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An Interview with Debbie Schubert upon receiving an offer of representation.

Debbie Schubert (debbbbb on QT) has signed with agent Bernadette Baker-Baughman of Victoria Sanders & Associates.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
In a nutshell, it's a YA novel about a girl who has the power of keeping other people's secrets - and her relationships with her friends, some of whom also have powers. They're teenagers, so a lot of drama and romance ensues. It's dark but hopeful with a little fairy-tale-esque-ness (that's a word, right?) thrown in for good measure. The idea came in a moment, as most inspiring ideas do.
How long have you been writing?
On and off for 14 years.
How long have you been working on this book?
Two months.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
We writers tend to be filled with self-doubts. I don't think I ever seriously considered giving up, though. I just moved on to the next project.
Is this your first book?
No, it's my fourth.
Do you have any formal writing training?
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I'm lucky in that I write full-time. When I'm working on a book I try to write every day, including weekends.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I'm currently working on the second draft.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Not yet! But I have for prior books. Critiques from fellow writers are priceless.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I'm a pantser all the way!
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
This was crazy. I didn't query for this project at all. Bernadette (my agent) liked my writing - she'd seen prior work - and asked to see the first draft. For prior books, I queried widely (over 150 queries each for my last two projects).
When querying for other projects, on what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
For my past two novels, I did a lot of research. I checked genres, blogs, websites, QueryTracker, Publishers Marketplace, and AgentQuery, as well as words from other writers. It was through this process and a request for a partial on my last project that I was able to attract the attention of the most wonderful agent in the world. That's the beauty and the mystery of the process - you never know how or when you're going to come upon the circumstances that will lead to representation.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Yes, whenever possible. I'd mention if I'd met them at a conference or if I've read a book they rep or if I follow their blog. It's important to add a personal touch when you can, but be sure to always be genuine.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
  1. Don't give up!
  2. Query widely.
  3. Let the rejections slide off your back and remember each "no" brings you one step closer to "yes!"
  4. And, most importantly, keep writing. You never know which project will be the one that grabs the attention of an agent.