Tuesday, September 9, 2008

A2A Meta Chat with Miss Recently Repped

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:
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

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


Jessica Burkhart (Jess Ashley) said...

Great interview! :) I love your Hotmail mix up, lol.

Kate Fall said...

I'm totally meditating on "something BIG needs to happen in every chapter that culminates in the BIGGEST THING that could happen." It's taken me forever to figure out the first half of the sentence, now I have to learn how to culminate? ;)

DeenaML said...

Em, per #5, maybe I should've said something related to Caribbean travel -- perhaps I'd like to be some sort of cruise line worker....can I be a librarian on a cruise line? :)

Jessica, yeah, at the time with the hotmail thing I wasn't laughing.... ;)

Kate, OK, OK, Donald M says the BIG THING thing much better than I do. :-p

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

ooooh...I hope that I'm SO close right now! Just sent out another requested full. Finger crossed so tight!!

I'm afraid most of my "other" jobs would somehow come back to books or writing (or teaching). And like you, Deena, I think my books have continued to get better. Wait till you get a load of the Fox book!

Kristina Springer said...

That IS good advice! Great interview!

Jody Feldman said...

In the past two years? Holy cow!
You made my day. My week. Maybe more. :o)

DeenaML said...

Mary Anne -- I can't wait to read the Fox book!!! (Please tell me I get an early peek?)

Jody -- I seriously couldn't put GOLLYWHOPPER down. That is a great sign of an MG. I strive to tell such a compelling, smart story!