What Would You Like To Know?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I've never done an open question thread before, but I've seen others do them, and I'm curious if anyone reading this blog has any questions. I can't promise I'll be able to answer everything, but I can at least pretend I know what I'm talking about. ;)

So... what do you want to know?

15 Chiming In:

Lindsey said...

Yay, I'm first! Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Kelly Powell said...

Hey Josin!
How many agents did you query for Arclight? How long did it take to be offered representation?

Josin L. McQuein said...

I am a mix of the two. I write a skeletal sketch, then fill it in screenplay style until I have enough of a scene to flesh out. :-)

Josin L. McQuein said...

@ kelly

I queried 15-20 and Suzie offered between weeks 3 and 4. That offer triggered others to read faster and offer, but in the end I went with Suzie. :-)

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Cool idea. :) What was your query-writing process?

Josin L. McQuein said...

Ha! I have you all well trained, and now you think I have a process... my plot for world-domination is on track!!!

:-P

Seriously, I just wrote the best encapsulation of the plot I could, then sent it to QLH over at Absolute Write for the query-squirrels to shred.

lee said...

What's your favorite kind of YA/MG book to write and why? (I'm asking because I like to write both YA contemps and adult ParaNorm/UF...basically VERY different audiences. And it makes me crazy. :)

Josin L. McQuein said...

Paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi/ basically anything with people or setting out of the norm. Contemporary is the hardest thing for me to write because it has to have a level of accuracy based on reality rather than my own world building.

Sally Hepworth said...

Not sure if this is still open, but I'll ask anyway.

How long did it take from submitting your query to signing a book deal? It seems like it was pretty fast! Well done :)

Josin L. McQuein said...

My initial query to Suzie was 4/21.
Her offer of representation came 5/17 and I accepted a week later.

Edits / line edits / mental breakdowns occupied June.

Suzie sent the novel out on submission 7/13 and it was basically a day before an offer came in, Suzie did some negotiation, and the offer was revised to what we accepted. By 7/15 it was final.

So, all told, 4/21 - 7/15 from initial query to deal. Just shy of 3 months.

MC Rogerson said...

Congrats on the deal!

How long did it take you to write Arclight? Did you get the story right first time or did you have to rewrite before querying agents? If so, how extensive were the changes?

Josin L. McQuein said...

Arclight's weird when compared to how long it usually takes me to write something.

A few years ago, I wrote a vampire novel, but the market was suddenly flooded with them, so rather than continue revising and resubbing that one, I switched to a zombie novel... no one was doing zombies...

Yeah, then The Forest of Hands and Teeth hit. People who had read bits of mine said it sounded similar, so I went and checked it out at the library... that killed the zombie novel.

So then, I went and dug up a screenplay I wrote when I was like 17, cannibalized the plot from that, took the characters from the zombie book and Frankensteined them into Arclight.

All told, Arclight was a book better than 15 years in the making, if you count that original screenplay in the timeline. And it went through several overhauls, especially with the first four chapters (which are now about the first nine).

MC Rogerson said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad that your perseverance paid off. You've obviously got a great writing talent!

Colin Smith said...

Hello Josin!
I have comments, not questions--sorry!

Thanks for sharing this. Those of us still in the process of edits and queries need to hear stuff like this more often. We all know the realities of publishing, how hard it is, etc. We need more "success stories." Especially like yours--getting an offer a day after Suzie sent it out on submission? This tells me two things: 1) I need to read your book because it must be superb, and 2) I need to beg Suzie Townsend to be my agent! :)

Josin L. McQuein said...

Yes, Suzie is made of awesome and dipped in fabulous. :-D

Definitely query her.

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