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An Interview with Bethany Wiggins upon receiving an offer of representation.

Bethany Wiggins (Bethany_Wiggins on QT) has signed with agent Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
"The Hunted" is young adult urban fantasy about a girl who is hunted by skinwalkers. I can't say where my inspiration comes from because I don't know. I just started seeing my main character in my head and hearing her voice--she had a thick southern accent.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing on a (nearly) daily basis for seven years.
How long have you been working on this book?
I wrote "The Hunted" in six weeks and took another six weeks to edit it. As I have queried, I have made little tweaks and adjustments.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I have felt like giving up more times than I can count. And I did give up. Several times. But then I'd think about how much I love my story and my characters and I'd start querying again.
Is this your first book?
"The Hunted" is the fifth book I have written. With every book I write, my story-telling gets a little bit better.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I took a creative writing class at a junior college I never graduated from. That's all the "formal" training I have. My real training came from extensive reading and writing. And I've got way too much imagination!
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
The only time I can write without interruption is at night. I try to do at least 1,000 words a night, but if I am on a roll, I can write 8,000 words in a couple of hours (but that doesn't happen as often as I'd like).
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Way too many to count! Every time I sit down to write, I do a quick edit of what I wrote the night before. And then when it is all done, I do an edit of the whole thing. I also take advice from friends and family, and then incorporate it into the MS. And edit it again. And again.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes! The story wouldn't be half as good as it is today without the input and opinions of a lot of different minds! The harsher the critic, the better the book becomes.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
A little of both. But no matter how much I outline, the story always goes where it wants to and never ends up how I thought it might in the beginning. So I guess I write from the hip more than anything.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
I'm not quite sure because I didn't have QT in the beginning. But I will guess less than 100 and more than 75.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
At first, I'd send to anyone who repped YA (and no one wanted to see my MS). But then I got smart, stopped querying for a while and went through and selected the top ten agents I would want to represent me based on sales, reputation and who they already represented. Marlene Stringer was one of those.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
When I queried my top ten, I knew enough about each one to tailor it. But it was nothing big... "I love your blog," or "You represent so-and-so..."
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Don't let querying get in the way of life. And don't let rejections get you down. If you love to write, you'll find joy in it whether you have an agent or not.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?

Dear Agent,

Magdalene Mae is sick… sick of bouncing from foster home to foster home, sick of always being the new girl in school, sick of having no friends to tell her sinister secret, that she is a shape shifter. She detests the constant relocating to new foster homes made necessary by her bad behavior. Little does she know it is this constant moving that has kept her alive to see her eighteenth birthday—kept her alive long enough to leave the South.

Relocating to New Mexico, Maggie Mae thinks she's left all of her problems in North Carolina. But they are closer than she has ever imagined, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are creatures of Navajo legend. And she is their prey.

The action and mystery of Westerfeild's MIDNIGHTERS is coupled with the romance of Meyer's TWILIGHT to create THE HUNTED. But it is the first-person voice of quirky, Southern heroine Magdalene Mae that makes this book exceptional.

I invite you to take a closer look at THE HUNTED, a 92,00 word young adult urban fantasy, the first book of a planned trilogy. Please find below a brief synopsis followed by the first five pages of THE HUNTED.

Thank you so much for you time and consideration.