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An Interview with Jessica Tudor upon receiving an offer of representation.

Jessica Tudor (jessicatudor on QT) has signed with agent Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary & Media.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
MERCY is the story of a girl whose twin sister kills herself and who rewinds time to try and stop her. I had the idea for someone who could rewind time, and how half her memories belong only to her, and it went from there.
How long have you been writing?
I transferred into a creative writing BA my junior year of college and decided I was serious about becoming a published novelist; that was in 2005.
How long have you been working on this book?
Since late July 2010.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
No! I wrote it so fast I didn't have time to doubt. Truly, though, the encouragement of my wonderful CP's and the belief that I have stories worth telling keep me going, Also, I'm useless at anything besides typing fast.
Is this your first book?
I've written, revised, and submitted two manuscripts prior to this one, and drafted several others.
Do you have any formal writing training?
I do have my BA in creative writing, but between us it's nothing you can't learn with hard work, diligence, and the Internet.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I draft new words 5 or 6 days a week, but I always take Sundays off for church and family. I like to do two or three sprints and stretch in between them. My goal is always at least 1k a day, though when I'm in a first draft I usually do about 2-3k.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Before submitting to agents, once.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes, and thank God! I wrote the first draft, my critique partner said, "you know every scene is the same thing, right?" and I threw out half of it and rewrote it.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I do a lot of planning up-front that saves me a lot of work later, but I don't do very structured formal outlines, just a bit of a roadmap.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I began querying this book on October 26 and I accepted my offer on November 2. Before that I queried a book from June through August, and before that, I queried a book in the summer of 2008.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
People I wanted to work with who I believe know what they're doing. I also wanted an editorial agent who didn't mind frequent communication.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Surprisingly no. I mentioned if I read their blog or had a favorite client for a handful, but I had to send them out so fast I didn't bother in most cases.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Be prepared. My first offer came within three days of sending my first query.