Thursday, April 14, 2011

QueryTrackers Making Tracks, #4

Today is the fourth installment of my Friday series on successful authors from QueryTracker.

Some of the authors I'm spotlighting have agents, others have found success in less conventional ways. But one thing they all have in common is the utilization of the QueryTracker website to help make their tracks in the publishing world.

I'd like to welcome Kathy Bradey (known as kathy_xoxo on QT) who has recently signed with agent Suzie Townsend of FinePrint Literary Management. When I first read Kathy's book premise on her QueryTracker Success Interview, I knew I wanted to have her as a guest. This book is right up my alley -- complete with an incredible title -- and I'm looking forward to when it hits the shelves so I can devour it ... no doubt in one sitting. ;)

AGH: So glad you could visit us, Kathy! Could you give us a quick summary of the book which snagged your agent?

Kathy: ICE CAROUSEL is a YA fantasy inspired by the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. On the surface, it is a story about traveling to the land between life and death and bargaining for the life of someone you love. But if you look deeper, it is a story about a girl finding her feet in the world and discovering that she is stronger and has more substance than what she originally believes.

AGH: Before you signed with your agent, how many books had you tried to query?

Kathy: I queried a high fantasy novel for about a month in 2008. I only sent out a couple of queries. I think I knew the book wasn’t good enough!

AGH: What genre(s) do you write?

Kathy: I love writing YA. I gravitate toward fantasy, post-apocalyptic and paranormal. And romance is a huge part of all my novels because that’s what I love to read!

AGH: What inspires your book ideas?

Kathy: Music and feelings. Sounds corny, but it’s true. I like to capture a certain emotion when I write – whether it be heartbreak, joy, confusion, doubt, whatever. Music often brings that out in me and kick starts a story idea.

AGH: How do you come up with titles?

Kathy: It’s very important for me to have a title that I love before I start writing. I like pretty titles. Haha. I also like the title to mean something, so I find it easier to have the title upfront and work it into the story. But, to answer the question, I don’t have one method. I just think about words and ideas and pick what grabs me!

AGH: What books / authors have most influenced your own style and concepts?

Kathy: I’m not sure! I read lots of different authors: Wilbur Smith, Matthew Reilly, Anne Rice, J K Rowling, Amy Tan, Suzanne Collins, Ken Follett… to name a few. My favorite reads of late have been ‘The Sky is Everywhere’ by Jandy Nelson and ‘Anna and the French Kiss’ by Stephanie Perkins. I guess they’ve all influenced me in different ways, but I couldn’t pick exactly how. The best answer I can give is that amazing authors/books inspire me to keep writing and revising to the best of my ability.

AGH: How did you find QueryTracker, and how did it help you in your effort to get inside the publishing doors?

Kathy: I can’t remember when I found QueryTracker, but I used it to read about agent interests, statistics, success stories, comments from queriers about agents… and everything in between! I’ve found it incredibly useful.

**Five for fun** 

AGH: Which would you rather do: carry an umbrella or sing in the rain?

Kathy: Sing in the rain beneath an umbrella. Pretty much sums up my personality. I like to be free and impulsive – within reason! :)

AGH: What’s your favorite breakfast?

Kathy: I love toast with peanut butter, toast with vegemite, toast with cream cheese and smoked salmon… Go the carbs!

AGH: What video games do you play?

Kathy: Dead or Alive 2 is an old school favorite of mine. I’m also quite partial to those ridiculous games where you are required to build a theme park from scratch and keep all your visitors happy.

AGH: When would you go to if you had a time machine, and why?

Kathy: Ancient Greece, Egypt or Rome. I love history and beautiful places. However, I’d only like to visit!

AGH: If you were tight with one of the Greek gods, which one would it be and what favor would you ask of them?

Kathy: Hermes. I’d borrow his winged sandals.

Thanks so much, Anita! <3


And thank you, Kathy! I felt a kinship while reading your breakfast preferences. I'm a bit of a toast enthusiast myself.

I  look forward to buying your book one day! Such a unique concept. Much luck to you on the rest of your writing journey.

If you have questions for Kathy--or would like to congratulate her and show your support -- please leave a comment below. Also, dont' forget to follow her blog and cheer her on as she climbs to the bookshelves.

And be sure to pop in next Friday, because our QueryTracker visitor is somewhat of an online celebrity who's found her success in a less traditional way -- sans the help of an agent. (Hint: Much like our guest today, her ititials are K.B. Oh, and she holds the fates of many authors in the pads of her busy fingertips...)

Happy Friday everyone!


  1. Yay for QueryTracker! Great interview and all the best to Kathy! I love her title (and concept), and can't wait to see the book on the shelves!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Kristine! Her book does sound awesome, as does yours. I now have two TBR selections that are in limbo. The waiting won't be easy!

  3. Great interview Anita - and yes! that premise is spot on exciting. Sounds great! Can't wait to read it and distribute to my "kids" at work.

  4. Another great interview and another reason why QT is so wonderful! Kathy I love the premise of your book, I can't wait to read it. I wish you the best of luck and am on my way to check out your blog and read your QT success story. Hope to hear some exciting news from Kathy and Anita in the near future.

  5. Kathy's title makes me want to hire her to come up with a title for my WiP! Love the Greek-inspired stories and I can't wait to read this one. Hermes's shoes: need those. Every day. Good luck with everything, Kathy. Suzie is great.

    These interviews are great, Anita. I'm intrigues by the next KB.

  6. Thanks, Kathy and Anita, for a great interview! And you're absolutely right, Anita - ICE CAROUSEL does sound so intriguing, both the concept and the title.

    P.S. I'm interviewing your agent on my blog today... :)

  7. Thanks Mindy! And I'll bet the kids will be just as excited about it as you are. ONe of the perks of being the librarian, you get to read it before it hits your shelves.

    Thanks Jessica! And you're so sweet to send up those good vibes for us both. :) You know I'm sending them up for you, too.

    Hi Mary! I know, right? It's funny but when I read that she has to have a good title before she writes the book and that she works it into the plot, it was like looking in a mirror. I'm the same way. I sure hope they keep her awesome title once she sells.

  8. Krista, thanks for stopping by! How cool about Jenny! I'll definitely stop by and root her on. Thanks for letting me know!

  9. I've never heard of the theme park game, but if it's anything like old school Oregon Trail, I'm right there with you, Kathy.

    How long were you querying ICE CAROUSEL(very cool title!)before you got THE NOD?

    Another great post Anita!

  10. Thanks Bethany! And great question for Kathy.

    BTW, I wonder if the theme park game she's talking about is Roller Coaster Tycoon. My kids used to love that one...

  11. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! You have such a beautiful blog!

    - Kylie

  12. Congrats to Kathy, and great post by Anita! Best of luck with Fineprint! :)

  13. Kylie, thank you for returning the favor. And I appreciate the compliment, from one lovely blog to another. :)

    LisaAnn, thanks so much for stopping by again!

    Bethany, I went back and looked in Kathy's interview w/QT and here's the closest answer to your question that I could find: Kathy queried close to 60 agents in batches of ten. She started in January 2010 signed in February 2011. That's persistence!

  14. Kristine - Thanks so much! You're a QueryTracker girl, aren't you? Great site. Cheers for the nice words! <3

    Mindy - Thanks for the kind words. Are you a school teacher or librarian? <3

    Jessica - Yay! Thank you! I will be following you back, girl. I've just been off the net today. <3

    Marybk - Oh, those shoes! If only they existed! :) Thanks so much. <3

    Krista V - Wow, I'll have to go and check that out! I love you interview series! <3 Thanks for the comment.

    Bethany - The theme park game was on PS2. Really really old! The images were all pixelated, but it was addictive! I queried widely for about five months with IC, then revised for the one agent over the rest of the year. Thanks for your comments and good luck with your writing!

    Kylie - Anita has done wonders with the place! ;)

    LisaAnn - Thank you for the comment. <3

    And Anita, what a pleasure doing this interview. Thanks for having me. It's been fun! Speak soon! x

  15. You're welcome, Kathy! It's easy to play hostess to someone who has such an amazing idea and writing savvy. BTW, I saw your book trailer on your blog. NICE. :)

    Do keep in touch; I expect we'll be hearing very good news from your in the near future!

  16. Kathy, I loved hearing that you like Wilbur Smith. My dad has the entire collection of his books and they are such big, gripping adventures. I don't write in his genre at all, but it's fun to see how our influences comes from such diverse areas. Everything we read filters in, somehow.

  17. Hey Jenny! Thanks for stopping by. :) I've never read any Wilbur Smith. Sounds like I need to change that. ;)

  18. Jenny - RIVER GOD is one of my all-time favorite books! I've read just about every Wilbur Smith book too :) Your dad has excellent taste!!