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An Interview with Sophie Krich-Brinton upon receiving an offer of representation.

11/15/2021

Sophie Krich-Brinton (sophiakate on QT) has signed with agent Bre Stephens of Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency.

Can you tell us a little bit about the book for which you've found representation? What inspired you to write it?
It's the story of a sister who gave up her passion to protect her sibling from the vengeful queen. It's a story of music and theater and found family and bravery in the face of terrible odds. It's about being true to yourself no matter what it might cost. It was inspired in part by Irish mythology, in part by the Newsies broadway show.
How long have you been writing?
I've been writing seriously (almost daily) since December 2019. Before that, I won NaNoWriMo a few times but revised/wrote only a few months out of the year.
How long have you been working on this book?
I began this book in August of 2020.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up, and what helped you to stay on course?
Of course. Two books queried, so many rejections, all of them form letters - it's difficult to keep going. I had to remind myself of what I want in my writing career, which is a partner to help me with the difficult things. An agent to fight my battles, find my books their homes, review my contracts, and do all the stuff I have no interest or energy to do. So I kept going.
Is this your first book?
This is the second book I've polished and queried. There are many more first drafts that never got any attention.
Do you have any formal writing training?
No.
Do you follow a writing "routine" or schedule?
Yes: I write every morning, starting at around 530am, until my kids get up (around 645). If I have time, I do another hour during the day. When I finish a draft, I take a week off and use the same time to read fiction (can't sleep in or it's painful when I start writing again).
How many times did you re-write/edit your book?
This book had 13 full drafts, plus countless small rounds of revisions.
Did you have beta readers for your book?
Yes
Did you outline your book, or do you write from the hip?
I beated it out, using Save the Cat Writes a Novel
How long have you been querying for this book? Other books?
I began querying this book in January 2021. I queried a different book from April 2020-Dec 2020.
About how many query letters did you send out for this book?
This book had 70 queries sent out
On what criteria did you select the agents you queried?
They had to accept YA, Adult, Fantasy, and LGBTQ+ at a minimum. Then I also checked to make sure their MSWL aligned with my book.
Did you tailor each query to the specific agent, and if so, how?
Yes, I researched their MSWL on their twitter/website/blog/MSWL and included two specific reasons they might be interested ("because your MSWL includes myth-based stories and found family")
What advice would you give other writers seeking agents?
Keep going. Don't give up. Keep querying. Keep writing. If not this book, the next.
Would you be willing to share your query with us?

This is the query that got me my agent:

BOOK TITLE, complete at 90,000 words, is YA fantasy with crossover adult potential that will appeal to fans of Naomi Novik, Sarah Gailey, and Margaret Rogerson. Since your MSWL includes dark fantasy, inner struggles, and LGBTQ+, I hope you'll enjoy it.

Without a blood-heir to the snowy kingdom of Brigitte, a theater competition will identify the worthiest of the townspeople to take the throne. 19-year-old Ria dreams of competing, but in the hands of the recently-widowed queen, the competition becomes an unruly, unlawful contest of wealth and magic.

Unbeknownst to anyone besides Ria, the king left behind an heir: Aoife, Ria's eight-year-old sister. In a deathbed promise to her mother, Ria gave up her future career as an artist to hide Aoife from the vengeful queen and her machinations.

Ria knows Aoife longs to join the theater competition on the same stage where Ria moonlights as an artist. But if the queen sees Aoife onstage, she'll recognize Aoife's golden eyes as the king's. Worse, she might guess that Aoife inherited her king-father's magic.

Before the queen can vanquish Aoife to clear the path of ascension for her own children, she needs Aoife's blood to bring her deceased children back from the dead—a possibility she sees in one of Brigitte's magical Wells.

Rivalries, robberies, blackmail, blood magic, mystical coyotes, murder plots, ravenous competitors, and an ancient goddess. Keeping Aoife safe may get Ria killed.