Friday, March 30, 2012

Interview with Mindy McGinnis YA writer.

Today I’m pleased to have Mindy McGinnis a YA writer as a guest on The Write Time.  She is a moderator at AgentQueryConnect (AQC) as bigblackcat97 or BBC as we love to call her.  Her debut YA Novel NOT A DROP TO DRINK, will be released by Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins, Fall 2013.
Mindy is a librarian who writes.  A writer who has an agent. An agent has a publisher for the writer.  While I am still trying to get my story put together where I can show it to an agent.  So I am watching Mindy, and several other writers travel down the path I am attempting to follow.

Mindy did a guest post here a few months ago.  Now I am happy to have Mindy back here to do an interview with me. So we will sit in these two cozy chairs and talk about your soon to be released new book, and other writerly things that come to mind.  

So, tell us about your book. 

It's set in the rural Midwest in the not-so-distant future where freshwater is scarce and people kill to defend backyard ponds and hand-dug wells. My main character, Lynn, has never known any other life than killing to survive. Her mother is the only person she's ever spoken to, and she's been raised as a nearly feral human being. When her mother dies in an accident, Lynn must decide between defending her pond alone or banding together with a crippled neighbor, a pregnant woman, a filthy orphan, and a teenage boy who awakens feelings she doesn’t understand.

What motivated you to write this particular story?  

I saw a documentary about the very real possibility of a global freshwater shortage. I do have a pond in my backyard and that night I dreamt about defending it with a high-powered rifle. I woke up and was like, "Hooray! A novel!"

How important is it to have critique partners and beta readers? 

How important is it to have a functioning frontal lobe? Um. Very. I have two excellent partners that I use consistently in all my writing - Skyval and RC Lewis to AQC users. We compliment each other very well in our strengths and weaknesses. I refer to us as the Critecta.

Did you take their advice?  

On overarching themes, yeah. If they see something that needs addressed as far as continuity, motivation, character development, etc., they're probably right. Do I always, unquestionably, take their advice in line edits? No. As RC likes to say, I'm not the boss of her, she's not the boss of me. In the end, it's my story.

Was it hard to read the critiques?  

Ehh... kind of. Even though I trust my crit partners completely, it's still my baby being eviscerated. But in the end, that's a good thing. It makes a stronger, hardier cyborg baby. OK, not really. What I do is read my crits through, then let it set a day or two and return to it. Then I implement what I agree with.

Did you like what your beta readers had to say?  

Without fail, whether I like it or not, they're right.

I know your query letter helped to land your agent, what was it in the letter that worked?  

I'd like to say the whole thing? I do know that my hook is what gets 'em, and I'm fortunate in that my hook is also the first line of the book.

Once you found an agent, and the agent a publisher is the work getting ready to publish harder than writing the book?  

I don't have my editor letter yet, so I can't say. What I can say is that I've made a definite push to get myself "out there" more now that I have a pub date, blogging more often, tweeting, etc.

Did you have to do a lot of rewrites to get ready to publish?  

Not sure yet.

How has blogging helped you with your book?  

Blogging, like query writing, is an entirely different animal from novel writing. I love blogging because it's a great outlet for those little thoughts that I want to toss out there that have no other outlet. And obviously, it's helped build my audience.

Was the fact that you use twitter and blog help with getting the publishing contract?  

The editor who ended up signing me hit my blog and Twitter up before making the offer. Because I had those two avenues of social media in place to broadcast myself, she was able to get a feel for me as a person. If I hadn't participated in either of those activities, the only thing Google would've popped on my name would be some articles on cyclical vomiting disease (which btw, I'm really not sure what's up with that).

What is your source of inspiration?  

In general, my own brain. I know that's a crap answer but those cogs keep turning, and I'm thankful.

What keeps you going?  

My Irish tenacity. Seriously. I. Never. Quit. Moving.

Have you decided on your head shot yet?   

See link here for her video blog entry   Ha! Um... no. Sadly I'm still an #authorphotofail story.

Is your book available for pre-order?  

Not yet. Believe me, you'll know when it happens.

Is the cover art ready yet?  

Nope. You'll know when that happens too ;)

 Other places you can find Mindy:

Mindy's blogs over at Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire.
She also contributes to the blog, From the Write Angle.
On Twitter
Friday the 13ers 

Check out Spring Fevers, Mindy has a story in this along with other AQCers.  

Spring Fevers


An anthology of short stories, Spring Fevers is an exploration of relationships in their varied states: love -- requited and unrequited -- friendships discovered and lost, family in its many guises, and the myriad places in between. Created by Cat Woods and Matt Sinclair, Spring Fevers arose from their work with the Agent Query Connect online writing community, and while membership in the free site was not necessary for inclusion in the anthology, the ten writers whose stories appear are all members. Authors include MarcyKate Connolly, S.Q. Eries, Robb Grindstaff, J. Lea Lopez, Mindy McGinnis, R.S. Mellette, Yvonne Osborne, Matt Sinclair, A.M. Supinger, and Cat Woods. The debut publication of Elephant’s Bookshelf Press, Spring Fevers was edited by the team of Robb Grindstaff, Matt Sinclair, and Cat Woods, with cover design by Calista Taylor, and book design by R.C. Lewis. A new anthology is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2012.


Cheryl B. Dale said...

Nice interview!

Joyce Alton / @joycealton said...

I love the wind-blown head shot, myself. =)

Great interview. Love the questions and it was fun to read the answers. I'm excited to read Mindy's book!

A.M.Supinger said...

Awesome post!!!

BBC said...

Cheryl - Thanks so much for stopping by!

Joyce - Awww... thanks :) Everyone says the profile pic doesn't cut the mustard though. I've never really liked mustard, myself.

AM - Thanks, cutie pie :)