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 Regina! She’s represented by Rena Rossner and writes YA, MG, AND picture books! Welcome, Regina!
What was the hardest part about writing your book?
I usually hit a bump at about the halfway point of each of my novels, and this one was no exception. I stalled out for a few days and thought about what needed to happen next. Then I got a wonderful, horrible idea for my next novel. Wonderful because I loved it so much…horrible because I still had my novel to finish! So that really got me motivated again. I also found a picture online of someone who had an expression that reminded me of the male main character. Looking at that before I started each day helped me power through the rest of the novel – so I could tell his story.
I think a lot of us have definitely been there. How did you meet your agent?
She requested an earlier novel that was in the online contest Pitch Wars, and although she liked it, she wasn’t sure she was the best fit for it. Her rejection letter was so complimentary that, about a year later, I ended up sending her the novel she eventually signed me with.
Do you have a rough number of how many queries you sent out before being offered representation?
For this novel? Maybe twenty? I sent many, many more for my earlier novels, though.
What inspires you to write?
I don’t know. Just that drive, I guess, that seems to exist in all creative people.
Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process? Where do you get your ideas and characters?
I draw all my ideas and characters from real life. Then I adjust them as I need to, bringing them together to live in my story. I try to have a special playlist for my novel, which helps me get into the mood to write the story. Recently, when I was working on revisions, I went back and played the old playlist that went with that novel and immediately I felt like I was in that world again. Sometimes I like associating certain scents with a novel too. I diffuse different essential oils to help me escape into the story.
Oh I love playlists! They’re super helpful for staying in that world. Many people have jobs along with writing. How do you balance that schedule?
I do not work outside my house, but I homeschool three kids full time and am publicity chair for my local SCBWI group. It is give and take with all of it. Sometimes the kids need more attention with their schooling, and sometimes I can give them their assignments and they let me work. I use headphones when I write, to drown out any background noise that might pull me out of the story. I also write when they are at dance, karate, or their theatre classes, or late at night when they’re asleep. Like everyone says, if you want it bad enough and need it bad enough, you can make it happen.
Is there a fictional character or book you wish you had created? Why?
I don’t know, really. It seems like the reason I love characters is because of who they are, and that flowed from the original writer, didn’t it? If I did it, they wouldn’t be the same.
I do write a bit of fanfic – I never even tried it until I saw Frozen and fell in love with the enigma that is Prince Hans – but even him I wouldn’t have wanted to create. I just enjoy imagining his backstory and motivations, and how his future could have played out differently.
Hans was definitely interesting. I totally never saw the ending coming. What do you enjoy most about writing?
Can you describe your MC(s) in three words each?
Probably not, ha ha. I’m all right with being concise in a novel but not so great at doing it that briefly!
Before you leave, would you share the first sentence of your query that got you an agent?
Lots of girls make mistakes.
Oh I love that line! Thanks for stopping by!