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An Interview with Nikki Stuckwisch upon receiving an offer of representation.

01/06/2013

Nikki Stuckwisch (nikkidj on QT) has signed with agent Natalia Aponte of Aponte Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you’ve found representation? What inspired you to write it?
I’ve always loved thrillers, especially medical thrillers, but I never thought I could write one until I went to the SEAK Fiction Writing for Physicians conference. I completed some exercises, got excellent feedback, and thought, “Hey, I can do this.”
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first “book” in sixth grade. I didn’t start writing in earnest until July of 2010.
How long have you been working on this book?
I started it in October of 2010, so just over two years.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
I can’t count the times I felt like giving up. But I’d come to Query Tracker, talk to my friends from ThrillerFest, and I’d get reinvigorated.
Is this your first book?
Yes
Do you have any formal writing training?
Not really. I took a post-graduate writing course, and a creative writing course in college, but that’s about it.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
No. Only recently has my schedule become conducive to regular writing. Now I get the kids off to school in the morning, surf the internet a bit, and then get to work. I try to write at least an hour or two each day.
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
I can’t count the number of rewrites. I’m currently revising yet again.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes. Family, friends, and a great friend I met at ThrillerFest.\\
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I’m a pantser all the way. I knew what would happen in the conclusion, but it unfolded in ways I hadn’t imagined.
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I started querying WAY too soon. It’s been almost two years that I’ve been querying, but the book wasn’t ready for querying until this past fall. So I started querying about a year and a half too soon.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
Around 200.
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
I looked for agents that repped thrillers and YA, since those are the audiences for whom I write. And I looked for agents with an editorial bent. That’s why my agent is perfect for me—she was an editor for 20 years before becoming an agent.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Other than following their submissions requirements to a tee, no.
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Don’t give up. This is a difficult row to hoe, and it’s not for the faint of heart. But if, like me, writing is a passion, you’ll find that every rejection makes you a stronger writer, and every step in this journey is necessary to become the best writer you can be.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?

Blood spills all the time in the ER--but usually not the doctor's.

Someone is murdering the female physicians of Indianapolis. It becomes personal for emergency room newbie Brett Powell when one of her best friends from medical school is brought in, near death. Melanie has an abdominal wound that suspiciously mimics a skilled surgeon’s work. When Melanie dies, Brett buries her grief and begins investigating the other victims. Determined, she points out the medical wounds to Detective Frank Henderson, providing the angle he desperately needs to solve the case. And he’d better hurry, or Brett may become the next candidate for a toe tag.

(Bio blurb here)

CODE, a 79,000-word thriller, is complete. Thank you for your time and consideration.