Everly is a young adult author and her debut, Fear My Mortality, is now available from Month9Books!
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What advice would you give to querying writers?
My querying journey was a bit unusual. My first agent became a bestselling author (and stopped agenting) and my second agent moved agencies. I still count them both as friends. In the end, I submitted my manuscript without an agent. So my advice to querying writers is this: keep an open mind and be prepared for the unexpected. Nobody’s querying path is the same.
What was your method for querying?
I queried in small batches and treated any feedback like gold. Getting requests told me I was on the right track with my query – while hearing crickets told me I needed to make changes. It takes a lot of patience, but if an agent took the time to give feedback (even a single line), I gave it serious consideration.
Did you ever have a Revise & Resubmit? What should a writer consider when deciding whether or not to take one on?
I had a revise and resubmit request for a previous manuscript. When deciding whether to take it on, I considered whether the feedback made sense to me and to my view of the story. My advice is to take the time to get it right, really think about what they’re asking, and whether you can make it happen, before sending the revision back.
If querying was a long time ago for you, what do you remember most?
What I remember the most is the waiting. Sure, you hear cases of writers who land an agent within a couple of weeks, but I think they’re the rare ones. My experience of querying was that it took time. A lot of time. Months. I signed with my first agent after about five months of querying. My second was quicker at three months.
How did you know your agent was the right one for you?
It’s actually a really hard decision to make. It would be nice to have some magical guidance that tells you what you should do, but the thing is that you can’t see the future. All you can base a decision on is the information that you have at the time. But there are things that can help you make the decision, such as: do their suggested revisions make sense to you? Are they easy to talk with? Do they have a track record of sales? And most importantly: are they over the moon about your book?
Once a writer has signed with an agent, what’s the next step?
For me, it was revisions both times. No manuscript is perfect and I think at least one round of revisions before going on submission can be expected.
How editorial is your agent? Is it what you expected?
Both of my agents were editorial and their suggestions were really helpful. They both made it clear what revisions they wanted when they offered, so I was fully informed.
What do you suggest a writer does while out on submission?
This is where my story deviates from the norm, because I submitted to my publisher unagented. But I think my suggestion is the same either way: Write your next book. Keep busy. Try not to think about it (well, too much).
Did you know there was interest in the book before you got an offer or was it a surprise?
Definitely a surprise. I’d submitted a query as a first step and was delighted when the full was requested, but by that stage I’d learned not to get my hopes up. It was a thrill to read the offer email.
How did you celebrate when you got the news about your book deal?
I waited for my lunch break, rang my husband in the quiet hallway at work, and tried not to burst into happy tears. J
What is the best thing about being a debut author?
The best thing about being a debut author is meeting other debut authors. We’re all learning, trying our best, and supporting each other.
What have you learned about being a debut author?
That I still have a lot to learn!
What else are you working on along with all the promotion?
I’m working on the final book in the series. I’m excited to tie up loose ends, but I’ll be really sad to write the last word of Ava and Michael’s story.
Thank you, Everly!