Every other Wednesday, I’ll be showcasing authors who got an agent in the last couple of years. If you’d like to be a part of this, let me know in the comments or contact me via Twitter @judi__Lauren
Today I’m so excited to be interviewing Alexandra Ott! Her book, RULES FOR THIEVES, will be releasing in the summer of 2017 from Aladdin/S&S! Welcome, Alexandra!
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
Balancing writing with schoolwork! I was in college when I wrote it, and making time for revisions in addition to studying and writing papers was a challenge.
Balancing other obligations is definitely one of the hardest parts! So how did you meet your agent?
Do you have a rough number of how many queries you sent out before being offered representation?
I haven’t counted recently, but I think it was about 20. I was very fortunate to have found the perfect agent for my book so quickly. 🙂
What inspires you to write?
Mostly I feel inspired by reading other books, or even watching films and television; discovering stories that I love always makes me want to write stories of my own. But inspiration can come from anywhere!
Definitely! Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process? Where do you get your ideas and characters?
So far, my process has been different for every book. With RULES FOR THIEVES, I was thinking a lot about heist novels, which I’ve always loved. I knew I wanted to put my own spin on a heist story, but it wasn’t until my main character’s voice popped into my head one night that I figured out how to tell it.
Your agent has also already sold your book, can you tell us a little bit about that process?
Yes, I was incredibly lucky to have gone through the process so fast! After I signed with my agent in March, we worked on another round of edits on the book, and my agent compiled a submission list and wrote the pitch letter. Once all of that was done, we went on submission in late May, and we received the offer from Aladdin in August! After contract negotiations were done, we were finally able to announce the deal in early November.
Many people have jobs along with writing. How do you balance that schedule?
This is something I’m still struggling with. The most important thing for me is to set a designated time in which to write. I block out as much time as I can each day and use that time for writing (and only writing). It’s still a difficult balance, but I like to think I’m getting better at managing it.
Is there a fictional character or book you wish you had created? Why?
Harry Potter, of course. 😉
He’s the best 😉 What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love all of it: the thrill of creating a new idea and writing the draft, the satisfaction of revising it into something better. There are definitely hard days, but I just have to remind myself why I fell in love with this story in the first place, and then I feel excited to write it all over again.
Can you describe your MC(s) in three words?
Alli is headstrong, smart, and snarky.
Before you leave, would you share the first sentence of your query that got you an agent?
“When twelve-year-old Alli escapes from Azeland’s orphanage, getting cursed isn’t exactly part of her plan.”
Thanks so much, Alexandra!
Alexandra Ott is the author of RULES FOR THIEVES, a middle grade fantasy novel coming from Aladdin/S&S in summer 2017. She graduated from the University of Tulsa, where she studied English. She is currently an editorial intern at Entangled Publishing. In her spare time, she plays the flute, eats a lot of chocolate, and reads just about everything. She lives in Oklahoma with her tiny canine overlord. You can connect with at her Website, Twitter, or Facebook.