One of my good friends, Mindy McGinnis from the Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire blog, has recently escaped the burning pit of submission hell (those of you who have been there, or are there still, know the truth behind that phrase) with a fantastic 2-book contract with Harper Collins, due out in Fall 2013.
Here's Mindy's PublishersMarketplace Announcement:
Mindy McGinnis's NOT A DROP TO DRINK, the story of a teenage girl surviving in a rural America where an ounce of fresh water is worth more than gold and death wanders the countryside as thirst, cholera, and the guns of strangers; when her mother dies in an accident, the girl must decide between defending her pond alone or banding together with a crippled neighbor, a pregnant woman, a filthy orphan, and a teenage boy who awakens feelings she doesn't understand, to Sarah Shumway at Katherine Tegen Books, in a good deal, at auction, in a two-book deal, by Adriann Ranta at Wolf Literary Services (World).
Mindy's not only a talented author, she's also a blogging WIZARD. She's come up with a whole slew of blog series ideas, and finds the funniest and most creative acronyms to represent them. One of my favorites, and most irreverent (but somehow even more fitting for that reason) is the S.H.I.T. (Submission Hell – It’s True) Interview, where she invites authors to talk about their submission journey once they've finally sold.
To celebrate Mindy's success, I thought it would be fun to have her interview herself using her own questions with my blog as host. So off we go!
Welcome, Mindy One and Mindy Two. You have the floor.
M1: How much did you know about the submission process before you were out on subs yourself?
M2: I knew quite a bit, due to the excellent crowd over at AgentQuery Connect, quite a few of whom are agented and / or published. I knew what to expect as far as the waiting process, although honestly it wasn’t all that bad in terms of length of time for feedback.
M1: Did anything about the process surprise you?
M2: A little. I had some passes from editors who loved the book but couldn’t get enough enthusiasm from others to actually make an offer. It was odd to think, “Wow, someone important loved this, but that wasn’t enough.” It takes more than one to get that cart rolling.
M1: Did you research the editors you knew had your ms? Do you recommend doing that?
M2: I did. I don’t know that I recommend doing it though, because it’s not like it helped me out in any way. Mostly it just made me antsy. Once I had some offers, THEN I did research. I needed to know what the best fit was going to be.
M1: What was the average amount of time it took to hear back from editors?
M2: Some were SHAZAAM fast, and those were all negative. So, I learned that waiting was a good thing.
M1: What do you think is the best way for an author out on submission to deal with the anxiety?
M2: Stay busy, in all things. I wrote, I cleaned, I read, I blogged. I didn’t let myself think about it.
M1: If you had any rejections, how did you deal with that emotionally? How did this kind of rejection compare to query rejections?
M2: Oh, I had rejections. It definitely hurt more than a query rejection, because it was like, “Not only do I reject your premise, but I reject your WRITING!! BWAA HA HA!!” *throws lightning bolt* OK, not really. My rejections were actually all very complimentary and explanatory about reasons for passing, which I did appreciate.
M1: If you got feedback on a rejection, how did you process it? How do you compare processing an editor’s feedback as compared to a beta reader’s?
M2: It was hard to process because some of it was directly contradictory to feedback I’d received the day before. My agent and I sat down in a phone conversation and culled through all our feedback at one point and we decided that a lot of what we were seeing was personal preference. However, there were one or two consistent points that weren’t working for editors, and we took that seriously.
M1: When you got your YES! how did that feel? How did you find out – email, telephone, smoke signal?
M2: I got my YES over email, as it came in late on a weekday evening. How did it feel? I literally slammed my laptop shut and took the Lord’s name in vain. Then I apologized to both the Lord and the laptop and opened it back up again. The email was still there. I was kind of freaked out. And I literally couldn’t sleep. I was up til 3 AM two nights in a row.
M1: Did you have to wait a period of time before sharing your big news, because of details being ironed out? Was that difficult?
M2: I had my first offer on a Wednesday, then a few more offers came in on Thursday. Adriann and I talked details and decided what the best fit was on Thursday evening, and my Publisher’s Marketplace announcement went up on Sunday. So no, I didn’t have to wait long. I told my family members, and they took my direction to keep it quiet very, very seriously. They whispered whenever they talked to me about it ☺
Thank you, Mindy(s)! Hee.
If any of you would like to see the query letter that started the ball rolling and won Mindy's agent, hop over here. Also, if you're looking for some inspiration, visit this post where Mindy gives a rundown of her ten year journey to success. It's a very inspiring story, and shows why tenacity and a tough hide are so important if you're serious about being an author.
Thanks for coming by! And please drop in tomorrow for my Trailer Thursday series. I have some pretty exciting news about Splintered to share. Until then, have a great Wednesday everyone!