Do you have a question you'd like to see answered? Feel free to leave a comment in a blog post, or send me an email.
How did you get published?
Oh man, that is a long answer. I'll try to shorten it into steps.
1. Wrote a book.
2. Edited that book.
3. Queried agents
4. Received about a hundred rejections.
5. And one offer of representation.
6. Revised the book with the agent.
7. Submitted the book to publishers... and...
8. Got rejected by every single one.
9. Wrote another book.
10. Revised that book.
11. Sent book to agent, who didn't love the book.
12. Parted ways with agent.
13. Queried agents again.
14. Received almost a hundred rejections again.
15. But also received 9 offers of representation.
16. Signed with my agent.
17. Revised my book.
18. Submitted the book to publishers.
19. Accepted pre-empt from HarperCollins after only 48 hours on submission.
So, just follow these 19 easy steps...
Just kidding. I'm sure you've heard this, but every book has it's own path to publication, and no two roads are alike. I won't lie and say the entire process was easy, but it was definitely worth it.
Where did you get your ideas?
Although I've always had a love for Greek Mythology, I didn't start out to write a book about a modern day take on Peresphone. I started out with a particular scene: A girl, who'd been gone for a long time, returns to her old school and her old friends, and no one knows where she's been. She gets a second chance to say goodbye, before she's gone for good.
It was only after I'd written a good portion of the book that I realized its connection to the Persephone myth.
But, as is often the case with my particular way of writing, it all started with a scene I wanted to write. Then I had to figure out how these characters got to this particular place and time. And that's the book. Easy Peezy.
Any advice on Query Letters?
I love this piece of advice from an editor at Random House who spoke at a conference I attended: Query letters - particularly hooks - should be equal parts Desirable and Unique.
A story about a four-year-old serial killer would be unique, but not necessarily desirable.
A story about a girl who falls in love with an immortal being, who just happens to go to her high school, would be desirable, but not necessarily unique.
So, find what's unique and desirable about your book, put it in a two-sentence hook, and that's how I would start out your query.
That's not the only advice I have, but I want to be done typing.
How much was your advance?
First answer me this: How much to do you make? Okay, so my point is, asking someone about their advance is sort of like asking someone about their salary. But I'll tell you my weight.
When is your book coming out?
Winter 2012. Which means January or February 2012. Which is just over a year.
Isn't that like a really long time?
Actually, in the publishing world, it's really fast. We are on an accelerated time schedule, just to make all the deadlines. I know it seems like a long time, but with covers to be designed, and jacket copy to be written, and revisions to be revised, and copy-edits to be copy-edited, and passive voice to be overused, there is much do to before the book can hit shelves.
But, yeah, I'm dying of impatience.