You know, in case you were wondering…
How did you get a literary agent?
I’ve actually been represented by a few literary agents over the many years I’ve been at this writing thing. The first two, I queried — the slush pile works. I connected with my current agent, Pam Gruber, through a referral.
How do you write a query letter?
Query letters are not my strength, but I can point you toward a few resources: YA Highway, author Susan Dennard, Writer’s Digest, publishing guru Jane Friedman, Query Shark, and author Nathan Bransford.
How did your debut book deal with Swoon Reads come about?
I wrote and revised a swoonworthy YA story. Later, I heard a tidbit about Swoon Reads via social media. I researched their inception, business model, editors, and marketing plans before coming to the conclusion that my story, Kissing Max Holden, would be a great fit for the Macmillan imprint. So, I submitted my manuscript. 🙂
When will your books be available to buy/borrow?
They’re in stores and libraries now; there are links to many online retailers on my Books page. You can learn more about Jilly and Max from Kissing Max Holden by checking out its Pinterest board HERE. If you want to know more about Elise and Mati from The Impossibility of Us, you can visit its Pinterest board HERE. If you want to meet Callie and Chloe and Tucker from How the Light Gets In, you can visit the book’s Pinterest board HERE.
Is How the Light Gets In a sequel to The Impossibility of Us? Is The Impossibility of Us a sequel to Kissing Max Holden?
No and no. All of my books thus far are stand-alone novels. Cookies and kisses factor heavily into all my stories, though.
Why do you write for young adults?
I’ve never attempted to write anything but young adult fiction. I’m fascinated by the teenage experience, and perhaps more significantly, I adore romance. Stories for young adults are perfect for exploring the many complicated feelings that come with first love.
What are you working on now?
A slew of WiPs in various stages…
What are your favorite YA books?
There are so many I love! If I have to pick a few… How to Love by Katie Cotugno, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry, The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, The Winner’s Trilogy by Marie Rutkoski, If I Stay by Gayle Forman, Stolen by Lucy Christopher, the To All the Boys trilogy by Jenny Han, and the Graceling Realm Trilogy by Kristin Cashore. There are many more listed on my Goodreads “Favorites” shelf.
Why do you move so often?
Haha… My husband’s job. We stay in any one place for as briefly as eight months, or for as long as five years. So far, we’ve lived in Washington, Arizona, Tennessee, Arizona (again), Washington (again), California, Florida, Virginia, and California (again). This life is an adventure!
Have you written any articles/blog posts about your experiences as a foster parent?
I had the privilege of defining motherhood in 100 words for the Washington Post. Find my entry, and others, HERE. Additionally, I shared a bit about my daughter’s adoption day in this photo’s Instagram caption. I’d love to write more about my experiences as a foster mama, though I’ve yet to figure out a way to cover this raw, personal topic while simultaneously respecting my daughter’s privacy and right to divulge the details of her life in her own time and manner. So… maybe I’ll share more one day? Regardless, if you’re considering foster parenting and are interested in my perspective, I’m happy to chat. Feel free to email me.
Will you provide feedback on my query/synopsis/manuscript?
I’d love to, but unfortunately my time is limited. I already have a group of savvy critique partners who I trade work with, and my relationships with them are invaluable. I highly recommend finding a similar writing group. Try: Maggie Stiefvater’s Critique Partner Love Connection, How About We CP, Susan Dennard’s CP/Buddy Match-Up, You’re the One That I Want: 2016 Critique Partner Matchmaking, or any number of online writing forums.
Will you provide a blurb for my soon-to-be-published book?
Maybe! Time is an obvious factor, and I only choose to blurb books I genuinely love, but you can certainly email me or my agent to inquire.
Will you do an interview for my blog/visit my school/speak on a panel/participate in the event I’m organizing/Skype with my book club/etc?
Thank you for thinking of me! I’m open to all publicity opportunities, bearing in mind availability. Please email me so we can discuss your proposal.
Where else can I find you online?
Here I am on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Tumblr. My Goodreads author page is HERE. You can mark Kissing Max Holden “To Read” HERE, The Impossibility of Us “To Read” HERE, and How the Light Gets In “To Read” HERE. My Fierce Reads author profile is HERE.
Do you have a question?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll do my best to answer. 😘