If you didn't read it, do it now. If it's on your TBR list, move it to the top.
Hold on tight. Here we goooo...
C: Was INCARNATE your first manuscript? Second? Third? Fifteenth?
JM: Seventeenth complete manuscript. In addition to a billion finished manuscripts, I had a lot of starts and stops in there, some sequels that never got finished, or stories I just couldn't figure out how to end. Or lost steam for.
C: Wow! So what inspired you to write INCARNATE?
JM: Good question. The answer is simple. I took all my favorite books, put them in alphabetical order, and then took the third word on the fifth line of the seventeenth page. That gave me the concept. Then I took the first word and the last word, reversed them, and suddenly I had a plot. Once THAT was done, I looked for objects on covers that were becoming common, like butterflies, which gave me the symbolism . . .
That may all be a lie.
C: Oh gosh, I hope so! LOL How long did you query or how many queries did you send before getting your offer?
JM: This one is complicated. I had an agent before, and had queried a couple of years before getting her. Then we broke up, and I queried other stories for another two years before getting Lauren with INCARNATE. In all, I have sent probably close to 400 queries. (Keep in mind INCARNATE was ms #17, though I didn't query all 16 before.) But for INCARNATE, I sent only about 15, and I was ready for my next round of queries when Lauren called to offer.
C: What did you do to celebrate landing an agent? Publisher?
JM: Nothing as exciting as you're hoping. Two days after I signed with Lauren, I got my wisdom teeth pulled. (And believe me, there were jokes about getting my wisdom teeth pulled and no longer having the wisdom to write a good book. Heh.)
And editor . . . I think I just cried. A lot.
C: What do you know now that you wish you would've known as a querying writer?
JM: I dunno. I was a pretty educated querier.
But something I think most writers don't really understand until they have an agent? It's better to have no agent than the wrong agent.
By wrong, I don't necessarily mean bad. I mean one who doesn't connect with you on a deep writerly level, or fully understand and agree with your vision for the story. Or your long-term career. Or one who doesn't work the way you need an agent to work. None of those things mean the agent is bad, but they might mean the agent isn't the very best for you.
And you want someone who's going to be the very best for you every step of the way, because it's a long journey.
C: What advice do you have for writers seeking agents?
JM: *points up* Get the right agent. Don't be so desperate that you take any offer, even if it's not the best fit for you.
C: What surprised you the most about the agent to publisher to published process?
JM: Not much. As I said, I was a pretty educated querier. I have a lot of friends who were published long before I was, so I had the benefit of their experiences.
C: What is your best writing tip?
JM: Write only the good parts. If it's boring to you, it's boring to the reader.
C: What is your biggest writing flaw/enemy/bad habits?
JM: I need a lot of warm-up time to write. I wish I could just sit down and go, and some days I can if I'm ridiculously inspired. But most days, it takes me a while to get going.
C: What is your favorite part of the writing process?
JM: The part where I can't think about anything but my story.
Unfortunately, that's also the part where I can't be bothered to do dishes, laundry, eat. . .
C: Do you have a favorite scene in INCARNATE?
JM: They're all my favorite scenes. The masquerade, of course, is one I was really looking forward to. I enjoyed writing that so much. But a scene people tend not to talk about but makes my heart go pitter-patter . . . the scene in the library where Ana looks at pictures and watches videos. That one is special to me.
C: Yes, those are both fab scenes! Do you have any pictures picked out of Sam? Teehee *swooning*
JM: Hah, no, sorry. I'm notoriously bad with faces.
C: Oh shoot! Do you have a favorite author/book?
JM: Picking favorites makes me feel guilty.
C: Anything else you'd like to share about INCARNATE or finding an agent:
JM: Hmm. Yes. Try, try, try to remember where you got your inspiration for your story. Because people will ask about it all the time. If you don't have a good story because you can't remember, you will end up telling lies like I do.
Though the lies are kind of fun. . . .
C: Haha! Thanks for the interview Jodi!
Told you she was super cool! Now check out this post on Corrine Jackson's blog for more Jodi-awesomeness.
But before you go, I want to inform you that next Monday and Tuesday (June 25th and 26th), we'll be celebrating something I'm calling "Agent's Day" on the blog so come back then and be ready to gush for your fave agent(s)!
See you then and, as always, thanks for reading!