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An Interview with Erin Pryor upon receiving an offer of representation.

Erin Pryor (Love4Ireland on QT) has signed with agent Kelly Mortimer of Mortimer Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
It is a Paranormal Romance. I’ve always wanted to write but I let the world tell me otherwise. Because I’ve never been to college, nor have I taken any writing classes, I always thought I couldn’t do it. Then one day I decided that I didn’t want to be 80 and say “I’ve always wanted to….” So I got the courage and started to write Fan Fiction (which I look back at and cringe ‘cause my writing was so awful). After a few months of doing that and getting my feet wet I started my first book. My drive manifested into wanting to show my two kids they could do anything they put their minds to.

About half way through the book my goals and priorities changed. I quickly realized this is something that I want to do – I am hungry for it. I joined the local chapter of my RWA in late January and have found a couple of critique partners – which have been invaluable.

If it is your dream and passion to write, THEN WRITE! Don’t let anybody discourage you. And if somebody says you can’t do it, then try that harder so you can prove them wrong. An author’s success largely surrounds their hunger and passion.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for 16 months
How long have you been working on this book?
12 months
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Of course. My writing partner helped me stay on track. When I felt kicked down and ready to give up, she was there to encourage me to keep up the fight.
Is this your first book?
Yes
Do you have any formal writing training?
No
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
Gosh no. With 2 kids (6 & 3), and working full time, I have a very busy schedule.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Oh…I don’t know….6? Haha, I honestly don’t know. Let’s just say that I spent 4 months writing it, and another 6 editing.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes. I believe that it is imperative that writers have a person, or two, that they can depend on to go through your work and give you honest feedback. Without it, you cannot grow as a writer. With that being said, I also believe that when we give our work to others, it is important that we take an emotional step back and a day to digest what they said about the piece. Some of it may be trashed, but what you think may be a bad “comment” to begin with, may actually make sense once you remove your emotions from it. I also heard once, and I apply this to my work. If you have heard the same thing from two different people, you really need to look at it for possible revision. If you’ve heard it from three different people, CHANGE IMMEDIATELY.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I wrote from the hip. For as organized of a person I am, I have found that putting an organizational flow to my writing is like putting a cap on a well. I cannot work creatively with boundaries.
How long have you been querying for this book?
About 6 months.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
I honestly didn’t keep track. Somewhere around 35 or so.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Based on the genre that they took. I would also go on their website and look into greater deal about them as agents.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Of course. I opened up a separate word document and changed the header to read Mr./Ms. (Name). In looking on the agents websites, I knew if they were male or female (when they had an ambiguous name). I think it is like spitting in their face if you don’t research and get it right.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Be patient and learn from the experience. I sent my query out in batches of 3-5. I only got 3 different helpful feedbacks. But combining that with my critique partners, I learned how to better shape both my writing and the query.