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An Interview with Donna Scott upon receiving an offer of representation.

11/18/2018

Donna Scott (donnascott on QT) has signed with agent Katelyn Uplinger of D4EO literary agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
My novel centers around the London Monster, an elusive villain who terrorized the streets of London from 1788-1790. He approached women, first with a proposition and then--upon refusal--attacked them with his blade. An underground pugilist and a crossdressing female journalist do their best to discover his identity and catch him. For me, villains are always the most intriguing characters in history--and in novels--and since the London Monster's story has taken a backseat to other more notorious historical villains, I thought it might be fun to bring him to life by writing a fictionalized account of his rather salacious behavior and surround him with other 'misfits' in 18th century London.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for approximately 9 years.
How long have you been working on this book?
I wrote and edited this novel in a year.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Of course! How about every day! I have a wonderful friend (a writer) who regularly offers me encouragement. We often commiserate about the various stages leading to publication. And by the way, just because I have an agent, it doesn't mean I still don't feel like giving up at times. I've been through this before, and the editorial rejections are equally as frustrating, especially if you're a writer of historical fiction, a difficult genre to sell.
Is this your first book?<
It's my fourth novel. The first one was practice, and the second and third were agented and shopped to different publishing houses.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I am a former professor of English, so I've taught writing courses over the years. I've also taken courses--still do!
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I edit as I go along and then do a few 'whole book' edits at the end.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
I have two beta readers--one reads only for plot and characterization, and the other reads much more closely and critically for line edits as well.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
For the most part, I usually know points A, B, and C. Then I might know H and M and maybe even Z. But I fill in the rest as I write.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I had a wonderful agent prior to this novel who changed agencies and could not take me with her. It happens, unfortunately. She notified me in February, but my book wasn't finished so I couldn't query right away. When it was complete and polished in May, I started querying. I sent out dozens of queries over a five month period and had approximately 20 or so requests for the full.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Historical fiction is a tricky animal. Very few people take it and those who do are often specific about exactly what kind they take--YA, Victorian, WWII, etc--so the pool is limited. I did my homework and researched who their authors were, what their specialties were, past deals, etc.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Do your homework. Take your time. Don't send out a query littered with typos, even one--although that happens and when it does, you're lucky if the agent who receives it keeps reading. (Someone needs to create an email option that can retrieve an already-sent email within a ten-second grace period.) ;-) Make sure you know your craft and have honed it before you send out your work.