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An Interview with Kristin Owens upon receiving an offer of representation.


Kristin Owens (SLUSHPILESADNESS on QT) has signed with agent Madelyn Burt of Stonesong.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
I'm a world traveler and love learning about different cultures and perspectives which challenge my own. My husband and I were moving from Germany back to the United States and decided to take the Queen Mary 2. While on board, I thought the ship would make a terrific setting for a book.
How long have you been writing?
Creatively? About four years. I joined a writing group in 2015 which helped enormously.
How long have you been working on this book?
I started it in 2016 and finished in about four months. It went through several rounds of revision and beta readers, plus my group. So total time, over a year.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Absolutely. There's very little positive reinforcement for a writer. You need supportive friends and a spouse to hold the tissue box. I found glasses of wine with writer friends helped too. The more writers I met at conferences and workshops, the better I felt.
Is this your first book?
Yes (If you don't count my dissertation, which I don't because it's for something 360 degrees different.)
Do you have any formal writing training?
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I'm in my office every day either futzing with business tasks or writing.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
About seven edits and a full rewrite when I realized I needed to go bigger. That came with more writing experience and confidence.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes! I recommend people who know nothing about you and can't be swayed by your sparkling personality. And don't ask your mom.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Both. I knew certain acts and scenes I wanted and those were outlined. I also knew the beginning and ending.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
About two years. I had a lot of requests, over 40, but never found anyone to "love" it. After I rewrote it, I queried agents who had read the full already asking if they wanted another peek. When I received an R&R from my now agent, I realized I found someone who could help make my book better, but more importantly, believed in it.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
I'm too embarrassed to say.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
Since my book kind of straddles women's fiction, humor and cozy, I wanted an agent who represented different genres.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Sometimes. If they recently tweeted something that resonated or put out a #mswl request, I'd mention it. Otherwise, I started with my hook.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Keep at it. If you really believe in your project, keep making it better. Also, I wrote a second book while querying the first, which helped.