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An Interview with Laura Brown upon receiving an offer of representation.

10/12/2015

Laura Brown (AuthorLBrown on QT) has signed with agent Rachel Brooks of L. Perkins Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
SILENT ATTRACTION is a New Adult Contemporary Romance where both main characters have a hearing loss. Carli struggles with her hearing loss, until she meets Reed, who is Deaf. He helps show her a world where hearing loss isn’t a bad thing. They both have ghosts in their closet that threaten their future together.

My inspiration came from my own hearing loss and the journey in growing comfortable with my ears.

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing on and off most of my life. I turned serious in 2013.
How long have you been working on this book?
About a year.
Is this your first book?
No. This is my third completed novel, but the seventh if I include completed drafts.
Do you have any formal writing training?
No.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I’m a working mother, there is no such thing as routine. I write when I can but tend to find some time daily, especially at night once my son is in bed.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I did one major rewrite, after receiving an R&R from an agent (the same agent I am now represented by). Beyond that I tend to read through and edit multiple times, and did many tweaks and some scene overhauls.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes! I think beta readers, and critique partners, are so important. I was fortunate to have many eyes on this novel in multiple forms, all helping me get the idea clear and cleaned up. In total, I had about eight different eyes at one point or another.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
Pantser for life! I’ve tried plotting and it doesn’t work for me. I don’t think I could have stopped writing this novel long enough to outline it, it had to be written and pulled me along for the ride.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I queried this book for five months (less as I took time off to revise), but have been in the query trenches for a year and seven months.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
I sent 30 for this book, an insanely small amount of queries!
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
First and foremost, I searched for agents who represent NA romance. Then I searched for those who want diversity. Beyond that, I researched the agents and felt them out to see who might be a good match for my novel.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
No, I used generic openings beyond the agent’s name.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Keep querying. Keep writing. Keep learning. And remember, it takes just one. One query. One agent. One novel. Keep going until the stars align.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Sure! This is the original query I sent my agent, prior to revising the story (and changing the title):

Dear Ms Brooks,

I would like to present my New Adult Contemporary Romance for your consideration. SILENCE is complete at 84,000 words

As a college senior, Carli Reynolds' goals in life are simple: survive her classes, mask her hearing loss, and suppress her debilitating headaches. If she succeeds, no one will know her internal daily struggle. Goals one and two all but combust when “Hot New Deaf Guy,” Reed, introduces her to a world where hearing loss is not a disadvantage. He breaks her hotness scale as her world shifts off balance.

Carli’s disability has hung over her head her entire life, care of her perfectionist father. Through Reed’s hands, her invisible scars heal. He convinces her to learn ASL. For the first time in her life something comes naturally to her. With him she starts to feel whole.

Reed discovers her debilitating headaches when she’s stranded without her pain meds. Headaches he deems not normal. Carli continues to straddle the line between hearing and deaf. When Reed discovers she’s abusing her pain pills, she’ll have to decide once and for all to embrace her hearing loss and Reed—or shun them both.

Like Carli, I wear two hearing aids. I’ve been Hard of Hearing since birth and have a degree in Deaf Studies from Boston University, a location SILENCE is loosely based on.

Thank you for your time.