Interview with Corey Ann Haydu

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, Corey Ann Haydu!

About the author:

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of YA novels, OCD LOVE STORYLIFE BY COMMITTEEMAKING PRETTY, and THE CAREFUL UNDRESSING OF LOVE, as well as the middle-grade novels RULES FOR STEALING STARS and THE SOMEDAY SUITCASE. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Corey has been working in children’s publishing since 2009

In 2013, Corey was chosen as one of Publisher Weekly’s Flying Starts. Her books have been Amazon Book of the Month Selections, Junior Library Guild SelectionsIndie Next Selections, and BCCB Blue Ribbon Selections.Corey is also on the faculty of Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults program.

In January 2020, Corey’s first chapter book series will debut with HAND ME DOWN MAGIC: STOOP SALE TREASURE. Later in 2020, her next YA novel, EVER CURSED will hit shelves.Corey lives in Brooklyn with her husband, her daughter, her dog, Oscar, and a wide variety of cheese.

Corey’s Books:


CN: Writing a middle grade story that features addiction and how it affects a family is something that needs to be handled with precision  and care in order to keep the story suitable for younger audiences. In Rules for Stealing Stars you did that beautifully. So what advice would you give to authors who may be struggling to address such topics in their stories intended for younger readers?

CAH: Thank you so much! As the child of an alcoholic myself, I knew writing about this topic was really necessary, and that young readers deserve stories that reflect their real lives, and often those lives are filled with things that people don’t think they are “ready” to actually talk about. For me, it’s important to write both honestly and with hope. But I think hope is a broad term that can be defined in so many ways, so it doesn’t have to be a really idyllic version of hope. I truly believe that there’s no topic that is off-limits for kids, but you adjust the HOW of writing about a certain topic. I would tell writers to remember that kids are from many different kinds of families and circumstances, and to treat their stories with care, clarity, and to keep their value front and center. If kids know they have value, that they are important and deserving of love– that’s where hope lies. I want to add that Sesame Street just this week has introduced an addiction narrative into one of their character’s lives, proving that there really is a way to talk to every age about addiction, even if it feels impossible and scary. 


CN: Finding an agent who is interested in your work is no small task. What can writers do to stand out in the crowd and get more manuscript requests?

CAH: I think my best advice is to just do your best work. Finding the right agent really is a two way street. Your agent is your partner, so you need to find someone who you work well with and who understands your vision for your work. There’s no fancy trick to finding one. Just do your research and come to them with your best possible, most complete work. Find trusted readers to discuss your work with you before you send it out to agents. Make sure you’re querying agents with something that really reflects who you are as a writer, something you feel confident and excited about. And make sure your list of agents also reflects the kind of writer you are– look for agents who represent the type of books you are interested in working on, follow their guidelines, and stay open to their feedback! You want an agent who is truly excited about YOU, so be patient and persistent in finding that person. 


CN: With your background in teaching, as well as doing manuscript critiques, what are some of the most common issues you come across in manuscripts?

CAH: The number one lesson I can teach any writer is the value of staying In Scene. This means that instead of going over what happened in a general way, or telling the reader what “usually” or “always” happens, choosing a specific, grounded time and place and really digging into what that moment feels like. A lot of writers veer out of scene in moments when we really want to be right next to the main character, experiencing things for ourselves. Readers want to have the opportunity to make their own judgments on what’s going on– and the only way they can do this is to give them the opportunity to experience things for themselves. Instead of saying “my friend is really mean”, give us a specific scene, a contained moment of cruelty with dialogue and behavior and sensory details so that the reader, after reading the scene, knows for themselves that the character is mean. Be relentless in looking in your work for moments when you are in and out of scene!


CN: ( Fun One)  In Rules for Stealing Stars, your host of characters find magic in their closets. If your closet was magical like theirs, what do you think you’d find in it?

CAH: What a beautiful question! I think my magical closet would be sparkly and filled with flowers. My wardrobe is filled with floral patterns, so I imagine if my closet was magical all my floral dresses and shirts and sweaters would come to life and it would be just a fantastical world of a billion different flowers growing all over each other! 


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Corey Ann Haydu book(s)?

CAH: I have a lot of books coming out over the next year or two! They all feature magic, characters who struggle with not being perfect, and complicated friendships. Next up is my chapter book series for readers age 6 and up, HAND-ME-DOWN MAGIC. It is about a part-Puerto Rican family inspired by the family my daughter is growing up in, who owns a second hand shoppe filled with maybe-magical objects. It follows two best-friend-cousins and their adventures with their family, the shoppe, and the possibility of magic that hangs around them. The first two books in the series, STOOP SALE TREASURE and CRYSTAL BALL FORTUNES come out June 9, 2020.I also have a new YA novel coming out in the summer, July 14, 2020. It’s call EVER CURSED and it’s a feminist fairytale about five spellbound princesses, the witch who placed the spell upon them, and the secrets their kingdom has been hiding. I will have another middle grade novel out in 2021, that is about friendship and family expectations, and what happens when you don’t live up to your destiny.


CN: Any last advice for writers?

CAH: Keep writing, and try to find ways to make the process joyful– at least sometimes! Maybe that means writing at a cafe or only writing 100 words at a time. Maybe it means going on a writing retreat or doing nanowrimo or making sure you’re working on projects that mean something to you. But for me, finding joy in the work is what keeps me going and makes it all worth it!


Myself and Corey want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out Corey’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read.

You can connect with Corey on social media by clicking on the links below!

Twitter

Facebook

You can also check out her website–Corey Ann Haydu. And if you’re a writer looking for some professional help, she does manuscript critiques! (Couldn’t ask for a better author to critique with!)


*To stay up to date with the future featured guests on You Heard Write!, click the subscribe tab below.

Interview with Alison Goodman

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, award winning and New York Times bestselling author Alison Goodman!

About the author:

Alison Goodman’s most recent novel is The Dark Days Deceit, the third and final book in the Lady Helen trilogy of supernatural Regency adventures. The first book in the series, The Dark Days Club, is a 2017 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers, a 2017 Bank Street Library Best Book and an NPR Best Book of 2016. The second book, The Dark Days Pact, won the 2016 Aurealis Award for Best YA Novel. Alison is also the author of the award winning and New York Times bestselling duology EON and EONA, Singing the Dogstar Blues and her very adult thriller, A New Kind of Death. Alison can dance a mean contra-dance, has a wardrobe full of historically accurate Regency clothes and will travel a long way for a good high-tea. She lives in Australia and is currently working on her PhD at the University of Queensland.

Alison’s books:


CN: One of the many aspects of Eon and Eona that had me under “your spell” was the way you were able to blend the elements of politics, culture, identity, magic, and DRAGONS, of course. What tips can you give about the process of creating such a vivid world that allows the readers to be swept away by the fictional universe?

AG: My best tip for building a seamless fantasy world is to remember that everything is being filtered through the point of view of your characters. For example, if you are writing from only your protagonist’s point of view, then start with whether the “magic” in your world is a secret or is part of everyday life. As soon as that decision is made, then move on to whether or not your protagonist is a practitioner, and whether she (or he/they) has knowledge about it or is naïve. Keep in mind, also, that when your characters moves through their world, they won’t be noticing the everyday, just as we don’t really note all the things we see and use everyday. A character will notice what is important to them in that moment and have an opinion or an emotion about it. In that way the world is slowly built up around them.


CN: Ideas for books can strike writers at any time. But, in the opposite direction, it may take a while to find that special idea that captures your heart and mind enough to begin the writing process. What seems to help your creativity in terms of coming up with ideas for future books you want to write? About how long do you “circle” the idea mentally before you begin plotting/outlining?

AG: I find that just about everything I do helps me find material for my writing: reading, watching movies and TV, listening to my friends tell stories, trying out different foods, going to festivals and conferences, looking at art in museums, drinking coffee in a new café, walking my dog, listening to music, singing in the shower. . . it all helps. Fiction, like life, is rooted in the physical, the emotional and the intellectual, and just by living life a writer is gathering resources to write their fictional worlds. In terms of circling an idea, it can take me quite a while to come to the time when I want to start writing. I generally spend quite a while thinking about the plot and its structure, sometimes up to six months, and have most of those elements worked out before I start writing. Of course not everyone writes like that and I know a lot of great writers who just jump in – it’s all about what works best for you as an artist. If it is a novel that requires a lot of research, then I will work on that alongside the structural work. For the Lady Helen series, I researched the Regency era for eight months full-time before I began to write the first novel. In that way, I was able to know that when Lady Helen walked into a Regency ball room, it would be lit by a certain kind of candle, that the floor would be chalked to stop people slipping when they danced, and the moon outside would most likely be full because balls were held on full or near full moon nights so that people did not have to travel home in complete darkness. Not all of the details I discover make it into a novel, but my intense research helps me build up a more complete picture of everyday life for my characters.


CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

AG: I would tell my earlier self to read and learn as much as I could about story structure. As it was, I was lucky enough to study structure reasonably early in my career, but I now think it is the number one thing to study if you want to be a writer. If you can build a strong structure for your story then you are well ahead of most other emerging writers out there. I recommend Save the Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody, and Story, by Robert McKee. The McKee book is more about script writing but much of what he talks about can work for fiction writing too.


CN: (Fun One) I know you do tremendous amounts of research and traveling to make your work authentic in terms of culture, mythology, setting, and so on. My question is if you could travel to any foreign land that you’ve yet to visit, with only one character from any of your books for your companion, where would you go? Who would you choose and why?

AG: I’m going to be a bit cheeky here and class the past as a foreign land! I would like to go back to 1700’s England and experience the rambunctious Georgian era and the age of Enlightenment. In regards to which character I would choose as my companion, I would go back with Mr. Hammond–from The Dark Days Club series–who I wrote as a very resourceful man with a dry sense of humor and a lot of experience living at the edges of society and the law. Mr. Hammond is probably not the character most people would think I would choose, and it surprised me a bit too, but he is one of my favorites in the Dark Days Club series and I think we would have a ball carousing through Georgian England.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Alison Goodman book(s)?

AG: I have three projects in progress. First is another Regency series called The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies that I am going to publish as novellas. It is a rip-roaring, funny adventure/romance series. Second is a contemporary urban fantasy/comedy that is a total hoot to write. Finally, a secret project that is going to take a lot of research so I’ll keep that quiet until I actually start writing it.


CN: Any last advice for writers?

AG: My top three pieces of advice are:

1. Read as much as you can: great stuff, not so great stuff, books, scripts, and stories of all genres. Don’t read them just as entertainment; think about why something works as a story for you or why it doesn’t. Think about the techniques and how you—as a creator of stories–might be able to use them.

2. As I mentioned before, learn about the craft of constructing stories. Read some books about structure and character and dialogue or, if you have the resources, take some writing classes. Write. Get in front of that screen or page and write, write, write. Practice is essential. Don’t be too hard on yourself in the first draft; just let the words and ideas flow.

3. Then, when it comes to rewriting (and all serious writers rewrite their work) bring in the craft that you have learned from the books or classes and your own ideas about what makes a good story.


Myself and Alison want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to check out Alison Goodman’s work next time you’re looking for a great book to read.

You can connect with Alison on social media by clicking on the links below!

Twitter

Instagram

Facebook


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Interview with Lou Anders

Welcome back to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

Today we welcome a very special guest, middle grade fantasy author Lou Anders!

About the author:

Lou Anders is the author of the the middle grade fantasy adventure series Thrones & Bones, as well as the novel Star Wars: Pirate’s Price.

He has always been a fan of fantasy adventure stories. Frostborn and its sequels was his attempt to write the kind of story that would have excited himself as a kid (and still as an adult). He wanted to introduce young readers to fantasy fiction in a book that parents and kids can enjoy together (or each on their own).


He’s done a lot of things before becoming an author. He wrote and directed plays in Chicago. He was a journalist out in Hollywood once upon a time, where he hung out on the sets of a lot of science fiction television shows talking to actors and directors and crew. He wrote movie scripts too, a few of which he even got paid for! He worked for an Internet start up in San Francisco. And he worked as an editorial director and art director in publishing, and wound up winning the Hugo and Chesley awards for editing and art directing!

These days, there’s not much Lou would rather do than write, but when he’s not writing, he enjoys playing video games, running Dungeons & Dragons games for his family and friends, reading, television and travel. He’s been fortunate enough to have visited many countries around the world ─ including countries in Great Britain, Europe and Asia.

Right now he lives with his family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Thrones and Bones series

Star Wars: Pirate’s Price


CN: World building is one of the most important aspects in terms of writing a great fantasy book. What were some of the techniques you used when you created the world for Thrones and Bones?

LA: Whenever I’m inventing a culture, I light to look to real world and mythological examples. For the country of Norrøngard, I was obviously heavily inspired by real world Norwegian history and Viking myth. But for something like the Calderans of Thica, I was looking at the real world Spartans and combining them with the historical Greek notions of the Amazons (as opposed to modern notions). I will research a lot of history and mythology, watch lecture series on the periods I’m interested in, and source as much photo reference as I can. But I also have another technique that’s a bit odd, which evolved by accident. After Frostborn sold, and while we were still in rewrites, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Norway. While there, I was struck by how unique the landscape is. I worried that I would have to do a description pass on my manuscript, because I didn’t see how I would have gotten it correct before my visit. But to my surprise, I’d actually nailed the look and feel of Norway, the only exception being that I had to add the red berries that are all over the hillsides. I couldn’t figure out how I’d managed to pull it off until I remembered that I was over one hundred hours into Skyrim. And Bethesda has obviously spent millions on duplicating the look of a Norse environment inside their game. So now when I am creating a new culture, one of my techniques is to see if I can find an historical videogame that takes place in an analogous real-world land. Playing the game helps me internalize the experience of walking around inside a historical space. So… long, dry lectures plus video games = research!


CN: How do you handle the times when your inspiration to write seems to be on an extended vacation? Do you muscle through, or do you have a process that gives you that extra oomph?

LA: Well, these days with two kids and a dog demanding attention, the impediments to writing aren’t so much writer’s block as external claims on my time. But there have certainly been times when I wasn’t “feeling it,” or my mood was coloring my output. I learned to remind myself that I’ve spent decades honing a craft, and that “my talent exists irrespective of my mood.” Some material that I wrote under very trying temperments–where I just absolutely hated the process of writing–ended up being some of my favorite bits of the Thrones & Bones series in retrospect.  So I’ve learned to just sit and type and know that my fingers know what they are doing, even when my brain thinks otherwise!


CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

LA: Writing, like everything, is a muscle. It only improves with usage. I wish I’d started sooner. I’d be that much better now if I had! 


CN: ( Fun One) Given your love for video games, if you could write a story about any video game character, who would you choose and what kind of story would it be?

LA: I’d be torn between writing about the Dovahkiin from Skyrim or Arthur Morgan from Red Dead Redemption 2, with Lara Croft as a close second. I suppose the world of Skyrim appeals to me more than writing a Western or that of a modern day treasure hunter, but really what I’d rather do is work on a videogame for Thrones & Bones! I’m also a very big pen and paper RPG player, so a Dungeons & Dragons Thrones & Bones supplement would be grand.


CN: What can your fans expect from the next Lou Anders book(s)?

LA: Well, my first Star Wars novel, Pirate’s Price, came out this past January. It ties in with the main ride, Smugglers Run, at the new Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyworld and Disneyland, so that’s made a bit of a splash. Then my next original novel will be out from Penguin Random House in Summer 2020. It’s not public yet, though I imagine it will be very soon (we’re through copyedits and the cover is done). It’s not a Thrones & Bones novel. Instead it involves new characters in a different location of the world. I’m not going to say much about it now, except to say that it’s very different for me, a whole lot of fun, and definitely involves unicorns.


Myself and Lou want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing. And be sure to get your hands on a copy of the Thrones and Bones series!

Don’t forget to follow Lou Anders on Twitter @LouAnders. You can also visit www.louanders.com to stay up to date with his work!

*To stay up to date with the future featured guests on You Heard Write!, click the subscribe tab below.

Interview with Yoon Ha Lee

Hello everybody,

Welcome to You Heard Write! A place where writers and fans can hear from their favorite authors as they discuss aspects of the craft, up and coming publications, and personal experiences.

 

Today we welcome a very special guest, science fiction and fantasy author Yoon Ha Lee.

Yoon-Ha-Lee-616x411About the author:

A Korean-American sf/f writer who received a B.A. in math from Cornell University and an M.A. in math education from Stanford University, Yoon finds it a source of continual delight that math can be mined for story ideas. Yoon’s fiction has appeared in publications such as F&SFTor.com, and Clarkesworld Magazine, as well as several year’s best anthologies. He also is the author of two short story collections and six novels:

The Mercenaries of Empire series (Solaris Books 2016–2019)

MOE1 MOE2 MOE3 MOE4

The Vela (Serial Box 2019) *Co-authored with Becky Chambers, Rivers Soloman, and S.L. Huang

The Vela

Dragon Pearl (Disney-Hyperion 2019)

Dragon-Pearl.2-150x225


 

CN: Themes play major roles in stories, both short publications and novels. What theme(s) tend to pop up in your work? Any you stay away from?

 

YHL: Military ethics, imperialism, colonialism show up in some form or 
another in most of my works.  I wish it were otherwise–these certainly 
aren’t beach reading sorts of topics, and I know sometimes people just 
want to read for escapism or light entertainment.  I spent a few years 
on military bases growing up, as my dad used to be a US Army surgeon, 
and as for imperialism and colonialism, that was a historical background 
I was always aware of through my own family’s entanglement with the 
Japanese occupation of Korea from 1910 to 1945.

I don’t often write about romance or romantic love, not because these 
aren’t worthy subjects but because I’m kind of inept at portraying those 
kinds of relationships.  I do enjoy reading romances from time to time, 
though!


 

CN: Your middle grade novel Dragon Pearl has space, pirates, spirit animals, and one of the coolest magic systems–fox-magic. When creating systems for magic, what tips can you give to writers who may be struggling with coming up with their own magic system within their created worlds?

 

YHL: In the case of Dragon Pearl, the fox magic is stolen directly from
Korean folklore, although I had to adapt it for the audience.  The
gumiho (fox spirits) are known for, er, seducing men and eating their
livers, neither of which would have been appropriate in a kids’ book!  I
gave my fox character Min an amped up version of those powers mainly
because one of the things about being a kid is that you have so little
power over what happens in your life.  The fact that Min can do so many
magical things, from shapeshifting to influencing people’s minds, is
really a sort of power fantasy of the sort that I enjoyed when I was young.


For magic systems, I think there are two main approaches (and hybrids of
the two, of course).  You can have a mechanistic, almost
laws-of-fantasy-physics approach with hard-and-fast rules and
consequences; Brandon Sanderson is one author who does this extremely
well.  Or you can have magic that feeds more off mood and atmosphere
rather than strict rules, as with Lord Dunsany or Patricia McKillip.


 

CN: If you could go back in time and give your pre-published self one piece of advice, what would it be?

 

YHL: You’re going to laugh, but I would say exercise more!  You only get one
body, and we don’t yet have the technology to order up replacement
bodies.  Writing is a physical act, and it’s very easy to wreck your
wrists or your posture doing it.


 

CN: (Fun One) You’ve a clear interest in all things space and science fiction. If your fans paid for a “Send Yoon to the Moon” trip for you, what three books would you take with you to read in zero gravity?

 

YHL: Oh gosh, that’s hard.  Right now, I would take Kwame Mbalia’s Tristan
Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky because my daughter told me how good it
is, Tillie Walden’s graphic novel On a Sunbeam, and Tracy Fullerton’s
Game Design Workshop–imagine the kinds of inspiration for games you
could get out in space!

51UAVqQVBtL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_sunbeamGame_Design_Workshop_3rd_Edition_cover


 

CN: What can your fans expect from the next Yoon Ha Lee book(s)?

 

YHL: My current work in progress is Phoenix Extravagant, which is set in a
fantasy version of Korea during the Japanese occupation.  In my
fake!Korea, the fake!Japanese use automata to control the populace, and
the automata are programmed by magical pigments that imbue them with
qualities such as courage or loyalty.  The hero is a collaborationist
painter who not only finds the terrible secret of the automata but ends
up teaming up with a mecha dragon against the colonial government.



 

Myself and Yoon want to thank you all for stopping by You Heard Write! We hope you had as much fun reading the Q and A as we did ourselves, as well as furthering your knowledge on the craft of writing.

Don’t forget to follow Yoon Ha Lee on Twitter @motomaratai. You can also visit www.yoonhalee.com to stay up to date with his work!

 

*To stay up to date with the future featured guests on You Heard Write!, click the subscribe tab above.

Querying Tips

Sending out query letters to literary agents is an exciting, yet terrifying, time. Will they love my book? How long until I hear back? What can I do to increase my chances for success?

These questions will at some point cross your mind during the process. The querying stage can be a tough one. There’re plenty of agents out there, and I believe what makes the process even tougher is finding the right one to champion your work. You want an agent who believes in you and your writing. One that can give you confidence, advice, and guidance. You should envision yourself working with an agent for the length of your writing career.

So, no pressure, right?

In truth, it’s easy to fill your mind with doubts during the querying process. Rejections almost always come first, so be prepared to thicken your skin. But don’t despair just yet! Countless authors, even the most successful ones, have been where you are now. Many received dozens of rejections before finding success. (Google some if you need the support)

 

As you prepare to give this process your best, here are a few tips to improve your query letter:

 

  1. Research agents before querying them.

I can’t stress this one enough. The more you know about agents, as in who they represent, what they’re on the lookout for, what they want included in the query letter, the better off you’ll be. I’ve read many blogs / articles written by agents where they describe queries that feel impersonal. Agents want to know why you’re querying them specifically. Typically, you can explain this by revealing how one of their clients inspired your work, or that your story goes hand-in-hand with the kind of book they’re on the lookout for. Anything that shows thought behind your query will help!


 

  1. Query in batches.

I strongly suggest sending no more than 5-7 queries out at one time. The thing is, you don’t want to burn all your bridges at once. Imagine sending a batch of 50 queries out, then later finding some misspelled words, grammatical errors, or that you thought of a better, more compelling, way to pitch your story.

You don’t want that kind of mistake hanging over you.

Also, querying can be a lot like trial-by-error. If your first batch doesn’t deliver any requests for your manuscript, then you may want to revise it before sending the next handful.

Lastly, own your rejections! They sting, sure, but they’re yours. The best thing you can do is learn from them.


 

  1. Allow your peers to read your queries.

Anyone who you trust to give honest feedback should be considered. You want to see if your query hooks them, as in they want to read your book based on the 3-5 sentence pitch. Personally, I suggest finding other authors who are going through / have gone through the querying process to look over your letter as well. They have insights! See if you can pick up on some dos and don’ts.


 

  1. Familiarize yourself with helpful websites.

There’re tons of websites out there that give invaluable information to querying authors. They range from examples of successful query letters to specific wants from agents.

Here are a few I found especially helpful:

 

The MSWL website is a must when you’re trying to land an agent. This site allows you to see what agents are looking for. If you’ve written the next Narnia, then type that in the search bar and BAM! You’ll get a list of agents who say they’re looking for the next Narnia. Also, you can familiarize yourself with editors at publishing houses. They’re on the MSWL website too, and your future agent will appreciate it if you have a couple of editors who may be interested in your book.

 

  • Query Tracker ( www.querytracker.net )

Query Tracker is a great website for learning response times. Many authors post on the website about how long it took to hear back from specific agents. Now, of course this doesn’t mean the agent you’ve queried will take 3 months to respond just because another author experienced that, but it can help with realistic time frames.

Another useful aspect to Query Tracker is authors will post if an agent is currently closed to submissions. You don’t want to query an agent who’s not accepting queries, for that’s an automatic rejection.

 

This one is a big one. Almost every agent has a profile on PM. You can find out an agent’s list of clients, past book deals, current likes and, more important, dislikes, and what he or she requires with each query. I suggest paying for the membership to PM so you can experience all its features.


 

As I said: querying can be exciting and terrifying. Unfortunately, there isn’t a sure-fire formula to get you an offer of representation, but take it from me. The day I signed with my agent was one of the greatest days of my life. It validated the years of hard work, sacrifice, and dedication in a single phone call. Continue writing. Keep fighting. You’ll get there before you know it.


 

Don’t forget to follow Cody on social media to stay up to date with his writing.