Courtesy of the fab Kat Ellis . . .
I am so utterly THRILLED to be able to announce the first ever Hook, Line & Sinker success story! Debbie Causevic, who entered the contest with her fabulous YA urban fantasy/romance TUMBLING AFTER, is now represented by Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron & Associates!
Naturally, I wanted to get all the deets from Debbie, so I asked her a few questions...
First of all, please tell us what TUMBLING AFTER is about.
What made you decide to enter Hook, Line & Sinker?
I’ve completed a handful of manuscripts but, at the point that I entered HL&S, I hadn't tried anything aside from straight querying. I decided I needed to break the pattern and become more proactive, so I committed to attending writers' conferences and entering whatever contests I could find online. As luck would have it, Hook, Line, and Sinker was the first step I took in that direction. I'm sure you can understand how completely surreal and awesome it felt not only to make it to Round 3, but also to have connected with Pooja Menon of Kimberley Cameron and Associates, who I have since signed with. These last few weeks have been just completely amazing and I am very thankful to HL&S for giving writers aspiring for publication such an opportunity.
Had you queried TUMBLING AFTER before the contest?
Yes, I completed the manuscript and began querying it in 2011. It generated some interest and I received two requests for partials that ultimately didn’t pan out. One of the agents took six full months deciding and actually offered more compliments than complaints in her rejection. Rather than starting to query again after her reply, I reread the manuscript and more clearly saw the areas that needed improvement. Ultimately, I think sitting on the book for so long while waiting was helpful. Having distanced myself from the writing of it, I was better able to fine tune the manuscript and come up with a stronger product. And as they say, all is well that ends well. I ended up with an agent who feels passionately about this manuscript, which is what I was hoping for all along.
Before the call, I knew that Pooja was fairly interested in the manuscript. She had requested the first 50 pages and, fairly soon thereafter, the complete manuscript. From what I had read online, I really liked her view on the industry, her progressiveness and her motivation, so I was hopeful. Regarding “the call”, she actually emailed me prior, stating that she'd like to offer me representation and asking to set up a time to talk. That worked out well because I got the jumping and screaming out of my system before having to sound coherent and sane. When we did speak, I liked her feedback on my manuscript and her proposed plan of action, and I felt that our partnership would be a good match. Needless to say, I signed with her shortly afterwards.
Once I incorporate Pooja’s edits, she intends to submit the manuscript in January after the holidays are over and New York is fully back in action. In the meantime, my job is to build upon my platform as a writer—finally delving into the social media I have long avoided. I will also start work on book 3 of the trilogy, which allows me to resume one of my favorite activities in the world--writing fiction!