a book, but I never felt the need to revise them, edit them, and try to put them out in the world. This story is different. This story holds a special place in my heart, and I want to see it flourish.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Kailen Renae:
I have taken a few English courses required for the medical based schooling I’ve gone through, but other than that, I have no formal writing training.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Kailen Renae:
I write when I can. I hope to someday be able to block out time just to write. But at the moment, my time is limited and sometimes doesn’t feel like my own. So, I write when I can. Most of the time right before bed.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Kailen Renae:
I like to read each chapter after it’s written and make changes as I see fit. This makes for a longer writing process but leaves me with a cleaner, more cohesive first draft. After the entire story was written, I went over it another couple of times on my own before sending it off to an editor.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Kailen Renae:
Absolutely! I love my betas. They were an integral part of my writing process.
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Kailen Renae:
This is difficult to answer because of how this story came to fruition. Outlining or plotting was never completely necessary considering the story began as a dream. I knew exactly what occurred in the story before I even began to write it. So, I suppose I could say outlining happened on a subconscious level. After having the dream, I simply wrote down the story.
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Kailen Renae:
I began querying in December of 2023, and signed my contract at the end of April 2024.
So, my querying journey took a little under five months. This was the first book I have ever queried.
QT: About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Kailen Renae:
Over 50.
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Kailen Renae:
I was very careful deciding who to query due to certain elements within my story. For the most part, I looked at a lot of Manuscript Wish Lists. If an agent was specifically looking for low fantasy, and queer characters, that was usually my que to send off a query! But I also made sure the agents I queried were okay with darker themes, as my story is a bit… bloody.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Kailen Renae:
Absolutely. I chose each agent carefully, and only queried those I felt I had a personal reason for querying. I know agents don’t require personalization, but it was something I enjoyed doing.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Kailen Renae:
I would highly recommend seeking out friendship in the writing community. Having a friend who was also querying made me feel like I wasn’t alone in this. We were able to joke and laugh about things that would have very likely knocked me down had I been in this alone.
QT: Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Kailen Renae:
Here is the most recent version. This is not the version I sent to the agent I signed with, but it is what I consider the cleanest, most eloquent version of my query.

Query Letter:

Dear (agent name),
(Personalization here.)

“CONSEQUENCE OF HEART,” is a dual POV paranormal romance of 95,000 words which combines the medical drama of Grey’s Anatomy, with elements of The Vampire Diaries.

For over a century, Emily Hemlock’s existence has meant little more than satisfying bloodlust. But when her coven meets Charlotte, the intuitive new nurse, and realizes her heart is failing, they break the one rule their matriarch has set for them: never interfere with human life.

Their intention was to save Charlotte. They never meant to put her in danger by bringing her into their world, and Emily certainly never intended to fall in love with a human.

With the coven’s greatest rule broken and their matriarch out for blood, Emily knows she must tell Charlotte who—or rather what—she is.

She knows she might lose Charlotte when her confession turns her world into something out of a nightmare. Keeping Charlotte safe is the most important thing to Emily though, and she is willing to surrender everything to protect her. She dutifully devotes herself to being Charlotte’s protector, but even she could never have guessed that she would be blindsided and come dangerously close to losing the girl she loves.

With a nostalgic feel, and a modern twist on fated love, this story will find a home in the hearts of those who love anything vampire.

Thank you immensely for your time, and your careful consideration.
-Kailen Renae