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Success Story Interview - Katherine Laurin

An Interview with Katherine Laurin (katherinel on QT) upon receiving an offer of representation from agent Tess Callero of Europa Content.


QT: Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Katherine Laurin:
It's a YA suspense novel about a girl who joins a secret society at her high school known at the Red Court with a plot to take them down. The Red Court is infamous for rigging student council elections and dealing out social ruin, and the main character is seeking revenge for something they did to her sister.

I had the idea of a group controlling their school in secret and it sort of took off from there.
QT: How long have you been writing?
Katherine Laurin:
I started writing novels close to seven years ago.
QT: How long have you been working on this book?
Katherine Laurin:
I wrote the majority of this book last summer and revised it at the beginning of this year.
QT: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Katherine Laurin:
There were times when I felt like I might never land an agent or sell a book, but I never wanted to give up writing. For me, it was important to have friends in the writing community to help me distinguish between speed bumps and major detours along the way. I was also encouraged by the stories from other writers who landed agents after multiple books and countless queries. Everyone's path is unique and the only way to fail is to give up.
QT: Is this your first book?
Katherine Laurin:
It's my third.
QT: Do you have any formal writing training?
Katherine Laurin:
I haven't had any formal training, but I've attended conferences and read craft books and learned a lot of hard lessons to get where I am.
QT: Do you follow a writing routine or schedule?
Katherine Laurin:
I write whenever I can squeeze it in.
QT: How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Katherine Laurin:
I had a strong outline to start, so I only wrote the MS once and then did three rounds of edits.
QT: Did you have beta readers for your book?
Katherine Laurin:
No, not for this book. I have used CPs for my other novels.
QT: Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Katherine Laurin:
I'm a plotter for sure.
QT: How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
Katherine Laurin:
I started querying this book in March and received my first offer of representation at the end of May.
QT: On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Katherine Laurin:
I first searched for agents who represented YA and then researched them all individually to see if their tastes aligned with my project. I also relied on Twitter to find agents as well.
QT: Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Katherine Laurin:
Yes, I did tailor each query with why I chose to reach out to that specific agent -- because they liked one of my comps or were searching for YA with secret societies, etc.
QT: What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Katherine Laurin:
Write the book of your heart, the one you're scared of. Then, once your book is as good as you can make it, do your research. Take a listen to Manuscript Academy's Ten Queries podcasts for tips. Don't give up. You can do it.