Monday, January 9, 2012

The "Write" Facts Interview: Stacey Jay

The “Write” Facts is a new weekly post where I’m chatting with a different author every week about everything to do with writing. Here we’ll be discussing the writing process, editing, working with an agent, publishing houses and talking about some of the logistics of book you either already love or will soon be a new favorite!

This week's interview is with Stacey Jay, author of the hilarious Megan Berry series (You're So Undead To Me & Undead Much?), The Locket, Juliet Immortal and more! Very excited to have her on the blog!

Stacey Jay
Agent: Ginger Clark (with Curtis Brown Agency)
Authors also repped by this agent: Jeri Smith-Ready & Kristin Walker
Publisher: Delacorte Press (a division of Random House)
Word Count: 88,000
Describe your novel in five words: Love knows no limits. (Is four okay?) (Answer: Four is even more impressive!)
Favorite Word: Today, I think...reptilian is pretty high on the list. I could never choose one favorite for all time. There are too many good words out there!
Writing is like (fill in blank): skydiving naked--scary and embarrassing, but thrilling all the same.

1) Are you a plotter or a pantser (write without a plot to see where the story takes you)?

I'm a plotter. I usually start with a 5-7 page synopsis broken down into three acts, but, if I'm under a tight deadline, I'll take that a step further and do a chapter by chapter breakdown. That helps me power through a first draft even more quickly if needed.

2) How do you deal with rejection?

Pretty well, actually. I understand that writing is a subjective business and not every reader or editor (or agent when I was looking for one) is going to love my work. All I can do is write the most entertaining, well-crafted book I'm capable of writing at the time and hope for the best, while striving to make every story better than the one before.

3) What’s it like working with your agent? Are they hands on?

My agent is a professional who is extremely up front and I love that. She responds to my submissions quickly, gives spot on feedback, is always ready to help me understand things that confuse me about the business (of which there are still plenty even three years after my first book was published!), and is an advocate for me and my work. An author couldn't ask for more.

4) Any tips or tricks of the trade that you use during the editing process that you’d like to share?
Know thyself: learn what your personal writer ticks are and be on the lookout as you edit. Being aware of them can really help improve your pre-submission draft. (One of my ticks is that I use the word "just" waaaaayyyy too many times in my first drafts. When I'm editing I get pretty ruthless with that word.)

As far as working with an editor is concerned, I'd say the best advice is to take the time to digest before freaking out and hurling yourself on the floor in defeat. Sometimes an editorial letter can seem impossibly overwhelming at first, but if you give yourself a few days to digest and brainstorm, the way often becomes clear on its own.

5) Can you tell us how you felt when you got the file for your novel cover and opened it?

When I received the finished cover file for JULIET IMMORTAL I was blown away. The designer did such an amazing job. I am so, so grateful for that cover.
6) What has been your best experience as a published writer?

Email from readers. Readers are what it's all about, and I do my best to respond to every one of their emails personally. (Though that's getting harder as I have more books out and more feedback rolling in. But for now, I do respond to every email myself.)

7) What is your best piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Read and write every day, and when you're ready to take the step from invested hobbyist to writer-seeking-publication, find a support group. SCBWI (Society of Children's Books Writers and Illustrators) is a great organization that will help you learn the ins and outs, and dos and don'ts before you submit. RWA (Romance Writers of America) is also a great one if you're writing for the adult market (even if you don't write romance, they have a wealth of knowledge to share and the members are a very welcoming crew).

Finally, I've got to ask a burning question about your work!

Bonus Question: Do you think Megan from You Are So Undead To Me would be friends with your other leading lady, Juliet, from Juliet Immortal?

Absolutely! I think Megan and Juliet would be good friends. They have some important things in common--they both work to serve others and make sacrifices for the greater good--but they're different in many ways, as well. Juliet is confident and self-possessed, while Megan is insecure and still figuring out who she wants to be. Juliet can let the dark side of life drag her down, while Megan maintains her sense of humor (even when battling the undead). I think a friendship between them would help Juliet lighten up and Megan hold her head a little higher, and be a good thing for both of them.

Thanks so much to Stacey Jay for stopping by the blog this week and chatting a bit about all things writing! Next week is Gemma Halliday, author of Deadly Cool.

1 comment:

  1. Another great installment of this meme! I really like reading the bits about how they interact with their agent and what not, also who else their agent reps. It's good research for me, who is *almost* ready to query. :)


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