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An Interview with Darcy Woods upon receiving an offer of representation.

06/22/2013

Darcy Woods (woodswrite on QT) has signed with agent Catherine Drayton of InkWell Management.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
SUMMER OF SUPERNOVA is a young adult contemporary romance about a zodiac savant, hell-bent on living her life in perfect accordance with her astrological chart. But, come on, when does life EVER go according to plan?! Mostly, I just wanted to spin a humorous and heartfelt story about love (this one has triangles!), and loss (both literal and metaphorical).
How long have you been writing?
About 3 years.
How long have you been working on this book?
The seedling for the idea came less than a year ago, but then I had to read up on astrology—which is as fascinating as it is complicated! But in terms of active finger-to-keyboard writing and polish? Hmm, about 7 months.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I never really felt like giving up. Probably because I'm stubborn as a mule:) Were there times when the mountain seemed impossibly high and ridiculous to navigate? God Almighty, YES! But that is why we have writer friends and wine and chocolate—it's an author's trifecta.
Is this your first book?
No. This is my second…or third depending on how you want to look at it. I wrote my first book (a YA paranormal romance), and then rewrote it completely, and then wrote SUPERNOVA.
Do you have any formal writing training?
None. Although I did join RWA several years ago and took advantage of every writing workshop I could squeeze in at the National Conferences. Plus, I received invaluable support and advice from other writers I connected with there. It truly takes a village. Some of us need a metropolis. *points to self*
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I am a weekend warrior. I find I do better when I have large blocks of time for my writing. Since my full-time job consumes the workweek, weekends became my BICHOK time :) I would get up at 6am-ish and plow through until 6pm-ish. That period of my life was…scary.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I tend to edit as I go, so I suppose one major edit, and a second minor one.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
I have three of the world's most amazing CP's. Without them, my story would've never shined so bright!
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Total pantser. But I generally have an idea of the main conflict, a couple key scenes, and the ending. The rest I fill in with word Spackle I buy in bulk from Home Depot.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I queried this project for a week before I had my first offer. My last project I queried for about 8 months.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
19
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
First and foremost, agents that I thought might be interested in a story like this. (I know—that's a no-brainer.) Otherwise, it was mainly agents that had previously requested my work, and some that had asked I send along my next project.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
NEVER write for trend, but ALWAYS be aware of it. When I wrote my first book I was clueless about the publishing industry. I didn't know the genre I'd written had become so saturated, therefore, significantly reducing my chances of gaining representation. This time I married my industry knowledge AND my muse! I found a clever way to incorporate my thirst for mysticism, while delivering a genre agents and editors seemed hungry for.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Here it is. In all its imperfect glory...

Dear Catherine,

I'm seeking a home for my whimsical YA Contemporary Romance with emotional grit, SUMMER OF SUPERNOVA, which is complete at 68,000 words. Both a 2013 Golden Heart finalist and finalist in the Yellow Rose RWA Winter Rose Contest, SUMMER OF SUPERNOVA, is also a recent winner of the WRW's Marlene Contest for Young Adult Romance. Since you have previously requested my work, I wondered if this project—given your yen for wry humor and commercial appeal—might be of interest.

When zodiac-obsessed teen, Wilamena Carlisle, discovers a planetary alignment that won't repeat for a decade, she's forced to tackle her greatest astrological fear: The Fifth House—Relationships and Love. Armed with a killer collection of 40's vintage dresses, and a surefire-ish plan to find the Sagittarius of her dreams, Wil embarks on a twenty-two day race for love, before Jupiter's luck expires.

As the daughter of an expert astrologer, Wil knows billions of stars can't be wrong. So when her heart defies the heavens by falling for a sensitive guitar player hailing from the wrong side of the chart, Wil must decide whether a cosmically doomed love is worth shunning her mother's legacy—and the very system in which she places a lifetime of unfailing belief.

Sometimes the greatest leap in life…means never leaving the ground.