LOVE. REJECTION. AND ALL THINGS WRITERLY or Author Amy Spaulding shares her writing adventures
By Cindy Marcus
This month's Schmooze featured the rockingly quotable, published author, Amy Spaulding - had who lots to say about the business of writing - and the event was hosted by Sarah Skilton. They were an awesome team, who "grew up" together as writers. They started together and now they are both published together.
I walked away from the meeting feeling so empowered with uber smart take-aways that I will use in building my author life. For example, I now know that the whole scary rejection statistics -where we're told that it's like 99 out of 100 queries that won't pass muster - is untrue.
Amy said, she's spoken to agents and they say nay nay; in fact, the reason there are so many rejection is cause writers don't do their research. She said that writers need to go to the agent's blogs and find out what the agents are looking for. They need to go to the agent's websites and only submit to agents who are interested in what the author is writing. Authors need to understand the criteria for submitting and...DO WHAT THE AGENT SAYS! Amy said, "Don't send out in masse. Don't try to be cute or clever. Let the writing in your book be smart. They want to know that you are a professional. SO DO AS THEY SAY."
In other words, write a professional, one page query, as the agent has requested it, and that might eliminate unnecessary rejections. She actually kept a spread sheet of all the agents she researched, prior to submitting, and then just checked them off as she sent her work to them. "Writing is a business so we need to approach it as a business," says Amy.
As for her journey from submissions to publication - it took about three years and it wasn't easy. Nor was it without rejection. But she just kept writing. She ignored the trends. Wrote what she loved - contemporary realism - and eventually she got picked up by a small house; Entangled was looking to expand their list to all kinds of writers; so they picked up Amy and she said life at Entangled had it's ups and downs. She loved that she had input, but she didn't like the fluidity to their deadlines.
She's now with a big house. It was her choice to grow, cause she said, "I like making money." "It's fun. And it gives the writer room to do those additional promos and such that you can't do cause there's no advance when you're working with a smaller press." However, she said she is still really glad for her time at Entangled cause it taught her a lot.
As for now, she's working away on her fourth book, due out in 2016. Amy's other titles include: THE REECE MALCOLM LIST, INK IS THICKER THAN WATER and KISSING TED CALLAHAN...AND OTHER GUYS. Amy loves to infuse her work with humor, something she developed taking Improv classes - which she highly recommends to all authors. Amy wrapped up her chat with a Q&A with the audience.
Check out Santa Clarita Schmooze next month where we'll be discussing "Diversity - What is it? And how does it infuse our writing?"