Day Two of the Pay It Forward Author Interviews! Today we’ve got Tiffany Schmidt answering my 3 questions!
Can you describe your story for us in haiku form?
Mia had luck, once.
Cheerleading turns to chemo
Is luck made or found?
At what point do you think someone becomes a "real" writer? Finishing the novel? Querying? Sale?
My answer to this question is tinted by my profession; I teach sixth grade during my non-writing hours. I could no more tell the kiddo who spent all weekend writing a short story, “You’re not a writer,” than I could tell his classmate who brought in her 3-on3 tournament trophy “You’re not a basketball player.”
So, with writing, when do we become “real”? My first reaction comes from my favorite childhood book: The Velveteen Rabbit, you become real when someone loves you… but that doesn’t work so well here.
Unless… maybe it does. Maybe you become a “real” writer when you love it enough to make the sacrifices that this profession requires.
Yes, this will be my answer, Leah. You become a real writer when the idea of writing becomes real to you. When you’ve grown a thick skin, written your drawer novels, picked yourself up after the rejections, and persevered. When it stops being, “someday I’m going to write a book” and starts being (bottom+chair+words on paper) – (tv + distractions +excuses) x never, ever giving up.*
*Yes, I had to finish with a math equation. It’s the teacher in me.
Where are you on the road to publication and how did you get this far?
I’m just beginning my journey on the path to publication. MIA goes back to Agent Awesome this Thursday (Oh, the irony of April Fool’s Day as a deadline). After that… *shrug*
The path to publication feels a lot like a video game; each step in the process is like beating another level and each level has its own challenges and demands. I don’t know what the next level looks like, because I haven’t gotten there yet.
My journey so far has been full of highs and lows and me pretending to be patient. I was lucky enough to meet Agent Awesome in person last year, and knew right away that I would LOVE to work with him. That being said, last April he requested a full of my previous book – and passed on it. As did all the other agents who read it. Rather than give up, I put it aside and I wrote another book.
This time around I sought a support system: feedback groups, critical partners, workshops, I attended writing conferences, and, finally, I took a deep breath and jumped back into the query game. You know, the query game where you check your e-mail compulsively and then – when there is an e-mail from an agent – you’re too scared to open it. That game. (It would not be very fun as video game.)
But, four months, endless e-mail refreshes, full requests, rejections, a few good cries, and many moments of panic after I started querying this book, I found myself sitting at dinner across from Joe Monti, my Agent Awesome, signing a contract.
So, I don’t know what my next level looks like, whether it’s another round of revisions or if I’m ready for submissions, but I do know this: There is not another game I’d rather play. Despite the waiting, the heartache, the uncertainty and the waiting, I wouldn’t be ready for the unknown next step without the journey I’ve had so far.
Thanks for the interview, Tiffany and I can’t WAIT for Lucky Mia to sell! There are SO many other sucess stories out today! You can check them out on these blogs:
ON TOP of all that coolness, the guest vlogger for today’s YA Rebels video is Kami Garcia, co-author of Beautiful Creatures talking about what she wished she’d known before being published!