Tip of the Day: pull up a chair and stick around for more Author2Author interviews going on today and the rest of the week.
Once again, I got to be Katie Couric for a day. But this interview was super fun, since it was with our very own Miss Recently Repped Deena.
Thanks for answering my questions, Deena:
1.) What kept you motivated during your agent search?
A few things. One was having critique partners to discuss the search with. Another was seeing other newbie writers on LJ and Verla's signing with agents -- I knew if they could do it, so could I. A third was getting SO CLOSE a few times before signing. I knew I had to be CLOSE (like you are, Em!). And a fourth was that I knew each of my books was better than the one before, so I kept writing in order to keep having hope that if THIS book I was subbing was the one that got me signed, the NEXT ONE would surely be it! I also don't ever give up on something I say I'm going to do. So if I say I'm getting an agent, that means I'll never, ever quit going for it. Having this determination/stubbornness assured me it would have to happen some time, so there was no need to despair. :)
[Emily: you are definitely an inspiration for sticking with it.]
2.) What did it feel like when you found out your agent wanted to take
you on as a client?
As you may recall, I emailed you and Tina in a bit of a freak out, then proceeded to reply to my agent and accidentally sent the email to her like 10 times. Yikes! :) Thankfully she never mentioned my hotmail glitch. I remember feeling excited, grateful, and also a bit confused as to what would happen next? Would editors like my book as much as her? Then we talked on the phone before our official signing and I knew we'd work well together. I felt good knowing we could both blab, and that she mentioned the one part of my book that was "it" -- what sparked the book. She got it! It was a very cool feeling.
[Emily: I think the mass email glitch is to be expected when you are that excited.]
3.) What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever heard?
While reading Donald Maas's WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL, I totally connected with the way he wrote his chapter on Upping the Stakes. All of a sudden I was like, "Oh yeah! Something big needs to happen in every chapter, and they need to culminate into the BIGGEST THING that could make, break, or ruin the MC and/or his/her family/life/etc. While writing, I now ask myself, "If THIS doesn't happen for the MC, then THIS BAD THING will happen and destroy her life." OK, that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but for the MC, that is how it can feel.
[Emily: I love this piece of advice!]
4.) What's your favorite book?
This question is SO HARD for me! Yikes! OK, my favorite YAs I read in the past couple years are:
DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE by Jordan Sonnenblick
LIFE AS WE KNEW IT by Susan Beth Pfeffer
SHIFT by Jennifer Bradbury
Favorite MGs I read in the past couple years:
RULES by Cynthia Lord
WAITING FOR NORMAL by Leslie Connor
THE GOLLYWHOPPER GAMES by Jody Feldman
Favorite adult book I read recently:
EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert
Books that make me both laugh and cry tend to be brilliant, so they often become my faves. I also like unique voices, unique premises, and fast pacing.
[Emily: wow, you have alot of favorite books. But I'm not sure I could pick a favorite either.]
5.) If you weren't a writer or a librarian, what would you be?
Oh dear, hopefully not a legal editor again. :) Right now my librarian job is so fun that I can't imagine not having that outlet. Maybe I'd try bookseller? Being an agent would be cool, but I wouldn't want to move to NYC to apprentice (I love NYC, but life there is a bit crazy for me :)).
[Emily: okay, I'll let you get away with saying another book or writing related job. I was really hoping to find out about your desire to be a deep-sea fisherwoman, sky-dive instructor, or something like that. Appealing? No?]
Thanks Deena for answering my questions. Now I can take a break from my Katie Couric days and hand over the mic to you. I'm exciting to see your interview with Kristina tomorrow.
--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent