Are you struggling with querying? You're not alone. Next up in this blog series for querying writers to connect and learn from each other, is Laura Seabaugh.
Laura is a graphic artist and self-professed fantasy sci-fi geek from the middle of nowhere, Missouri. She has been writing and drawing since she could hold a crayon, and just recently jumped into the query trenches armed with an innate love for story.
J: What do you feel has been the hardest part about the writing journey?
L: Putting myself out there. I grew up pretty much not fitting in anywhere so it’s made me a very reserved person. But finding the right writing groups and CPs helped immensely.
J: What genre do you write in?Do you feel like your genre is harder to query than most?
L: YA high/epic fantasy and very much so, yes.
J: How many manuscripts have you queried?
L: Just the one, in various revised states.
J: Have you participated in any contests? Did participation help you as a writer?
L: Yes and YES. I was a Pitch Wars 2017 mentee, which was my biggest learning experience so far. But even those I didn’t get into, opened me up to some great communities or gave some valuable feedback.
J: I totally agree. I've learned from both contests I've been selected for, and contests I haven't.
J: Did you feel a crash in momentum after the contest? For me, they're such a high and then when they're over it's difficult to get back to things.
L: No. I haven’t come down from the high because I’ll always be grateful for the experience. Contests for me are about deadlines and motivation. Pitch Wars was a lot of work, as expected, so I’ve just been trying to keep that momentum going.
J: I'm very impressed by that.
J: What has been the best moment during your writing journey?
L: Getting a request from the Pitch Wars agent round. I know I’m a slow burn. I knew going into it that I’d be up against so many super-hot manuscripts and there I’d be, in the shadows. But I kinda like it there...muahaha.
J: What was the absolute worst moment?
L: I can’t think of any particularly bad moments. A lot of it’s the nature of the beast. Rejection, criticism, sorting out what feedback is helpful or not. Getting overlooked or feeling not valid. But in the end, I’ll always have my characters and my world and my writing. And that’s not going to change.
J: I like your positivity. It's inspiring.
J: Name one fellow querying author that has helped you and why.
L: My first writing buddy was a friend from high school. We didn’t know it at the time, but we were CPs before CPs were cool. Rachel, I believe in you and your story!
J: What is the best thing you've learned.
L: Not to let all this activity, critiques, contests, querying, industry research, come between me and my writing.
J: That is such a good answer. I think it's so important to be able to handle the industry, but tune out the noise when it's time to get creative.
J: What is your favorite resource, whether for craft or querying?
L: I really enjoy craft threads and subtips on Twitter. I only became active on book Twitter a year ago, and it has really given me insight into the publishing industry when I was a total newb before.
J: I had a similar experience when I joined Twitter years ago. I suddenly knew I had much more to learn about writing and felt like I'd been living under a rock.
J: Anything else you want to share with fellow query trench authors?
L: There are so many things out of our control. Focus on what you can control: your writing, your craft, your storytelling. Find a CP you click with, and a supportive tribe you can fall back on. We’re in this together.
Connect and follow Laura on Twitter @imaginarialist and visit her website http://words.imaginarialist.com/
AND don't forget, if you've had a hard week in the query trenches, you can enter this rafflecopter for a "chocolate library." Instead of getting virtual chocolate from friends after a rejection, this time you'll get the real deal! Click here for the link or enter.