Thursday, January 3, 2008

Introducing Kristina-- Miss Soon-to-Pub

Tip of the Day: Eating Booberry cereal for dinner is perfectly acceptable. And even finding it in stores in January should be a cause for celebration.

Hi, I’m Kristina (Miss Soon-to-Pub). Welcome to Author2Author! This is such a fun and cool group of people—I hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as we enjoy writing it! So now onto the part where I blah, blah, blah about myself.

I’d like to tell you this super fantastic story about how I knew I wanted to be an author since I was just a wee little one writing stories on my etch-a sketch but that’d be a big fat lie. Back then I wanted to be a rockstar. And I was sooooo close! Well, not really. But I did explore a number of career possibilities when the rockstar thing didn’t happen and when I graduated college I made a list in my journal of what jobs I wanted to do. It went something like this:

1) High school teacher (check)

2) College teacher (check)

3) Technical Writer (check)

4) Freelance writer (check)

5) Mommy (check)

6) Published Author

And I was working my way through the list really well! Then I hit published author and had no clue what kind of book I should write. And honestly, here’s a little secret, I always thought I was a pretty good nonfiction writer but a so-so fiction writer. When I took fiction writing classes in grad school I was embarrassed to show my work. Everyone else’s stories just seemed so much better. But I was writing the wrong stuff back then.

So I didn’t decide to crack down on this published author thing until 2005. I was 29, had two little babies at home, was freelancing my little heart out both online and in mags, and teaching at a university in Chicago. I came up with an idea for what later became my first book (The Pass Book) and tentatively told my husband one day in the car. He said, “You have to write this.” I said, “oh sure. Yeah—someday I’ll write a novel.” He said, “No you have to write this now.” So I started then. One night a week I left him with the kids, packed up my laptop, and parked myself at the Starbucks in town to write for three hours. I wrote The Pass Book in about 4 months and then slowly edited it. In August of 2006, I took a YA chicklit class where I met my fab critique partners and I got more serious about this whole writing thing. I started querying like crazy and I also started writing book #2, The Espressologist. I was having so many near hits with The Pass Book but in the first part of 2007 decided I would just focus on The Espressologist and started querying that. After a few weeks of querying agents I had two offers for representation.

Things happened fast after that. Three weeks after I signed with my super cool agent, my book went to auction between four publishers, and I ended up with a two-book deal from FSG. The Espressologist will be out in the Fall of 2009 and a second undecided book will be out in Fall 2010.

I’ve found that I really love writing for this genre, which I guess can be called YA chicklit or YA romantic comedy. I like to write fun, fast, hooky books that make me laugh out loud when I go back and re-read them. Since signing with FSG, I’ve written three more books—The Revenge Queen, Boy Swap, and a middle grade novel—Night at Claire’s (which I’m still editing). I love, love, love doing this. It is seriously the absolute perfect job for me. But I still don’t feel like a super “serious” writer. I don’t get up at the crack of dawn everyday and write for three hours or anything like that. I have a sweet husband and three fun kids (plus one on the way) that want to hang out with me too so I’ve always stuck to that one night a week (on occasion two nights) at the coffee shop schedule that I started in 2005.

So I’m definitely no pro at this stuff. I’m totally learning as I go. I just completed my first round of edits on The Espressologist and when I’m not writing new stuff I’m thinking about all of the fun things that lay ahead—like getting to hold my book in my hands for the first time, cringing and hiding under my bed the first time my family reads it, thinking up promotion ideas for when the book comes out, and daydreaming about booksignings and going to speak at schools about my book(s). There is so much to look forward to and I can’t wait to get started.

And of course I’ll share every last juicy detail with you all here. :-)

Kristina, Miss Soon-to-Pub

10 comments:

Emily Marshall said...

Tina,

I love your post. And of course cereal makes great dinner food. I actually just said last week to my husband: "cereal is the perfect food to get, because you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner."

Emily Marshall said...

Oh yeah, I didn't know you taught high school, either. What did you teach? English?

Kristina Springer said...

Yup-- English. Just a little-- I didn't want to do it so much. And I've had Booberry cereal for the last three nights in a row! Don't worry-- I actually make dinner for the kids. I just don't want it.

Deena Lipomi said...

How I loved the fast-paced agent-to-auction life you lead -- it kept me so entertained on my hotmail at work! And your books definitely make me LOL, too.

Note to all blog readers: Tina's book REVENGE QUEEN is HYSTERICAL!

As for Booberry Cereal -- never had it OR the Frankenberry OR Count Chocula! I'm so deprived! But whatever your baby wants, that's what you should feed it for dinner. :) (When do you find out boy or girl???)

annamlewis said...

Fantastic, interesting post!

Booberry is a good one! That was all my brother and I would eat. Now I like Lucky Charms for dinner. My mom wouldn't buy it because I ate all the candy out of it once!

Kate Fall said...

Wow, Tina, I love how you stuck to your schedule and got out of the house. I'm really struggling with this. My kids whine and whine every time I go to my crit group. Now I've been doing this on a regular schedule for a year and a half and yet they always act shocked, like how could it possibly be true that I'm leaving them?!? I usually end up writing after the kids go to bed but lately my husband has been complaining about that.

But you are inspirational! If I chip away at it regularly I can be published too, maybe!

Kristina Springer said...

Never had ANY of the monster cereals Deena???!!!

And we're NOT finding out the sex of the baby. I already went for the "big" ultrasound and told them I didn't want to know. So it will be a surprise!

Anna-- a bowl of just the candy marshmallows...hmmm...now that's an idea!

And Kate, my kids sometimes act like that too...but for the most part they are ok with it. :-)

Ghost Girl said...

Your journey, and drive!, is inspiring, Tina. I'm learning as I go, too. I think most of us do. There's just too dang much to learn about this whole business!

Good luck with all your projects. They sound fabulous! And Congrats on the first release.

It was always the Count for me. Once I ate the entire box for breakfast--and I only weighed about 50 lbs at the time, so I think I was almost literally "what I ate" for at least a day.

I didn't want to know the sex of my first baby. DH did, but he respected my wishes--and was so glad we waited for the surprise.

Kristina Springer said...

A whole box of Count Chocula Ghost Girl? That's pretty impressive! :-) I can totally see how that could be done! I never got into the Count but have always been a fan of Booberry and Frankenberry-- I can't decide between them.

And my dh really wants to know the sex too but I say too bad-- I'm pushing the kid out so I get my way. :-)

jmprince said...

This was a fascinating post! I can't believe your drive and ambition. I mean all published writers have to have some of those two things, I think...but...wow!!!