Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
Sure! This book was inspired by the time I spent in the hospital when my three-year-old was diagnosed with cancer. In order to keep his spirits up, we pretended to battle real monsters. I have no doubt that the imaginary games we played enabled him to conquer the real demons he faced. So this book is a reflection on that time, except with additional fantastical elements.
How long have you been writing?
About four years.
How long have you been working on this book?
I started in January of this year.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
There WILL be times when you want to give up. But I think once you realize that the down moments are just a part of the process, you learn to accept it and compartmentalize it. I have yet to meet a writer who doesn’t get discouraged. I think the key is remembering why you started writing in the first place. Hold onto that and don’t let it go.
Is this your first book?
Nope! This is my fourth book. (The first two will never see the light of day!)
Do you have any formal writing training?
Not as far as schooling goes. But I do attend a lot of conferences and immerse myself in every craft book I can find. Though I think your gut can speak to you louder than anything else. Listen to your inner writer’s voice. It’ll tell you when pacing is off, the heart isn’t there, the concept isn’t compelling enough/etc.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
With four kids at home, I write however/whenever I can!
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
Hmm… I’d say one major rewrite and then several passes with fleshing out.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I wish I could outline. It’s my goal to with my next book. But I completely write from the hip.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
This book? Two weeks. Other books? Two to Nine months.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
I wanted an agent who was very editorial oriented. Natalia was an editor at Tor for 20 years, so that was a BIG plus. Also, it’s important to me that an agent has a “Recommended” sign on Preditors and Editors, and has good sales to the right places on Publishers Marketplace.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Usually. Like, I’ll mention if I’ve met them at a SCBWI conference or saw that they were looking for something particular on the #MSWL thread on Twitter.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Know when to walk away from a project. I’ve seen writers cling onto certain projects unable to let them go. It’s hard to grow when you keep pounding out revisions with the same book for years. Try something new. Stretch yourself. Write something you don’t think you’d ever write. I think that’s when you find your true voice—when you find what you’re truly meant to write.