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An Interview with L.C. Frost upon receiving an offer of representation.

L.C. Frost (Yoshima on QT) has signed with agent Weronika Janczuk of The Janczuk Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Sure. I usually pitch SIMON'S PARADOX, YA fantasy, as a teen-ified ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND meets FRANKENSTEIN. It's kind of a long story, how I got started on this book. I was daydreaming in my organic chemistry class when the main concept fell into my head. I became obsessed with the idea, and had to write it down.
How long have you been writing?
I've written in spurts all my life, but didn't sit down to write seriously until I was 19 (I'm 21, now). So, about two years.
How long have you been working on this book?
Two years. When I began writing, I had no idea what I was doing. It's been a test of patience and revision. And more revision. And a whole lot more patience.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
YES. Hundreds of times. What helped me stay in the-little-engine-that-could mode is a little strange: consistently dreary tarot card readings. Hearing that I was in for a future of misery and strife only made me more determined. Reverse psychology really does work, it seems.
Is this your first book?
Do you have any formal writing training?
A few courses; in May I'll be graduating with a B.A. in English, but my concentration has been on literature.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
Not really. I never stick to schedules, anyway.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Too many to count.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes, two. I'll be baking them thank-you cookies for all eternity.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I wrote this one totally from the hip. I don't know if I'll be able to do that again; now I have a much better feel for the writing process.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I did things way out of order. Back after I wrote the first draft, I had no idea that I should wait and revise before querying. So it's been a wave sort of process; I would do a revision, then query, then realize I needed another revision, then query. It was very much a "learn from your mistakes" experience (which is the only way I learn anything). In total, counting all my silly, naive querying, it was about a year and a half.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
So many it would make the QT database explode. Kidding, kidding. Like I said before, because of all my naive querying, my stats are pretty skewed. Here's how skewed: I sent a grand total of 106 queries. Only 5 of those were when the manuscript was in its final form. I got quite a few requests off earlier versions of the manuscript, but it just wasn't publishable yet. And, to be honest, I wasn't ready to take the next step yet, either.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Yes. I usually included an intro sentence or two about how my book fit into the genres they're looking for. Or sometimes I commented on something they said on their blogs or in a recent interview.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
  1. Don't query too soon.
  2. Please, don't query too soon.
  3. Check agents' websites/blogs for genre updates. I had wanted to query Weronika months ago, but she hadn't been looking for my genre. Then in March, when I was considering finally giving up, she was suddenly open to my genre. I got all excited and queried her on a Monday. That Thursday, I got the call.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Absolutely. I have to omit an element from the query, though, because it isn't revealed in the book until the end. For the purposes of querying agents, it was necessary to reveal it; for readers it's a wee bit of a spoiler. For reference, my query letter was about 245 words long.

Dear Weronika Janczuk,

I’m seeking representation for my YA fantasy novel SIMON’S PARADOX, a teen-ified ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND meets FRANKENSTEIN. You mentioned on your website that you're interested in fresh fantasy and books with a very strong voice, and I wondered if my novel might be a good fit with you.

Seventeen-year-old Alice has a supernatural problem, and it has nothing to do with vampires. [Removed sentence with spoiler.] Side effects include: uncontrollable ability to sap the life out of anyone in reach—sometimes with lethal consequences—and a friend list permanently stuck at zero. Anytime a miracle wants to come along, that would be just peachy.

When her (really screwed up) miracle finally arrives, she awakens in an eerily familiar parallel version of colonial America where bloodthirsty magic is as conventional as afternoon tea. She meets Damien, a bandit on the run from a twisted organization of magic devotees called the Scholars, and discovers two things: life-sucking powers plus first love equals one big mess, and the Scholars are keener on capturing her than Damien. [Rest removed due to connection with earlier spoiler.]

SIMON’S PARADOX, my first novel, is complete at approximately 101,000 words. Thanks so much for your time and consideration.