Posts Tagged ‘author’

Today is the last of the Pay It Forward Interviews.  My inteviewee today is Colleen Rowan Kosinski, who has worked harder than most people I know to get published.  To me, Colleen’s tenacity has made her a success, because if there’s one thing you see over and over it’s "Don’t give up."  Colleen is a shining example of that attitude.

Can you give us a haiku of your book?

THE SILVER CORD

Above and below
A silver cord in between
Holding on to life.

 

When will I consider myself a “real” writer? I believe I’ll be able to call myself a “real” writer when a publishing house loves my work enough to invest in publishing my novel.

Where are you on the path to publication?

I’ve been on the journey towards publication for over six years.

Six years ago I pulled out a picture book I had written in college and decided to see if I could get it published. I was so naïve. I bought a Writer’s Market book and concluded that I’d need an agent. Opening the page to agent listings, I started alphabetically. After querying two agents in the “A’s” I was offered representation. Easy, peasy.

We worked together on a few projects and almost sold one. The editor loved it but sales and marketing didn’t. Unfortunately, that agent made the decision to pursue another line of work and I was left agent-less. No problem I thought, I’d pull out the old Writer’s Market book again and find a new one. Not so easy this time.

I had so much to learn. Veered away from picture books and started writing screenplays. I actually had a producer read one of my scripts. It was too “blue” for his investors (they wanted a ‘G” rating) so he passed, but he told me he had enjoyed the script and it had made him laugh out loud.

I decided to use that script as an outline for a novel. Finished that first novel and wrote another. Then another, and another. I completed five novels. All bad, but I was learning. I joined a critique group. Went to an SCBWI conference in NY and was blown away. Kept writing. Tried again for an agent. No go. I began exchanging work with writers on line.
Wrote another book. Same thing. But the important thing was with each novel attempt I learned more about the craft.

After a trip to Ireland, I came up with a nonfiction idea that was completely different from my novel work. Queried a few agents with the idea, and had three offers of representation. I was over the moon! Worked feverishly on the new project and it almost sold, but those darn sales and marketing people nixed it. They are my nemesis.

Sadly, I found that my new agent, although she had loved my nonfiction project did not feel the same passion for my fiction work. We parted ways. I cried a lot. I’d gotten so far.

I’m hoping my current project will be “the one.” I’ve learned so much over the years. I’ve exchanged manuscripts with extremely talented writers (almost all have sold their novels), enjoyed conferences and workshops, and gotten to know so many nice people in this small world of children’s book writing. I’m hoping I’ll reach my destination of publication soon, but until then I’ll read and write every day. Writing is my passion, and I’ll never give up.

Thanks, Coll! 

You can find out more about Coll at her site and the links to other interviews by clicking on the last entry!

I hope these interviews have inspired you to keep going, regardless of where you are on this crazy road!
 

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My third interview in this weeks Pay It Forward Interview week is with the author of My Soul to Reap, Courtney Allison Moulton.  If you read todays Publisher’s Lunch, you saw her name mentioned.  Mark my words, this girl’s onto something! 

So, Courtney, where’s that haiku about your book…

Yeah.. this is about to go down in the Haiku Fail Hall of Fame. I don’t do poetry, but I’ll do this for you because I love you, L.

Reapers are awesome
But Ellie has to to kill them
‘Cause they eat people.

When do you think someone becomes a "real" writer?

I’ve always been a firm believer in the old saying, "If you fall off the horse, get right back on" and then you’re a real horseperson. That applies to writing, as well. You’re a real writer once you sit back, take a good long look at your writing, and realize what about it sucks. Once you realize good writing takes many drafts and many psychotic breakdowns, then you’re a real writer.

Where are you on the crazy rocky road to publication?

My debut YA urban fantasy trilogy, beginning with MY SOUL TO REAP, will be published in March 2011 from HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books. Hard work, dedication to becoming a better writer, and belief in yourself can get anyone this far. You have to want it bad enough to work your butt off.

Thanks, Courtney for stopping by!  You can check out more about MStR here!

You can find other author interviews ALL over the web this week by clicking this link and scrolling to the bottom!

*huge apologies for the late posting! Livejournal was being a butt earlier, and unfortunately I had to head to work…

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:

Elana Johnson

Beth Revis

Victoria Schwab

Kristen Hubbard

 Carrie Harris

Kim Harrington

Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins

Amy Holder

Kathy McCullough

Tiffany Schmidt

Susan Adrian

Dawn Metcalf

Gretchen McNeil
 
Lisa and Laura Roeker (my interview will be up here later this week!)

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!

So we’re back from the dead on the blog!  This was just too good to pass up.  Earlier this month I was approached about doing a Pay It Forward interview chain of pre-published authors!  The idea was to show that people do make it, and even if the road gets hard, you keep going.  What a great way to spread the positive vibes!  Don’t worry though, I’m not going soft.  See, this interview came with the added plus that I got to interview people, and got to write their questions.  So, I made my interviewees write their pitch in a haiku.  Seriously.  I’m cruel like that.  So without further ado, the first interview is with Gretchen McNeil, my YA Rebel buddy!

Can you describe your story for us in haiku form?
 
I hate you a little bit for this.  Just a little.
 
exorcist Bridget
banishes demons to Hell
Evil is revenged

 
At what point do you think someone becomes a "real" writer?  Finishing the novel? Querying? Sale?
 
Labels.  They suck. 
 
I think writers come in all varieties and sizes, whether you’re writing copy for a radio detergent commercial or winning the Pulitzer.  But for me, the moment I thought I was a "real" writer was when I wrote "THE END" for the first time on a novel.  I set out to write a novel.  I wrote a novel.  I became a "real" writer again when I edited that novel.  Then again when I queried it.  Each step is part of the same journey, and I realize every day that as long as I’m continuing to move forward, I AM a real writer.

 
Where are you on the road to publication and how did you get this far?
 
I have a wonderful, rock star agent – Ginger Clark at Curtis Brown – and we are currently on submission.  I finished my first novel 2 and a half years ago but didn’t land an agent until I started querying my second novel.  Next step?  Publication!

Thanks for the interview, Gretchen!  Her blog is here, and she posts as Monday on the vlog collab channel the YA Rebels (which btw is holding an AWESOME guest vloggers week right now!). 

My interview will be up on Lisa and Laura Roeker’s blog  later this week, but there are MANY others participating and sharing success stories!  You can check them out here:

Elana Johnson
Beth Revis
Victoria Schwab
Kristen Hubbard
Carrie Harris
Kim Harrington
Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins
Amy Holder
Kathy McCullough
Tiffany Schmidt
Susan Adrian
Dawn Metcalf
Gretchen McNeil