That Post Where I Answer Writer-Type Questions

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A lot of you asked me some pretty specific author questions. These surprised me because I guess, in a way I don’t really think of myself as an actual author yet.

Which is kind of silly, I guess. I’ve written some books, got a superstar agent of awesomeness, have worked through a round of revisions and well… heck I think I might actually be qualified to answer some of your author-ey q’s.

Shauna asks: Sweet or Salty?

Salty, no contest. I don’t really get sweet people.

(Okay so that one wasn’t writer-ish–I just really like Shauna. I’m getting to the good stuff.)

Samantha asks: What would your most important piece of advice be for other writers trying to find agents?

Network your butt off. Sure people get agents with cold querying, but in this internet age, why the heck would you take that risk? It’s just like a real job. If you go into an interview trying to get hired and you’ve been hanging out at a bar on Tuesday nights playing darts with the guy doing the hiring–he’s probably going to hire you over someone who has the same qualifications, or in some cases might be even a little more qualified than you. So, if you want agents to read your manuscript, then you have to get to know them. Strike up a twitter conversation. (Notice I did NOT say pitch them on twitter… if you do that, it will get the opposite reaction of the one you’re going for.) Comment on their blog, heck if you see them at a conference, tell them you like their shoes (I don’t care if they are ugly Frankenstein shoes*–tell them you think they rock.)

Networking gives you a totally fair advantage, and there are a lot of people trying to get published–so take every advantage you can!

Gabe asks: Where do you get inspiration from, or do tiny pixies whisper in your ear?

It’s funny you asked that, because the inspiration for SKETCH came from a really weird place. I read this blog post on Jenny Rappaport’s website and fell in LOVE with the idea of writing a villain. By the end of the day I was tap-tap-tapping away at the keyboard and the first few pages of Sketch were born. I totally listened to the Dr. Horrible soundtrack while I was writing it, too.

It’s kind of crazy to think that Sketch might never have happened if I hadn’t happened to read that particular blog.

Dia asks: How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll Center of a Tootsie Pop.

Well, Dia–let’s find out…

Whew, now that we have THAT burning question out of the way… we can get back to our regularly scheduled questioning…

Jeff asks: Do you find yourself hitting a wall midway through a project? How do you make it to the end?

Um, firstly (oh yeah–I went there) Jeff that’s two questions. Nice try buddy NICE TRY. What? I didn’t say you could only ask one questions? Damn these rules! Fine, I will answer them BOTH.

Oh, I totally hit a wall with SKETCH. I remember getting about 3/4 of the way through it and just scrolling up and down through the manuscript hoping the rest would just sort of come to me. But… I am the kind of person who really needs to be pressured into finishing something, so I set an actual deadline and said, “Self if you don’t finish this book by THAT day then you have to delete it.” I totally finished like three days early. 🙂

Leigh asks: What was the easiest part of the process so far? The hardest?

The easiest has to be the actual idea for Sketch. It came to me so quick. I was outlining, it writing it on post-it notes, typing it into my iPhone–seriously, the actual hook and plot for this book were there from the very beginning, it was just all about writing in the fun stuff and awesome words that made it work.

The hardest is hands down rejection. Wow, I will never get used to rejection. It will always hurt. I know they say you have to be tough in this business, but I don’t think that will ever happen for me. Rachel Gardner said it best: Rejection stinks, and I totally agree with her. But as long as you know it’s a part of the process, and really celebrate the little wins (first rejection with feedback on a query, first partial request, EVERY full request) then you will get through the suck.

Thanks for the questions guys! These were REALLY fun. Maybe I’ll do it again soon. (Or maybe not, really… I’m not that interesting!)

*Man, I wish I had some awesome Frankenstein shoes I could just wear to like the bounce house place and stuff.

Um…what’s up? I guess that’s not that awesome. How about, okay, how many licks DOES it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop? That, and what’s SKETCH about?

Do you find yourself hitting a wall midway through a project? How do you make it to the end?

Two questions, I know. I can answer one in return if necessary. :)
Jeff Sparkman´s last blog ..Things we said today

I absolutely cannot wait to read your book, if it is as witty as you are! :) My question revolves around wanting to know more about your author/agent relationship – especially since you said yall are both working to get the book into its best form. Does she help edit and such? Very curious about this…

I second the others who say they want to read your book. Hear hear!! I think I missed what “Sketch” is about. Can you give us a short synopsis?

Hmm… My questions:
1. What has the easiest part of this process been, so far? The hardest?

2. What surprised you most about Sketch? Did it take on a life of it’s own and go in directions you weren’t expecting?

3. Will your agent read my manuscript? (Just kidding with that one. ;) )
Leigh (Modern Mommy)´s last blog ..Rejecting Reality

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  1. I really like your blog. I enjoyed reading it. Keep it up!!!

  2. Great post! Loved the questions and the answers. I’m still so trhilled for you! You have a lot of good stuff going on for you, J 🙂

  3. OK. I am sooo never going to believe you if you give a compliment, now. If you say you like my Chuck Taylors, I’ll know they’re fugly.

  4. Wait, wait, hold on a second…lie about shoes? I just…you can’t…even Frakenshoes?

    *throws laptop away* I can’t do it. I might as well give up now.


    (ps. great post)

  5. I loved your advice about networking. I think that writers often assume their writing should just stand on its own. While the writing needs to be excellent, having a connection or personal relationship with people is often when gets an author in the door.

    1. @Ami: I totally agree the writing needs to be insanely great, but the way to get people to look at your work is ALL you.

  6. Fabulous advice from a very real author! Do you know when you go on sub yet? We’re cheering for a fast sale for you!

  7. OMG! Absolutely love this post! You rock, Jamie!


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