Where do you go when you have a question about your MC having a mild traumatic brain injury? Or when you need details about describing leech therapy in your manuscript?
Look no further than Lydia Kang’s blog – The Word is My Oyster. Lydia hosts a weekly feature called Medical Mondays where she will answer any and all wacky medical questions so you can twist and torture your characters using the proper medical terms. I love it and have already used her expertise to throw a particularly brutal stone at one of my minor characters.
Part-time doctor, and debut author, Lydia Kang is extraordinary. As if having a degree in internal medicine isn’t enough, she’s a mother of three, as well an author with a debut novel, CONTROL, releasing in summer, 2013.
I loved talking to Lydia and learning about her amazing writing odyssey. She definitely brings a fresh perspective on what it takes to make it in the publishing world.
Amy: What drew you to write a Young Adult novel?
Lydia: During a person’s teen years, there are highs and lows, new experiences, and revelations like no other time in a person’s life. I love the idea of reliving that through different characters and situations. I may not want to relive my own teenage years, but I’d be happy to live through my characters’! They’re far more exciting.
Amy: How many manuscripts had you completed prior to CONTROL?
Lydia: Officially two, but one of them I revised so heavily I practically wrote it two and a half times. So that’s kind of like three and a half!
Amy: What was your first query process like?
Lydia: Man, I learned fast about the business! I made all the wrong mistakes, like query-blasting the world and not waiting to get feedback from initial queries/partials/fulls about whether I needed more revisions. After the first few months, I slowed down and got a little more patient and wiser.
Amy: Did you have critique partners or beta readers that helped you polish CONTROL? If so, how did that affect your writing process?
By the time I’d written CONTROL, I was a die-hard plotter. My crit partners and betas were tough as nails, but even they could tell that this manuscript had more potential than my previous ones. I did do a revision that incorporated their comments, which was hellish but also took the manuscript to an even better level.
Amy: How many agents did you query for CONTROL?
Amy: Did you receive instantaneous response or did you have to wait for requests/rejections?
Some were instantaneous, others took weeks. I had a premium subscription on Querytracker.net, which had info on how fast agents generally responded, which helped with the waiting.
Amy: How did you know that Eric Myers of the Spieler Agency was the right agent to represent you?
Eric was really experienced, had a great plan for submitting my novel to publishers, and really saw the potential of my manuscript. He totally “got” it. (He also wrote a book about the famous father of a past colleague/teacher of mine. I think that was a sign!)
Amy: I loved your post on the “Lucky Thirteens” blog about your long querying journey. What advice can you offer to other writers, who are struggling through a mountain of rejections, to encourage them to keep writing?
Everyone’s journey is different. It’s far too easy to compare yours to others, so when you get jealous, always bring your energy back to your writing, because that’s where you need to spend it. Whether you end up being published via small presses, self-publishing, or the traditional route, in the end, you have to own it. It’s your journey and nobody else’s.
Many thanks go out to Lydia for taking the time to share her writing journey!
Lydia is an author of YA fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction. She believes in science and knocking on wood, and loves salty food and Star Wars (IV-VI) except for the Ewoks.
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