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CADET OF TILDOR Trailer Reveal & Giveaway!

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 15 October 2012 · 202 views

[center][url="https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17102068/Web%20-%20Alex%20Lidell/WEB%20LINKED.%20Do%20Not%20Delete/Cover%20Final%20CadetofTildor.jpg"][img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/17102068/Web%20-%20Alex%20Lidell/WEB%20LINKED.%20Do%20Not%20Delete/Cover%20Final%20CadetofTildor.jpg[/img][/url][/center]



[left]
[left]Today is a big day for fellow [url="http://thelucky13s.blogspot.com/"]Lucky13[/url] and [url="http://classof2k13.com/"]Class of 2k13[/url] member Alex Lidell! Her trailer for [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13549523-the-cadet-of-tildor"]THE CADET OF TILDOR[/url] is debuting today, and I get to be part of the excitement thanks to [url="http://atomrbookblogtours.com/"]AToMR Tours[/url]. Alex's trailer is amazing, and she has the medieval reenactment group "Liberi Lusenta" in Italy to thank for that - they did an amazing job, and you can [url="http://cadet.alexlidell.com/novels/trailerteam/"]meet them here[/url].

[i]There is a new king on the throne of Tildor. Currents of political unrest sweep the country as two warring crime families seek power, angling to exploit the young Crown's inexperience. At the Academy of Tildor, the training ground for elite soldiers, Cadet Renee de Winter struggles to keep up with her male peers. But when her mentor, a notorious commander recalled from active duty to teach at the Academy, is kidnapped to fight in illegal gladiator games, Renee and her best friend Alec find themselves thrust into a world rife with crime, sorting through a maze of political intrigue, and struggling to resolve what they want, what is legal, and what is right.[/i]
CADET will be available from Dial Books for Young Readers (Penguin) on January 10, 2013.[/left]

[url="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/26176d10/"]a Rafflecopter giveaway[/url]

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The Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 12 October 2012 · 173 views

Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description [url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]RC Lewis[/url] and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.




















[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/img][/url]








Art by Lynn Phillips Nelson








http://femboost.tumblr.com/









We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.






















Also, for my brave Saturday Slash volunteers I will gladly do follow-up slashes (each more kindly than the next) on your query if you post them on the Query Critique board over on [url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]AgentQuery Connect[/url]. You'll get advice from me, and also people who are smarter than me. If you do post on AQ, be sure to follow the guidelines and let me know you posted so that I can follow up!











And now for the next brave volunteer. For clarity, my comments are in [color=#6aa84f]this color. Because nobody liked the yellow :)[/color]

Fifteen-year-old Prince Alexander knows how to use a sword—using it against an enemy is another story.



He can fire an arrow into an apple from twenty feet away—as long as no one's looking.


And he's fawned over by all the single ladies of his kingdom—even though he just wants them to leave him alone. [color=#6aa84f]I like the setup you have there pro - con. I would take these three mini-hooks and push them altogether for a hook para. The white space makes it look like you've got three mini-hooks and you couldn't decide which one to go with. There's no reason why you can't put them together to form a hook- para.[/color]


But when war threatens the Kingdom of Drakon and he falls in love with his commanding officer, Alex doesn't know what to do. [color=#6aa84f]I'd use the same format as you were before with the dash here instead of starting the next sentence off with [/color]Especially [color=#6aa84f]because technically I'm not sure this next bit is a complete sentence as it stands.[/color] when he finds out he's actually a girl. [color=#6aa84f]OK - now that's pretty fascinating. [/color]From birth, his mother was forced to raise him as a boy because only a male can be an heir, and since he's already got six older siblings—all girls—she had to make a choice. [color=#93c47d]I'd cut some of this, it's not terribly important that he has six older siblings and that they were all girls. The important thing here is that he needed to pretend to be a boy to inherit, so Mom made that call - gotcha. However - I think the much harder sell here is how the hell she managed to keep Alex so incredibly naive for so long. You're going to have to show that is a believable plot point.[/color] Alex is more than a little peeved at his mom—she could've at least given him a hint!—but now he must make a choice: tell the people he's a girl so he can be with the love of his life, or keep his family safe from prosecution. [color=#6aa84f]Err... more than prosecution, I would assume. He'll lose the throne.[/color] Decisions, decisions.
[color=#3d85c6]
[/color] [color=#6aa84f]I highlighted some of your text above in blue because I feel like the voice there is not in keeping with the rest of the query. It's got a very ha-ha blasé touch to it, and that's not how the rest of the query is reading. Everything else has a lot of angst and self-idenity issues, but these two lines are forcing an angle that I don't think is necessarily working here. [/color]
[color=#6aa84f]
[/color] [color=#6aa84f]Overall it's an interesting concept that I really like, however I think you've really got to sell the idea that Alex could be that naive about sexuality and gender for that long. Also, I'm really curious about the other side of this love story - how does the commanding officer feel about all this? Does he know Alex is a girl? The main conflict here is kingdom & power vs. love.... so tell me more about the relationship and how it's going to play out in terms of the story. Address those two elements and then I think you're ready to query.[/color]
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Book Talk - TIME BETWEEN US by Tamara Ireland Stone

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 11 October 2012 · 153 views

[center][url="http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1329887065l/11115457.jpg"][img]http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1329887065l/11115457.jpg[/img][/url][/center]Anna couldn't be more stuck in her suburban Chicago home. Even though she runs every morning, she's never actually been anywhere. The world map covering her bedroom wall that's supposed to show her travels only has pins stuck in a tight cluster around her home. It feels like nothing will ever change for Anna, until she meets Bennet.

He's watching her morning run from the bleachers when she first spots him, but when he's introduced later in the day as the proverbial new kid in town he pretends to have not seen her there. He's cute enough that she's willing to let that odd fact slide, until he presents her with another - distinctly odder - one.

Bennet can slide through places, going anywhere he chooses only by visualizing it. He proves it to Anna by taking her to a deserted island for an afternoon, and plopping her back into her bedroom only minutes after they left. The pins on Anna's map start to spread as Bennet opens the world to her, giving Anna experiences she never could have otherwise.

Only, Bennet's not sharing the entire truth with her. He can slide through time, too. Anna is from 1995, Bennet lives in 2012. He's only staying in the 90s long enough to find his sister again, who he lost while attending a particularly boisterous Pearl Jam concert she wanted to see. As his time in her world begins running short, his powers fade and the two have to face the problem of a love that's challenged not only by distance, but by a timeline as well.
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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 10 October 2012 · 189 views

Yes, it's true. I've made a vlog NOT designed to be funny. And if anyone out there is thinking, "Wait, those earlier ones were supposed to be funny?" I will cry. Like, right now. The [url="http://classof2k13.com/"]Class of 2k13[/url] launches today with giveaways and blog posts about the inspiration behind our stories. Since I just love filming myself talking to nobody in my dining room I went ahead and made a vlog. This is your chance to see me being serious, and sounding like someone that actually should have two degrees.

But anyway, I know you're dying for the Thursday Thoughts -

Thoughts this week:

1) Common sense is not aptly named.

2) There needs to be some kind of study done with electric shock to create aversion to calories.

3) Someone needs to create a pill that makes cat poop smell good. That would be so incredible. The house starts to smell a little stuffy and you're thinking, "Man, I wish the cat would take a crap already."
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Debut MG Author Polly Holyoke on the Submission Process

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 08 October 2012 · 198 views

If there's one thing that many aspiring writers have few clues about, it's the submission process. There are good reasons for that; authors aren't exactly encouraged to talk in detail about our own submission experiences, and - just like agent hunting - everyone's story is different.

I managed to cobble together a few non-specific questions that some debut authors have agreed to answer (bless them). And so I bring you the submission interview series - Submission Hell - It's True. Yes, it's the SHIT.



[url="http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1331055554p5/4705142.jpg"][img]http://photo.goodreads.com/authors/1331055554p5/4705142.jpg[/img][/url]Today's guest, Polly Holyoke, is a fellow Lucky13 and also a member of the Class of 2k13 - our site will be launching 10/11/12 (Thursday) with some great giveaways and posts about the inspiration behind our novels. If you want to learn more about how Polly (and me, and about 18 other debut authors) conceived of our debuts, hop on over! You might win something too!

Polly's debut, THE NEPTUNE PROJECT will be available from Disney Hyperion in 2013.

And now for her submission experience, or as she puts it:


Or how I spent the longest 14 days of my life….


[b]BBC: How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself[/b]?


PH: I knew a fair amount about how the process went when a manuscript was submitted to a few houses at a time. I knew very little about how auctions actually worked, and to my great surprise, my agent decided to take that route for [u]The Neptune Project[/u].


[b]BBC: Did anything about the process surprise you?[/b]


PH: I was surprised by how quickly the process went. I keep hearing how slammed the editors are (and I know that’s true) but somehow my agent was able to get editors at twelve different houses to read my manuscript within a period of two weeks.


[b]BBC: What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?[/b]


PH: I think my agent heard back from a few publishers within a few days indicating they did not intend to bid on NEPTUNE. The rest we didn’t hear from until close to the end.


[b]BBC: What do you think is the best way for author out on submission to deal with anxiety? [/b]


PH: Eat chocolate, go for long walks, and then eat more chocolate??? Actually, I just tried to stay busy and worked on another book. I think it’s really important to always have that next project in the works, just in case you do meet with a discouraging rejection. I always love the planning and early stages of a novel. The daydreaming part is my favorite, so I managed to lose myself there. And then I ate more chocolate…


[b]BBC: If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections? [/b]


PH: We tried for a pre-empt, and we were turned down within twenty-four hours. That was definitely an ouch because I loved the house that we contacted first. I was amazed and encouraged, though, that my agent had the clout to get a book read by an editor-in-chief so quickly. I had to feel optimistic about my story’s chances in the long haul. My agent was also very kind about making me feel like the failure of his pre-empt attempt was all his fault for sending the book to the wrong house.


The stakes were so much higher in an auction than for your regular ole garden variety query rejection. I’ve been in this game long of enough to have experienced dozens (okay, honestly, probably hundreds!) of query rejections. I think because my agent was so excited about the project, he almost had me convinced that everyone was going to bid on it -- which did not happen. So, the first few rejections definitely hurt more than query rejections, I’d developed a pretty thick skin about them. Hearing that a couple of the big houses were definitely dropping out of the hunt early on was a surprise, but my agent was so positive, he made me think we’d definitely have a sale, and he was right, bless his heart.


[b]BBC :If you received feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?[/b]


PH: I always try to appreciate the feedback I receive from editors and put it to good use. If I hear from two editors in a row that my story has a serious flaw, I’ll definitely try to change it. But our rejections in this case had more to do with the fact NEPTUNE wasn’t really the right kind of story for several of the more literary houses we contacted. I always take all my beta readers’ feedback seriously, but I have to put an editor’s feedback within the context of their market and niche. At the same time, editors do have such an incredible perspective on books. Sometimes I think good editors look at novels the way mechanics look at automobiles. Editors can see the body, engine, and interior workings of a manuscript so clearly. BTW, because editors’ input can be extremely valuable, I encourage writers to sign up for editors’ critique at conferences.


[b]BBC: When you got your YES! How did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal[/b]?


PH: Let’s see, I heard the big yes by telephone, and by then I was a little wrung out from the two week wait (and very full of… you guessed it – chocolate!) It did come down to the final day at the final hour my agent set for the end of the auction. I remember standing looking out my office window and listening to him tell me the details of the deal, and they pretty much just washed over me. I was incredibly happy, and incredibly relieved that the long two weeks were over, and we did have a good deal in hand. It definitely took a while to sink in. But then I believe I did start whooping and dancing and making my sundry dogs and cats very worried – but that whole ecstatic afternoon is a blur to me now.


[b]BBC: Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?[/b]


PH: I didn’t have to wait at all before telling folks, which was a very good thing! I think I probably told my mailman, the UPS man, and the checker at the grocery store. I did call my husband first, and I even texted my daughters at school. Then literally the next day I was talking to a media agent in LA and hearing about all the studios that were going to be receiving copies of my manuscript. I believe someone’s still trying to make a treatment of it now. I do notice no one’s actually paid us option money yet, but it was surreal and very fun realizing my sea story was actually floating around Hollywood, so to speak!


Looking back on all the excitement, I realize I was so very lucky to sign with a good agent who had the “clout” to get my story read and taken seriously. I’ve had three agents now in the course of my colorful career, and this submission process brought home to me once again that having a great agent in your corner can make all the difference.
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Enter to Win a Signed Copy of PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 07 October 2012 · 165 views

Hooray! I'm still giving things away. I'm really good at accumulating stuff. Luckily for you, I'm a giving person.

Today I've got a signed copy of PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles!

And if you enjoy giveaways, be sure to swing by the [url="http://classof2k13.com/"]Class of 2k13[/url] site on 10/11/12 - that's this Thursday for those of you who don't have a calendar in front of your noses at the moment. We'll be doing giveaways for our launch and sharing the inspiration behind our MG & YA novels!


[center][url="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fZcBf-wVZsQ/UHLEA2qHkbI/AAAAAAAAA70/vfIcdqNZpGM/s1600/IMG_1038.jpg"][img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-fZcBf-wVZsQ/UHLEA2qHkbI/AAAAAAAAA70/vfIcdqNZpGM/s400/IMG_1038.jpg[/img][/url][/center]
[url="http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2071812/"]a Rafflecopter giveaway[/url]

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Saturday Slash

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 05 October 2012 · 332 views

Meet the BBC Hatchet of Death (or, some other colorful description [url="http://crossingthehelix.blogspot.com/"]RC Lewis[/url] and I come up with at any given moment). This is how I edit myself, it is how I edit others. If you think you want to play with me and my hatchet, shoot us an email.




















[url="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s1600/NewestSatSlash.jpg"][img]http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ys6toRSVJD4/UADeqdCGAKI/AAAAAAAAArg/zFHQIB3dYgs/s320/NewestSatSlash.jpg[/img][/url]








Art by Lynn Phillips Nelson








http://femboost.tumblr.com/









We all know the first line of a query is your "hook." I call the last line the "sinker." You want it to punch them in the face, in a nice, friendly kind of way that makes them unable to forget you after having read the 300 other queries in their inbox.






















Also, for my brave Saturday Slash volunteers I will gladly do follow-up slashes (each more kindly than the next) on your query if you post them on the Query Critique board over on [url="http://www.agentqueryconnect.com/"]AgentQuery Connect[/url]. You'll get advice from me, and also people who are smarter than me. If you do post on AQ, be sure to follow the guidelines and let me know you posted so that I can follow up!











And now for the next brave volunteer. For clarity, my comments are in [color=#6aa84f]this color. Because nobody liked the yellow :)[/color]

Ghosts don’t exist. At least, that’s what seventeen-year-old Emma Harris thought before one hurled her and mysterious classmate Daniel Wyatt back in time. [color=#6aa84f]Okay, it's not a *bad* hook, but it's kind of a mouthful to get to the goods. You start off with what I call "the contradiction hook" - statement + contradiction = action to prove it's so. Granted, I totally made that up just now, but it's kind of a formulaic thing that needs a name, and I've decided it should be called the "contradiction hook." Find something hook-ier. The idea that not only is our MC thrown back in time, but with someone "mysterious" not of her choosing is what you want to highlight, but right now it's a mouthful to get there. [/color]Now in 19th century America, the ghost is a living, breathing, flirting girl named Lucinda Sutton. The same Lucinda Sutton who disappeared on her wedding night, according to town legend. [color=#6aa84f]Oh now that's interesting. Start here - this is your hook, rephrase to get it up there front and center. [/color]
[color=#6aa84f]
[/color]
Of all the people to be stuck with in the past, Daniel Wyatt was not high on Emma’s list. His dodgy reputation and temper were enough to keep her away before, but stranded in a foreign world of petticoats and pantalettes, [color=#6aa84f]like the alliteration here [/color]he’s the only anchor to her time, [color=#6aa84f]This feels slightly off, I'm not sure these two phrases in the sentence are actually complementing each other. When you use "before" it sounds like, there was reason for her to not like him earlier, but now - and here I'm expecting you to deliver even more reason to dislike him, but instead it's a positive flip. Slight rephrase here.[/color] a place she’d do anything to return to.


After exploring Lucinda’s life as real 19th century citizens, [color=#6aa84f]I'd cut the opener, we assume they're doing that, or else standing out like sore thumbs. It's kind of time-travel protocol to fit in right away.[/color] Emma and Daniel believe their only way home is to help Lucinda marry. But Lucinda’s fiancé is more than gentility and smiles. He may have been the very person who made her “disappear.” [color=#6aa84f]Nice.[/color]
Trapped in a tragedy that’s already been written, [color=#6aa84f]nice[/color] Emma and Daniel must overcome their differences to battle fate for Lucinda’s life. If they fail, they may be abandoned in the past forever.

[color=#6aa84f]Nice, but why do they want to help her? Only for themselves? Or do they actually want to save her, too? Earlier when you used the word "flirting" to describe her I was immediately imagining that either there was going to be a love-triangle here, or some kind of jealousy on Emma's part in regards to Daniel. But that doesn't go anywhere, and it would be a huge hook in YA. How does Emma feel about Lucinda? Does she want to save her life just to return to her own rightful place in time? How does Emma feel about Daniel as the novel progresses? Are her feelings changing? You say she stayed away from her before, now he's her anchor. How does she feel about that? Repulsed? Scared? Angry? Confused? Attracted?[/color]
[color=#6aa84f]
[/color] [color=#6aa84f]This is well-written but you need to get the character feelings in here to give it some blood.[/color]
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Book Talk - SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 04 October 2012 · 496 views

[center][url="http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1339533695l/10194157.jpg"][img]http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1339533695l/10194157.jpg[/img][/url][/center]Alina Starkov is just another peasant orphan in Ravka, one of the many who have lost home and family in the never-ending wars. Her only wish is to distinguish herself as a mapmaker in the King's Army, and to hope that someday her fellow orphan and childhood friend Mal will see past her plain looks and know her true feelings.

But an excursion into the Shadow Fold - an all-consuming darkness harboring the raptor-like volcra - threatens Mal's life and Alina's power explodes from her in a surprising burst of light. She is the Sun-Summoner, the only one who can defeat the darkness of the Shadow Fold and bring hope to Ravka.


And she has no clue how to harness her power.

Swept into the richly designed world of the Grisha and the Second Army without warning, Alina is lost in the world of power and beauty. The only person who seems to understand her is the one she's been taught to fear - the Darkling himself, the handsome great-grandson of the former Darkling who created the Shadow Fold in a misguided bid for power.

The Darkling wants to teach Alina to use her power to complement his own, together he says they can deliver hope to their world. But every Grisha lesson she learns leads Alina further away from the orphan she used to be, and the boy she loved before.

Bardugo casts an amazing spell in [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10194157-shadow-and-bone"]SHADOW & BONE[/url], finding a gray area between the dark and the light and leading her readers down paths they won't expect.
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Thursday Thoughts

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 03 October 2012 · 121 views

Don't forget you can still [url="http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2012/10/ya-giveaway-shadows-by-ilsa-j-bick.html"]win a copy of SHADOWS[/url] by Ilsa J. Bick from me!



Thoughts this week:


1) Digital money is a funny thing. My work doesn't actually pay me for my job - they don't put money in my hand, they put numbers in a bank account for me. Then when I want to pay my bills I just give some of my numbers to somebody else.


2) Somehow pinching your finger is one of the most painful things that can happen to you. I don't understand. Surely evolution should have eliminated some of those nerve bundles by now. Or maybe I should stop shutting my hand in things...


3) It's impossible to hold your tongue still. Look in the mirror for a long time with your mouth open and try to hold your tongue perfectly still. You don't control it. It controls you.
[img]https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/121295651954516717-1032787931959751782?l=writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com[/img]

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Kate Karyus Quinn Takes the SAT

  Posted by bigblackcat97 , 01 October 2012 · 174 views

Today's guest for the SAT (Successful Author Talk) is a fellow [url="http://thelucky13s.blogspot.com/"]Lucky13[/url], Kate Karyus Quinn - or KKQ as I've taken to calling her. Kate is also a member of the upcoming [url="http://classof2k13.com/"]Class of 2k13[/url], and (of course) I am too! We'll be launching our site on 10/11/12 with lots of giveaways and posts from each member on the inspiration for our books!

Kate's debut [url="http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12665819-another-little-piece"]ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE[/url] is coming 2013 from Harper Teen:

[i]A girl wakes up wandering the roads of Oklahoma knowing that she is occupying another girl's body -- and that she has killed the girl whose body she is in -- who then returns to the girl's parents in upstate New York to uncover who she really is, and who else she has killed.[/i]

[b]Writing Process:[/b]
[b]BBC: Are you a Planner or Pantster?[/b]

KKQ: I looong to be a planner. Not just in writing but in all areas of my life. But I am not.

Instead, I am one of those people who will put something important in a safe place, and then when I need that something important I will have to spend hours searching my house for the place where I hid it. My writing method is not really all that different from this. I usually start a novel with a character and the seed of an idea. With just that I can usually write a good five thousand words or so without having any idea what that seed will grow into…

At some point though, I hit a wall. That’s when I have to sit down and do some plotting and planning. I ask myself where is this going? And what does the character want? I try to get enough engine into my story so that my character isn’t left stranded in the middle of my novel with nothing to do. But I wouldn’t call what I work from a plan. It is ideas, story beats, and the hope that it will all work out in the end.

[b]BBC: How long does it typically take you to write a novel, start to finish?[/b]

KKQ: I am a really slow first drafter. Usually it takes me around a year to finish a first draft. That includes some time when I am not writing at all, but just mulling things over and letting my ideas germinate.

[b]BBC: Do you work on one project at a time, or are you a multi tasker?[/b]

KKQ: Usually, I work on one project at a time. However, recently, I had an idea for a new book and since I was at the time stuck on my current WIP, I decided to start working on it. Since then I have gone back and forth between the two projects and have really enjoyed having the option of working on two different things.

[b]BBC: Did you have to overcome any fears that first time you sat down to write?[/b]

KKQ: I have to overcome fear every single time that I sit down to write. I don’t think I have ever just sat down in front of my computer and let the words flow. Usually, I have to give myself this little push to open the Word document and make myself start typing. I think it is a fear that I won’t be able to properly translate all the thoughts, images, and ideas in my head onto the paper.

[b]BBC: How many trunked books (if any) did you have before you were agented?[/b]

KKQ: Two. One was a romance novel. It was a really important book because while I had begun many many books, this was the first one that I saw through from saggy middle to triumphant end. Just knowing that I could do it, that I write all the way from beginning to end, and then also go through and edit and revise it – gave me a lot of confidence. And it also showed me there was no magic to writing a book. Just determination and making yourself sit down and write.

My second novel was an urban fantasy. That one taught me a lot about rewriting. I also learned an important plotting lesson. Perhaps the most important plotting lesson of all. And this is: if your central premise is faulty no amount of rewriting will ever be able to fix it.

[b]BBC: Have you ever quit on an ms, and how did you know it was time?[/b]

KKQ: I did query agents for both of my trunk novels. I got very few bites with my first book. The second book, actually had two revise and resubmits from an agent, but she ultimately felt that the book did not work. Really, I just knew it was time for both of them, because I was ready to move onto something new.

[b]Querying and Agent Hunt Process:[/b]
[b]BBC: Who is your agent and how did you get that "Yes!" out of them? [/b]

KKQ: My agent is the amazing Alexandra Machinist. I found her the traditional way – sending out query letters and hoping for a full or partial request.

[b]BBC: How long did you query before landing your agent? [/b]

KKQ: I received my first “I’d like to call you” about a month after I’d started sending out queries. I think I sent out about 20 queries?

[b]BBC: Any advice to aspiring writers out there on conquering query hell?[/b]

I used querytracker.net for querying all three of my novels. That was a huge help as far as finding the best agents to query and also keeping track of who I had emailed, who had responded, and how long I should expect to wait before receiving a response. I also had lots of help from other writers (including those on the querytracker forum) in getting my query letter into fighting shape.

[b]On Being Published:[/b]
[b]BBC: How much input do you have on cover art?[/b]

KKQ: A bit. Before the design began I was asked if I had any thoughts, and if there were any covers out there that I really loved or hated. Then when the cover was done-ish, I was emailed a copy and asked what I thought. Luckily, the HarperTeen designers are really amazing and I am counting down the days until I can reveal my cover!

[b]BBC: What's something you learned from the process that surprised you?[/b]

KKQ: I guess the biggest surprise was how much I truly loved the revision process. I have always found first drafts to be more difficult than edits, but I had no idea how exciting it would be to receive the first revision letter from my editor and then really be able to dig into edits. Having that letter to go back to and use as a touch point just gave me so much confidence in the changes that I was making and this certainty that I was making my novel stronger.

[b]Social Networking and Marketing:[/b]
[b]BBC: How much of your own marketing do you do? Do you have a blog / site / Twitter?[/b]

KKQ: I put a website together for myself! That’s been my first big marketing move. You can find it at [url="http://katekaryusquinn.com/"]katekaryusquinn.com[/url]

I can also be found at all the other usual places.
@katekaryusquinn for Twitter.
[url="http://pinterest.com/katekquinn/"]http://pinterest.com/katekquinn/[/url] - Pinterest
[url="http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5218360.Kate_Karyus_Quinn"]http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5218360.Kate_Karyus_Quinn[/url] - Goodreads
[url="http://katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com/"]katekaryusquinn.blogspot.com[/url] - Blog

[b]BBC: When do you build your platform? After an agent? Or should you be working before?[/b]

KKQ: I started my blog in 2008, right around the time I was querying my first novel. I joined Goodreads when I was just a book lover and not an author. It took me awhile to jump on the Twitter bandwagon – I finally took the leap after my novel sold in 2011. My website is the most recent addition to my list of online links.

Building an online presence bit by bit, wasn’t really a plan (I’m not that organized, see the planner/pantser question above) but it has worked out well. I think if I had to come up with a blog and everything else all at once it would be really overwhelming.

[b]BBC: Do you think social media helps build your readership?[/b]

KKQ: I think anyone pushing social media needs to include the disclaimer: results may vary. Some authors (see: John Green) have used social media incredibly successfully. Others have shot themselves in the foot tweeting something that maybe they should not have.

Right now if I Google my name (Not that I spend a lot of time Googling my name. It’s too much like looking in the mirror. Do it to make sure you’re not walking out the door with spinach between your teeth, but don’t do it so much that you either fall in love with or start hating yourself.) my blog is the top result. My Goodreads page and website is also on the first page. I’m happy with that.

However, if I Google “young adult author”… Urgh. Yeah, I don’t know how many of the 674,00 results I would have to wade through to find my name. I don’t want to know. And honestly I don’t care about that too much right now. I am a debut author, and everyone knows… World domination is best saved for the second book.
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