Wednesday, March 7, 2012

AFTER THE SALE: Interview with Emily White

Most writers know what it's like to be on the pre-published side of the writerly "fence." But what's it like AFTER you've signed a contract and acquired an agent or publisher? What excitingly murky things go on after you've hurdled that fence and find yourself standing in the next field?

Let's find out! Today, I'm interviewing blogbuddy Emily White, whose blog is HERE if you wish to visit. Her debut novel ELEMENTAL is a YA sci-fi thriller/space opera that will debut on May 1, 2012 from Spencer Hill Press. Yay, Emily!

Just because Ella can burn someone to the ground with her mind doesn't mean she should.

But she wants to.

For ten years, since she was a small child, Ella has been held prisoner. Now that she's escaped, she needs answers. Ella must discover whether she will be the prophesied Destructor or if she will, instead, be destroyed.

ELEMENTAL confronts many of our greatest fears… darkness, loneliness and the power within each of us to become either the hero or villain in the plotline of our life.

1. Once you signed your contract and the giddiness/numbness wore off--assuming it did--what was the first thing on your agenda with Spencer Hill Press?
Well, I only had to wait about two weeks before my first round of edits came back from my editor. So in a way, the giddiness was still there when I really had to get down to business. This is a good thing because I know we writers edit and edit and edit (and sometimes edit) before we ever dream of our WIPs getting before the eyes of an editor, but sadly the editing has really only just begun by that point. But I got really lucky with Spencer Hill Press. Every bit of feedback and notes I got were absolutely perfect. I'm with a company who loves my book and has the exact same vision for it as I do, so revisions were actually just about the best thing I've ever experienced. It's so exciting to be able to see your book go to that next level.

All in all, those first revisions took a couple months. And then the second round hit. Oh yes, editing is NEVER done (at least that's the way it seems ;) ).

2. Describe your revision experience. Was it easy or challenging? Did you make major changes like boosting character motivations, changing scenes around, or altering the book's ending?
Well I LOVE editing, so I'd say they were easy, but as I'm thinking about all I had to do, most people would probably think they were challenging! LOL! I rewrote and reworked the beginning AND the ending a few times until they were finally right. A few of the relationships had to be tweaked as well as boosting one particular character's motivations. Luckily no scenes were moved or deleted although I did have to write a new short one.

3. Did the revision need more fine-tuning after that? How many revisions did you make? What was the timeframe or deadline for all this?
I believe I had three rounds of revisions. I'm pretty sure that's how many it was. I am lucky enough to have TWO amazing editors, so I can't really remember the exact count. The first round took a couple months, but the other one (or two) only took a couple weeks. By that point, there were only very little things that needed to be tweaked here and there.

4. Was there anything about post-contract life that surprised you, or that you found difficult? Anything easier?
I think what surprised me the most was the way my mind reacted
to writing the sequel on a deadline. I don't think I ever really grasped what writing a book under contract would feel like. My mind really rebelled, but I beat it into submission. :) Another thing that really surprised me (and still does) were all the emails I'd get from book reviewers wanting a copy of my book. It's kind of weird to think people would come to ME, rather than me seeking them out. It's one of those interesting (and sometimes sad) truths that people see you differently when you have a contract with a publishing company. In fact, I still remember my favorite email. The girl was so sweet and so excited that I'd replied to her, but she hurried the email back to me because she didn't want to waste my time because she knew I'd "have hundreds of other fan emails to get to." I still laugh when I think of it. I might have had a hundred or so emails that day, but they were all spam.

5. To promote your book, what marketing things have you been responsible for doing?
Oh, this is the BEST part of a book coming out. I get to do all these interviews and mail out swag all around the world. It's amazing! I've met so many wonderful people since I've started marketing ELEMENTAL. Plus, I've gotten to try new things. Just over a week ago I did my first radio interview! It was pretty terrifying, but definitely worth it. I've also been doing some giveaways here and there. In fact, I've got a great one planned as soon as ARCs are available. *hint, hint* ;)

A special thanks to Emily for being my guest for today's blogpost!
Thank YOU, Carol! This was so much fun!

Were or are you familiar with what happens after a book contract or sale?
If you've already gotten a book contract, were your experiences similar?
Are you looking forward to a writerly life on the other side of a contract, or are you a little apprehensive about all those revisions, all that marketing, etc?


  1. Great stuff, Emily. Thanks for sharing! I love reading YA!

    I follow Katie Ganshert's blog and she shares about her "after the contract" experiences. Very helpful!

  2. Thanks Carol, and nice to meet you, Emily!

    I am looking forward to the contracted writer's life when it happens. Emily, thanks for giving us a glimpse AND a reality check.

  3. Thanks, Carol and Emily, for a view of what happens after! I love hearing about all the fun stuff and the harder stuff... i.e., edits and revisions! I love the cover for 'Elemental'.

  4. Congratulations Emily on your upcoming release! Great interview!

    I think I'd be most intimidated by writing a sequel under a contract and with a deadline as well. Sometimes my brain does strange things under pressure.

    I'll be looking for Elemental to hit stores. :)

  5. Jessica--Thank you!

    Loree--It's nice to meet you, too! :) And I'm glad I could be helpful!

    Talli--Thank you! I love my cover. I couldn't be happier with it. :)

    Sarah--Thank you so much!! It's VERY intimidating. It was exciting too, and I kept thinking, "oh my goodness, I've sold a book BEFORE writing it! How awesome!"

  6. Tons of great information here!
    So Emily, what you're telling me is that I better get used to revisions because they'll be forever in my future, right? *sigh* :)

  7. Congratulations, Emily, on your upcoming release!

    I completely get what you mean about the sequel. I'm working on one now, and my mind just shut down and kept trying to make the book too much like book one. I've just now figured out where I want to go with it. It's strange how that happens.

  8. Awesome interview Emily & Carol. So interesting to learn what happens after you sign a contract. I've never signed one so it's good to know. I'd be nervous to be on deadline for a second book.

  9. Emily--I wish it weren't true, but alas...*sigh* ;)

    Cherie--Thank you!! That's wonderful news! Don't you just love it when things click? :)

    Natalie--Thank you! Yes, it is very nerve wracking. There are a lot more expectations when writing book #2. But it also has its bonuses too! I didn't have to worry about querying it! :)

  10. Fun - I love hearing about this stuff! Nice to meet you, Emily!

  11. Alexia--It's nice to meet you, too! :)

  12. I feel like "post-contract" is a monster looming somewhere ahead of me, heh. Great interview!

  13. Wonderful interview. Best of luck to Emily and Elemental.

  14. Great Interview Carol and Emily.
    I love hearing about all the stuff that goes on after the contract is signed. And it's definitely when all the real work begins.

  15. Spencer Hill is awesome. Great interview, and I can't wait to read Elemental!

  16. Awesome interview!

    "Murky" was exactly my impression of what happens after signing a contract. It was great to read something that cleared it up specifically. :)

  17. Great interview, Carol! Congratulations, Emily! It was fun getting to "meet" you on Carol's blog and learn about life on the other side of the contract! Thanks for sharing:).

  18. Good interview! I learned even more and she helped alleviate some of my fears as part of me does not want to be on that side of publishing:)

  19. Great interview! Elemental sounds super!

  20. Great interview. Congrats to Emily. I just added Elemental to my wish list. It sounds like a fantastic read.

  21. Steph--I know! Any day now, right? :)

    Cynthia--Thank you so much!

    Lynda--I know! I think all the after contract stuff is so exciting.

    Lydia--Yes it is!! :) :)

    Golden Eagle--I'm glad I could help!

    Maria--It's nice "meeting" you too! :)

    Terri--I know I was absolutely terrified of all this stuff before signing with SHP. What if my editor and I didn't agree on something? What if they didn't like my revisions? What if? What if? What if? Luckily, I've found the perfect home for Elemental. Everything has been absolutely wonderful and all my fears were totally unfounded.

    Sharon--Thank you!! :)

    Medeia--Woohoo!! I hope you enjoy it!

  22. So... revisions then? :P
    I think embracing revisions is the only way to make quality work enjoyable.
    You are a wise one indeed, my chipmunkish friend.
    Go elemental! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Great interview. I just saw this book on a book blogger's wish list. Here's the link if Emily wants to contact her:

  24. Carol, I really enjoyed this interview with Emily. The premise of the book and MC's journey sounds like it will resonate with many readers. Good to know those edits aren't as daunting as I fear!

  25. I haven't experienced writerly life on the other side of the contract, but I certainly hope I get to someday! I do think it would be nerve-wracking to work on revisions with an editor - I'd be worrying the changes I was making weren't what they had in mind. Great interview!


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