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An Interview with Leigh Ann Kopans upon receiving an offer of representation.


Leigh Ann Kopans (lkopans on QT) has signed with agent Tricia Lawrence of Erin Murphy Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
ONE is a YA Sci-Fi about a girl who's only half a superhero. It involves superpowers and romantic drama and swooniness, just like the X-men and other Marvel comics I was raised on and still love.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing for a year and a half.
How long have you been working on this book?
I started drafting this book in August 2011 and secured representation for it in June 2012 - so, ten months from point A to point B.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I felt like giving up almost every day for the last two months of the process. My critique partners and writing friends were the only thing that kept me going most days - they assured me that what I had written was good, and that it deserved every chance.
Is this your first book?
This is my second completed manuscript.
Do you have any formal writing training?
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
I wake up early - around 4:30 - every day. I spend half an hour on my elliptical reading stuff for critique partners, and after that I write for about an hour before the kids wake up. I usually try to get some words in after bedtime and dinner too. Additionally, I like to grab a 4 hour chunk of time on Sunday mornings, and I take notes on my smartphone whenever I think of them. Lots and lots of poorly-typed notes.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
No re-writes, two major revisions. The first major revision was according to suggestions from my first in-depth critique partner reads; the second was in response to a Revise and Resubmit request.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes! Altogether I had about fifteen. Three did a full in-line edit, six did a detailed reader's report, and the rest were betas with overall reaction feedback.
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I write from the hip, and use a beat sheet to clean up the pacing afterward.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I queried (and contested) this book for four and a half months.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
I queried every agent that represented my genre and was open to queries. You never know what will catch their fancy, so reading their existing titles is a nice step, but I wasn't convinced it was necessary.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Only if I had a very unique connection to them - if I especially loved another book they represented or had communicated with them on Twitter, or was a long-time follower of their blog. Sometimes, if I thought my book closely matched their wishlist, I would mention that. Otherwise, no - every agent got the same query.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Surround yourself with a writing team that gives critique in a way that works for you, and is loving, supportive, and encouraging. Your mood and discouragement - both of which will be AWFUL on many days - are enough to stop you in your tracks. You need people in your life to counter that.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?
Sure thing! Though, I'll warn you, it worked HORRIBLY - I only had six query requests out of the 127. My signing agent, Tricia Lawrence of EMLA, was closed to queries when she found me in a contest.

Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly, or even drift along like a freaking ghost - too bad all she can do is float up and down. When almost everyone else is a Super, with at least two powers, or a Normal, with none, being a One is the worst kind of in-between.

All Merrin has ever wanted is to land an internship at the Biotech Hub. Shebusts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub¹s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all to find the key to fixing herself.

Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they¹re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they¹re busy falling for each other. Merrin¹s over the moon - Elias is as good at kissing as he is at helping her fly. Better yet, her mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub¹s internship short list.

But when the Hub kidnaps Elias, Merrin discovers The Hub¹s sick experiments don¹t heal Ones - they get rid of them. If she stands up to the Hub, she not onlyrisks Elias¹s life, she¹ll also destroy her chances of ever finding a way to fly solo ­ of ever being more than a One.

ONE is a work of Young Adult Science Fiction with strong romantic elements complete at 76,000 words.