One of the things I enjoy most about researching and interviewing authors for this series is the simplicity in which each of them offers advice. Many of the authors I’ve been privileged to interview have told me how they never gave up. Even if they were writing and querying their fifth or six manuscript, they were still working. Perfecting their craft every day so they could meet their end goal: publication.
When I asked today’s featured author, Victoria Scott, about writing advice she had a brilliantly, simple answer. “Write what you want to read and enjoy the process.” Perfect words, I think, for any writer who is struggling in the trenches, hoping to be published one day.
Many thanks to Victoria for sharing her writing odyssey. Hope you enjoy!
Amy: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Victoria: I’ve been an avid reader all my life, but it took me a while to recognize that I wanted to be a writer. It was probably about 2-3 years ago.
Amy: What drew you to write YA fiction?
Victoria: I love YA because of its simplicity. I believe stories can be a lot more exciting when there’s no mortgage, marriage issues, kids to raise, careers to worry about, etc. Being a teen is raw…and it’s pure.
Amy: How many manuscripts had you completed prior to THE COLLECTOR?
Victoria: I completed one prior to writing THE COLLECTOR.
Amy: Did you have critique partners or beta readers that helped you polish THE COLLECTOR? How did that influence your writing process?
Victoria: Yes, I had two critique partners that held my hand during the first draft. I can honestly say I couldn’t have done it without them. They cheered me on when I didn’t think the story was worth telling.
Amy: Did your query for THE COLLECTOR come easily or did it go through many drafts?
Victoria: I actually didn’t query THE COLLECTOR. I queried the book before that, VANITY, and the agent I signed with asked if I was working on anything else. I sent her the first 100 pages of THE COLLECTOR and she signed me off that. If that isn’t gambling…I don’t know what is. Thank you, Laurie McLean!
Amy: How many agents did you query for THE COLLECTOR?
Victoria: Zero. But for VANITY….I’ll never tell. Ha! I queried many. But there were many left to query, too. My advice to aspiring authors is to try not to worry about the number of rejections you get. Just keep moving forward. Easier said than done.
Amy: Did you receive instantaneous response or did you have to wait for requests/rejections?
Victoria: Oh, I waited, all right. Waiting is the bane of my existence
Amy: As many writers know, the publishing world is very hard to break into. What was the one thing you did to help garner agent attention?
Victoria: I created a strong platform. Agents are looking for how many readers you can reach with your book…immediately.
Amy: Can you tell us what your call was like with your agent, Laurie McLean?
Victoria: It was like heaven. It was like someone tore out my heart and showed me how red it was. Then they put it back into place and I breathed for the first time. Don’t. Ever. Give. Up.
Amy: What was one piece of advice you got during your early writing stages that has stuck with you to this day?
Victoria: Write what you would want to read, and don’t write too formally. And enjoy the process!
“Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence has made him one of hell’s best – a soul collector. His job is simple, weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.
Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:
Collect Charlie Cooper’s Soul within 10 days.
Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky, Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect – he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector, and uncover emotions deeply buried.”
Victoria Scott is a YA writer represented by Laurie McLean. She’s the author of THE COLLECTOR (Entangled Teen, April 2013) and THE BRIMSTONE BLEED (Scholastic, spring 2014). Victoria has a master’s degree in marketing, and lives in Dallas with her husband. You can find her online at: www.VictoriaScottYA.com or on Twitter.