Query.Sign.Submit. with Lisa Ann Scott

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Lisa Ann Scott writes books for children—picture books, chapter books, and middle grade. Her latest release in the Wish Fairy series is now available. Lisa is represented by Jennifer Unter of The Unter Agency.

CTHE WISH FAIRY #1 coveronnect with Lisa …

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QUERY

What resources and websites did you use when querying?

Just AgentQuery.com

Had you queried other books before the one that got you your agent?

Yes. I first started writing Women’s Fiction and widely queried a novel that got 7 partial requests but no full requests. (So that means I had a pretty good query, but the book fell short.) I can see now that book was flawed, because it was about things that happened to the MC to move the plot forward instead of the MC making decisions to drive the plot forward. So I moved on to middle grade! I wrote my first MG novel from three different POVs in first person present, and just sent that out to a few agents, and set it aside after realizing there were problems I didn’t know how to fix. (No way! A 3 person POV first person present book had some problems?) My agent, Jennifer Unter, signed me on with my second middle grade novel, School of Charm.

If querying was a long time ago for you, what do you remember most?

I had a few full requests on School of Charm, and one of the most promising came right after I was let go from my TV news anchor job. I was ecstatic. I was certain this was the new door opening for me. And then I got the rejection. I was devastated. And I stopped writing….for a while. And of course switched genres again! This time, self-publishing romance (as Lisa Scott. Thus, the use of my middle name for my kids stuff.) And I was all set to self-publish School of Charm when a friend urged me to query again. And I did. To one agent. Jennifer Unter. So yes, sometimes it takes just one more try. Don’t give up!

SIGN

At what point do you share new story ideas with your agent?

Whenever. She’s always willing to take a look and add something to her TBR pile. I come up with lots of ideas, so I have to pace myself. J

Do you send sample chapters to your agent or do you wait until the next manuscript is finished?

I talk about ideas with her first before completing an entire manuscript, (unless it’s a picture book.) So I’ll either pitch the idea or write up a few chapters to send along.

SUBMIT

What do you suggest a writer does while out on submission?

Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Continue going to writing groups, workshops, reading books on craft etc.

How much contact do you have with your agent when you are out on submission?

She forwards each rejection we get, so I can read the editor feedback. When I get the “FYI” email from her, my shoulders slump a bit, because I know it’s not great news.

Did you know there was interest in the book before you got an offer or was it a surprise?

The first book was a surprise. The first Scholastic series, I knew about the interest because they wanted to see if I would do a few minor revisions. I’d say it changes from book to book.

How does it work when you’re writing a series? Are the books sold together or does it depend on the success of the first?

With Scholastic, the series have been sold as four-book deals. If they do well enough, then we’ll discuss additional books. But they’re written so that the four-book arc has a satisfying conclusion, but also leaves the door open for other stories to be told.

Thanks, Lisa!

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