Here are the rest of your questions! Thank you so much for actually caring enough to ask questions like this!
Where did you start and what inspires you to write?
I started with the very last page. No idea why, that's just how it happened. And as for what inspires me, is it too cheesy to say everything? I'm gonna go with everything. However, if I'm feeling out of inspiration to write, reading a good book always inspires me.
How did you choose a designer and ultimately settle on the cover?
Tekeme Studios is the company that my publisher works with, so that's how the designer was chosen. as far as the cover, I spent a lot of time in the library and in bookstores browsing the YA section. I wanted a cover that fit my story, and that would fit in if I placed it on a shelf next to popular YA novels.
Side note: I thought for sure the cover was going to have to be revised several times, but he got exactly what I wanted the very first time.
What led you down the path to your publisher?
I got this book and researched every single publisher, which led to discovering other companies. I started sending out queries in June of 2013 and heard from my Publisher in January of 2014. The first time I talked on the phone with her, she talked to me for 45 minutes and answered all of my questions. It felt very very personal, which I hadn't yet felt when it come to a publisher/agent. I could tell she was invested in my story and would also be personally invested in me. I prayed about it a lot and at the end of the day, trusted my gut and jumped on board.
I truly cannot say enough good things about my experience with Nyree. If you're interested in exploring the world of indie authors, do yourself a favor and check them out.
What's the hardest part about trying to get published?
The fact that once you submit your work, everything is out of your control. You can't control when someone checks their email, if they'll ever actually read your query, or if they'll even respond to you after reading your query.
Who do you look up to as a writer?
Chances are, if you are a writer, I look up to you. But as far as specific writers go, I really look up to Rachel Hauk because she mentors lots of writers, even unpublished writers, and I think that's amazing. I look up to John Grisham because he hasn't changed the way he writes or the content he writes, regardless of how famous he's become. I look up to Sarah Dessen immensely because she is a wife and mom in a small town, and is simultaneously the greatest YA author there ever was. She tweeted something the other day along the lines of "Red carpet in LA last night, movie night on the couch with hubby tonight. Equally as special." And I just think that's amazing.
What are five books that have changed your life?
The Christy Miller Series. Dreamland. The Book Thief. Avalon High. Talk before Sleep. I wouldn't necessarily classify these as my favorite books, but more so the fact that I read them during significant times in my life or they changed the way I write. Ask me again in a few weeks and I may give you a completely different list.
Is your book based on a true story?
No. But there are a lot of true-story details hidden in there, as far as names and places and even events. It's like a little hidden hello for people who know me.
What has been the most nerve-wracking part of the entire process?
Hands down, last Monday night. I had to approve the final PDF to print, and talk about pressure. I read it until I felt like my eyes may actually be on fire. It was nerve-wracking for two reasons. One, because I hope I didn't miss any errors, but I'm human, so we'll see. And two, because this is a story I've been working on for close to four years. These characters are people I have thought of every day. I've had new ideas, changed details, added backstory, over and over for four years. It was crazy knowing that when I approved the final PDF, that time was over. I could never add another detail to my characters. That's such a weird feeling.
Where should I start?
Just start writing! Go to Barnes and Noble and browse the novel-writing section. Get a book that inspires you, I recommend this one! And then just start writing. And then keep writing. And then finish writing, even when you don't want to.
Is anyone else an aspiring author? What inspires you to write?
g o s h o p p i n g: