Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ask me Anything Day!

Hey y'all. I thought it'd be fun to make this Ask Me Anything Day.

Do you have a question about publishing? Writing? Revising? Hair Dyeing? Ask away in the comments, and I'll answer in the comments. (Novel idea, isn't it?)

And a shout out to the lurkers! Do you read my blog but never comment? Come on over and say "hi"! I will say "hi" back! And nobody will be hurt in the process!

Do you have questions about writing routines? My fondness for Diet Coke? My input on the cover for EVERNEATH? Ask away!

Okay, this should give you lots of ideas for questions to ask. Only, please don't leave me hanging. It would suck to be all, "Ask me anything day!" and then I hit the refresh button on my blog and, like, nobody's out there. That is always my biggest fear in doing this type of post. 

To start us off, I'll take a question from our beloved Question-Maker (who has made a special trip from his home in the space between rainbows and dreams).

QM: Hi Brodi. It's great to be back. So, here's the question I've been dying to ask: Do you ever find yourself questioning that whole "shower once a week" strategy?

me: Bite me, Question-Maker. 



  1. Here's one for you: Did you squeal with delight when you saw your cover for the first time (because I did...with your cover)?

  2. Emily- Yes. I squealed in huge delight! I remember I was at lunch with my writer friends during the LTUE conference when I got the first mock-up. I was nervous to look at it (what if I didn't like it?) and then absolutely thrilled with what they came up with.

  3. Wait, what's this? You shower only once a week? :)

    Do you have plans to write books in other genres in the future?

  4. Fun idea. :)
    Here's my random thing-I've-wondered-for-a-while publishing question: with the various "ranks" of editors, do you end up working with just one editor, or several? What role do assistant editors play in the making of a book?

  5. So- I'm not a great gift giver- but I want to be. What gift should I give my wife for being amazing? (and putting up with my "stuff")

    (Also- she's an editor. Do you know any authors who need one?)

    Jason Stout

  6. What websites/blogs do you waste time on when you should be writing/revising?

  7. Questions that we want answers to?

    Fringe or Battlestar Galactica?
    Diet Coke straight or Diet Coke with a Lemon?
    Up or Down?

  8. HOW DOES THE EVERNEATH SERIES END? *cough* You did say anything.

    Okay, fine. Unicorns or zombies? :D

  9. Have you seen the cover for E2? Can it possibly compare with EVERNEATH's cover?

  10. Sam- a. That might have been an exaggeration. Sometimes I shower once every two weeks.
    b. I will always write in the genre of YA, I think, but someday I might want to try realistic YA. Thanks!

    Faith- Luckily, I've worked with just one editor (Kristin Daly Rens) who ranks high enough that she can basically do anything she wants. (At least, that's my perspective on her awesomeness!) She has an assistant Sara who also is an editor, and I'm sure Sara also has a hand in forming my revisions and stuff, but all of my actual editing is with Kristin.

    Jason- All writers need editors! As far as a gift, if she's an editor, then she should love anything containing: caffeine, chocolate, iPad. My hubby bought me a gift containing iPad once. It was awesome. :)

  11. Heather- when I want to waste time when I should be writing, I tend to play internet word games like Scrabble and Text Twist. As for blogs, I like anything to do with the writing industry. Especially my own agency DGLM's blog, because when my agent blogs he tends to get himself in trouble.

    Sam the Husband-
    Fringe (right now)
    Diet Coke with a real lemon

    Lori- Hahahaha! The last sentence in the last book is... "And they all died." I hope that doesn't give anything away.

    As far as Unicorns v Zombies, Attraction-wise I'm more attracted to Unicorns. Conversation-wise, I'd rather sit down with a Zombie.

    Robin- Since they're still putting the finishing touches on the E1 cover, I doubt I'll see anything for at least a few months. But I'm sure whatever they come up with will be awesome!

  12. Ok. Remember those stories I sent you? I'm still not doing anything with them. BUT... do I find the illustrator, or is that found for me? Do I send it in with mockups or no? Just in case. You know.

  13. Hi, Brodi...I'm delurking, b/c when published (or nearly published--congrats!!!) authors offer to answer questions about writing, I can't resist, since I'm about to embark on the querying process in the next few months.

    When you get that revision letter (have you read it yet?), for Everneath 2 (or 1, also, actually), do you ever need clarification about how to make a revision? Can you just call or email your editor to talk something through or does she expect you to work it out on your own? Did you just have to revise Everneath once or did she take a few passes at it? And did your editor ever disagree with beta readers?

    Thanks for offering to answer questions. Sorry if I asked questions that will take an extraordinary amount of time to respond to!

  14. Sal- generally publishers like to match up their own illustrators with the authors. I think the rule of thumb is unless you are planning on illustrating your own book, then submit the manuscript without illustrations.

  15. Carrie Jo- thanks for delurking!
    a. I did read the revision letter, and it was relatively painless
    b. If I ever need clarification on part of it, I can either email or call my editor. But for the most part my editor is very clear, and it isn't hard to figure out what she's talking about.
    c. She is absolutely there for me if I need to talk something out. Usually at the end of her letters, she'll say something like, "Give this a few days to simmer, and then call me and we'll discuss anything!"
    d. I had to revise Everneath four times before it went to copyedits. The first revision letter for Everneath was like 12 pages long. For Everneath 2, the first revision letter was 7 pages. (There's some trivia for you.)
    e. My editor never disagreed with my beta readers. More often she would add to what they said. She really helped with the details of the world I'd created.
    There was one aspect of my book (the way it is told in past and present) that I felt strongly about keeping, and I was worried an editor would disagree. Luckily, my editor loved the structure of the story.
    Thanks for asking!

  16. I worked for a about a year in the art room of a screen printing company. Did you have any such experience previous to the writing of EVERNEATH? (One of many things I loved about your book! I could almost smell the delicious chemical scent of the inks as I read.)

    I am supposed to be writing a new scene at this very moment, but feel stuck, so rather than write 1500 words I'll have to erase tomorrow, I made cookie dough and turned up the tunes. What do you do when you're not quite sure what happens next? Write it out? Take a break? Tell jokes with Question-Maker?

    Purpose of a writers' retreat? To write or something else?

  17. Rachel- In high school I took a graphic arts class, and we screen-printed t-shirts. It was my absolute favorite class! That is where the inspiration came from.

    And if I'm stuck, it depends. If I've been writing for a long time, and it feels like a brain-fry, I'll take a break. But if it feels more like creative writer's block, I try to write through it. Even though it hurts, even though it feels forced, I am a firm believer that writing is the best way to deal with writer's block.

    As for a writers' retreat, we've been known to get some writing done on one of our weekend retreats...

  18. Let's say there were no consequences to your actions whatsoever, no fear of being put in jail or prison and no fear of going to Hell or whatever evil place you may think exists for sinners. What crime/sin would you commit?

  19. *wracks brain to think of a good question*

    What is your writing process like? Do you have a ritual where you have to type at the same time of day or at the same place? Or can you write anywhere any time?

    Now that you have a contract and your book is coming out, has your life changed in anyway? Abandoned day job, writing more hours a day etc.

    Thank you. :) I look forward to Everneath so much! Hades and Persephone, I've been waiting for someone to do a good one! I was tempted to be sly and asked for a sign arc. *cough* But I'll be good. <3

  20. Hi Brodi! I have come out of the lurker closet to brave the great wide world...and to ask questions, since I can never avoid the invitation (whether it actually is one or no).

    After laboring for eight years, I have now been attempting the rounds with my own novel but so far...many, many rejections and counting. Did you go for an agent first or an editor? Did you have friends/writers critique your novel or did you hide it?

    And, finally, how does it *feel* to be published (or about to be - hearty congrats!)? Are you in a constant state of jittery ecstasy? Wait, I think I'm thinking of something else...

  21. Great questions here.

    Have you turned back on your notification thing that tells you when people mention Everneath?

  22. Jenni Elyse- Getting high.

    Fiona- I usually write in my study on my computer. Or a carry a notebook around in my purse too. I wrote most of Everneath while sitting around waiting for my kids or watching soccer practices!

    As for what's changed, I'm now writing under a deadline, which means I can't piddle around whenever I feel like it like I used to. I think this is the first time I've ever used the word "piddle" on my blog. I hope it means what I think it means.

    I hope you like the book! And if I had any say in who got ARCs, I would give them to everyone!

    Jessica- Thank you for delurking! I went through a ton of rejections too. (100 rejections from agents on my first book.)

    I got an agent first, because I knew that for my life and my career, I would need someone in my corner. But finding the right fit was a big hurdle too!

    I have a critique group that reads all of my stuff. They are invaluable in every stage of your journey. I also have beta readers who give me good insight.

    Finally, how does it feel to be published? Awesome. And stressful. And awesome. And stressful. And awesome.

    Donna- No. I don't have any notifications that tell me when Everneath is mentioned, or my name. No Google alerts. No Goodreads stuff. So if you want me to see any posts or anything, you have to contact me the old fashioned way: email. :)

  23. You don't need to get high, though! You're already high from the hair dye! What else would you do? (This might make a good book idea for you, lol. Get those creative bad-girlish juices moving!)

  24. Hey Brodi!
    If you could pick three words to describe Nikki, what words would you choose? And I agree with everyone else, the cover is stunning!

  25. Hi Rachel!

    Three words to describe Nikki... Hmmmm.


    Great question!

  26. Hi Brodi,
    I'm de-lurking, too. I have a lot of ideas for books, but I'm kind of stuck when I get to the actual writing part, which can be a problem when trying to write a novel. Do you have any suggestions for someone who can't even begin?


    PS: I can't wait to read your book!

  27. Wow, 100 rejections to get to your agent. That is interesting (and inspiring for me to keep chugging) when you see yourself here now, in the countdown of EVERNEATH making its debut.

    So here's my question: What are your top 3 to 5 tips you would give a writer inspired to embark on the publishing journey, especially if they shared that they were inspired by your work? Also, how do you handle requests from friends and faux friends asking you to read their manuscripts and advise them on how to get agented via you (as in a referral)? Okay, so that was 2 questions...sorry :-)

  28. Hi Megan! Thanks for delurking. I would say, the best strategy to begin a book is to begin a book. I know it sounds overly simple, but it's totally true. Have you heard people say the key to writing is BIC: Butt In Chair? It's very true.

    I would say write whatever you are passionate about first. Leave the filler/boring stuff for later. Just get writing! :)

    1. Butt In Chair (see above)
    2. Educate yourself about the industry.
    3. Butt in Chair (See #1)
    4. Surround yourself with a great critique group
    5. Never give up. Never Surrender.

    As for friends asking me to read manuscripts, I don't get to do that anymore. I wish I had the time to read everyone's work! But between reading my critique group's manuscripts (there are six of us... that's a lot of reading) and my own work, and reading stuff for my editor, and reading stuff for fun... you can probably see there is no time. But one way to get that referral you mentioned is to find authors and editors and agents who are offering up ms critiques and query letter critiques.

    You can find these through writing conferences, auction items, all sorts of places.

    Hopefully this helps out! And good luck in your writing! And keep at it!

  29. Hi Brodi, great idea!
    Here my Q:

    When write, do you write everything in order or skip some scenes and come back to do them later?

    Sorry, that probably makes no sense, but i was the best wording i could find (you don't want to see the other tries...)


  30. I'm a day late, but I just wanted to say how awesome you are and how psyched I am for EVERNEATH.

    Also I queried your agent, and I made a joke about Niks (yours and mine,) and how two on his list might be better than one, and I'm fairly certain he's going to think I'm a nutcase, but I'm not really that upset about it.

    Does that mean querying has officially turned me crazy?

    Wait. Don't answer that. We all know the answer. XD

  31. Imo- I write by discovery. Which means that I tend to not outline first, and write in order. I have a general idea of what I need to happen, but sometimes that changes in the midst of drafting. If I don't quite know what happens in a scene, but I know what happens next, I'll skip the scene and come back.

    This all means that I go through the book probably four or five times before I have a real first draft, because of all the things that may have changed during the writing. Just talking about it now sounds exhausting! :)

    Thanks for asking!

    Leigh Ann- All writers have a bit of the crazy in them, and compared with the people my agent deals with on a daily basis, I bet he didn't even bat an eyelash at your query! :)

    Embrace the crazy.

  32. Did my question scare you? I realized it was probably the most morbid of the bunch. Blame it on Halloween ... yeah, that's why I was thinking about crimes and sins, Halloween.

  33. Jenni- Haha! I didn't see your second question! Sorry. Okay, what would I do, besides getting high... I would climb the outside of the statue of liberty. And parachute off. Awesome.

  34. I have a belated question too: how did you find your writing group? I met Emily and Bree at a writing conference last year and thought how fun to be in a group with them. I personally belong to two writing groups, but I'm always curious how other people find their groups. Being with a bunch of published authors must be awesome.

  35. Hi, Brodi. My question is a bit loaded, haha. :)
    But I got an email from you saying that I won a guitar pick necklace and signed book from you, but you needed my address. I sent you an email back, but never heard anything from you. That was back in September. I'm not being impatient or anything--I just wanted to make sure you got the email because I sent it from my iPhone, and I know emails don't always go through. So thank you so much once again, and I still can't wait to read EVERNEATH! :)

  36. Emily- With my writing group, it was pure luck. Bree and I met when our mutual agent (at the time) came to town for a conference. We hit it off and the rest is history. But the original group was formed because three of them were in BYU's writing program together.

    I think writers' groups are trial and error. You might have to try a few out before you find the right fit.

    Angel- haha! I mailed it last Saturday maybe? I usually gather a few things I need to mail before I go to the post office. Sorry for the delay!
    Excellent question. :)

  37. Haha, okay--thank you so much! :) You're awesome! Have a great day! :)