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An Interview with Carolina J Gomez upon receiving an offer of representation.

01/27/2022

Carolina J Gomez (cjgomez on QT) has signed with agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
MILO MARTINEZ AND THE MISSING PETS is a Middle-Grade Contemporary Fantasy book about a Mexican boy who searches for missing pets and accidentally gets caught up in an evil wizard's plan to turn animals into monsters. I love this book so much because it draws from my Mexican culture and my family dynamics.

I got the inspiration while driving through my neighborhood with my mom and seeing a bunch of missing pet posters. I was instantly like: "Who is looking for these missing pets? What if there was someone whose only goal was to seek all of these pets?" And Boom. Milo!
How long have you been writing?
Damn, I've been writing for what feels like my whole life. I'm 20 now, coursing my 6th semester of college, and I've been officially writing with the intention of being published since the summer before my first year of high school. So 5 ish years. Not a lot, huh? But for me, it's like 1/4th of my life, and half of my life being a conscious, thinking human.
How long have you been working on this book?
I wrote it in Nanowrimo 2020, revised it for two months, queried it the whole year, and got an offer 4 days into 2022. So, one-ish year! Pretty quick, huh? But this isn't my first book, in fact, it's my 6th! So I have a bunch of experience with story structure, character arcs, and how to properly revise.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Giving up? Never. Felt impossible? All the time. But that's what happens when you love doing something and you are on that weird bridge of turning it into a job where there's WAY more demand than offer. It feels impossible, but I NEVER felt like giving up. And you shouldn't, as well.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I feel like art doesn't need training. Art needs developing. To grow within you and with you. But aside from watching MILLIONS of youtube videos on writing, and story structure, and reading books also on writing; no. The creative writing courses here and there taught me only what the internet already had. Don't underestimate the power of the internet, and finding your own relationship with writing. It's a beautiful experience.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
If you have a full-time job/are a college student like myself, you fight for time. Writing during November, aka finals month, aka finals month of a major in computer science and business; I don't know how I'm still alive. But, anyway, as a night owl, I wrote at night after school.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I'm a planster. I have a loose idea of the plot, the setting, and the main character. Maybe a few scenes here and there. My outlines consist of a one-page timeline with fewer lines of description as it nears the end.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
This is the second book I've queried. The first one I queried for half a year until I wrote MILO and decided to shelve it. I queried MILO for 11 months. Perseverance and patience are keys!
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Y'all this is too embarrassing O_o but I'm planning to write a blog with detail on my stats so stay tuned to my Instagram @writingsomethingserious to find out (shameless plug xd)
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
I love connecting on a personal level with people, so I tried to make agents feel the same way. I specified why I was querying that agent (on most of the queries) and those generally were the ones that got me fulls. Usually, they went like: "I saw on your MSWL that you are interested in x and y. I hope you'll consider (...)"
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
I know I have no business saying this but: don't worry about it too much. Trust your path, trust your progress, trust your talent. Write the next thing, don't be afraid to pull back and revise. The agent who will fall in love with you is out there, I know it!
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
*coughs* @writingsomethingserious on Instagram and @seriouslywrite on Twitter *coughs* I'll publish my website soon so I'll see you there!

P.S. Thank you for reading this interview, it has always been a dream of mine to help other querying writers by sharing my experience, so please do reach out to any of my social media mentioned above if you have any questions, or simply need someone to cheer you up!