Friday, September 10, 2010
Someday Famous YA Author -- SHERRY SOULE
I met Sherry on AgentQuery about about six months or maybe more ago. We exchanged critiques for a bleep in time and decided our critique styles didn't mesh, but I still enjoyed her story. She has agreed to an interview for your reading pleasure.
I'm pleased to introduce you to a someday famous YA author called Sherry Soule.
Thank you for taking the time to answer some very important questions, Sherry. We know you are busy writing and appreciate that you took a break just for us:)
So, how long have you been writing?
Off and on since I was seven and fell in love with Judy Blume books. Once you catch the writing bug--there's no greater love in your life. I wrote my first chapter book with illustrations in 6th grade. The teacher read it to the class, I was so proud. Actually, all of my teachers throughout school encouraged me to write.
Then I found Lois Duncan and V.C. Andrews in my teens before discovering Anne Rice. But I didn't pursue writing professionally until about 10 years ago. God, if I only knew then what I know now. *sigh*
I noticed from your blog that you have three complete novels waiting to be published. Is there one in particular you would like to discuss or that you are seeking an agent for?
I actually have seven.
My YA, Beautifully Broken, is my baby. I know they say paranormal is dying out, but I don't believe it. Not with shows like the Vampire Diaries and True Blood airing. Besides, the supernatural genre has its own loyal fan base, so I believe it will NEVER really die. I've loved horror since I was a teen and never stopped. I'll read and watch anything with a paranormal premise.
What is Beautifully Broken about?
Ahhh, tough question. My gothic tale mixes elements of ghosts, murder, mystery, demons, romance, and the paranormal bringing a fresh new twist to the young adult novel.
It's about a sixteen-year-old impetuous, ghost-whisperer named Serenity Broussard, who has seen 'shadows' for as long as she can remember, and they always turn up when something bad is about to happen. She's terrified of the ghosts, demons and shadowfolk stalking her. But eventually we all have to face what we fear most--our own inner demons.
For women born into the Broussard family, it's their destiny and their curse. Unfortunately, for Serenity, not all ghosts want help crossing over. Some want vengeance.
Yet the finale gives Serenity the knowledge and strength to realize that while she does not have all the answers, she does know that she can overcome any obstacle that might darken her path.
What prompted you to write this novel? Why for YA?
Maybe I want to relive my adolescence! LOL
The idea for the novel was born after touring the Winchester Mystery House as a child. Supposedly, it's haunted. I became fascinated by this rambling hundred-room Victorian mansion. I wrote a similar story many years ago (very V.C. Andrews inspired) with family saga and dark secrets. I knew the storyline was good, but was lacking something. I decided to rewrite it with more suspense and add a darker, edgy mood. I removed the family saga and added demons, ghosts, and goblins, oh my!
And I have written three sequels. They need a lot of work, but if I land an agent, I've got an entire series ready to go!
Have you always written YA?
Mostly. I have two completed adult novels, too. One is a vampire-romance (very steamy!) and an adult paranormal (semi-steamy).
How long have you been looking for your forever-agent?
This time around, for over a year. But in hindsight (ain't it a bitch?) I can see where my query and hook wasn't strong enough. After joining AgentQuery and YALITCHAT and revising my query (about fifty times), I found my perfect pitch. So, much so that in the last two weeks, I've had requests for 4 fulls and 5 partials. The most requests I've had since I've started pursuing this insane journey--I mean, dream.
Sometimes, I want to give up. After 50 or so rejects, I figure it's not going to happen. Or I find an agent who I feel is so wonderful and loves the same genre as me, but then I get rejected. Now, I'm getting numb. But I'm NOT giving up. It's my passion, my love, the one thing that keeps me sane and happy, when everything else in my life is falling apart.
I can totally relate. Congrats on the requests! That's awesome news for you
What do you do to keep yourself busy until your forever-agent crosses your path?
I keep writing. I have unfinished novels I need to get to. The problem is, I get an idea and jot it down. 50 to 100 pages later, I've abandoned whatever it was I was previously working on.
Also, blogging and reading, of course. I love to edit/critique for other writers, too.
What can you tell me about your experience with small press publishers? I noticed that you have been published before through small press.
In truth, my experiences have not been very good. Absolutely no support whatsoever. I'd rather self-publish.
What is your blog about?
I have a blog devoted to helping other struggling writers. It's nice to know you're not alone and get to network. I started interviewing agents and authors to get some real insight into the world of publishing. And to showcase my work. I mean, someone has to be forced to read my drivel! (hehe) You can visit me here: http://www.darkangelwritingandreviews.com
What is your writing routine?
For the past 2 years, I write every day. Before that, mostly I wrote on the weekends.
Is there anything you want to add? Any personal information you'd like to discuss?
Like I said, I critique a lot of manuscripts and I hate to say this but I think some writers are just plain lazy. Research your genre! Read everything you can get your hands on. Study the craft. Join writer's groups, critique groups, find beta readers. Hone your skills
ANALYZE dialogue by your favorite writers. Read your own dialogue out loud. Dialogue is the hardest thing to write. Examine how a published author broke up the dialogue or inserted a descriptive or action tag to convey who's talking with using "said" or "asked" tags.
While readers tend to read over these phrases, obvious efforts to insert variety, through words such as "interjected," "shouted," or "teased," pull the reader out of the action. If the writer is doing his or her work, the reader is already aware that the speaker is interjecting, shouting, or teasing. The writer won't have to say it again in the tag. One benefit of dialogue tags that does not get much attention is their usefulness in controlling the rhythm and pace of dialogue.
Do you have any advice for teenagers or a story you would like to share of how you may have struggled during your teen years?
Like most teens, I had a rough time during those years. Picked on, beat up once, and hated school. I was a rebel without a clue. Had a huge chip on my shoulder and gave my parents hell. LOL Thankfully, all is forgiven and I survived. Remember, if you can survive high school, you can survive anything. :)
What are you currently reading?
"A Great and Terrible Beauty" by Libba Bray (so loving it! She's an amazing writer) and the "Sookie Stackhouse" series.
What is your all time favorite YA novel and why?
I have to say it's still "Flowers in the Attic." Just love the prose, the suspense, the emotional ties that pull you into the story and don't let you go. And recently, the "House of Night" series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast is incredible. Love, love, love it!
What's your all time favorite movie?
"Gone With The Wind" and "Pride and Prejudice"
If you could be an object or another species, what would you be and why?
A vampire, of course. It;s all glamorous, erotic and formidable. Who wouldn't want that kind of power and agelessness? Yum
What is your favorite food?
BBQ Chicken Pizza, double yum.
Thanks again, Sherry. I'm looking forward to seeing your books on the shelves of book stores:)