This week, Cynthia Hand stops by to share her writing, publishing, and life advice. She's the author of the Unearthly Series (aka the best angel fantasy ever), the tear-jerking The Last Time We Say Goodbye, and the co-author of hilarious My Lady Jane. You can find her tweeting at @CynthiaHand. Her answers are below in bold.
Cynthia on Writing
- My favorite type of character to write is a conflicted villain.
- No matter how long I've been writing, I still have issues with pacing. Almost all of my books require an overhaul from first draft to last, just to get the pacing right.
- A typical comment from my critique partner is "where's the rest?"
- The book I wished I wrote is The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness, or The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
Cynthia on Getting Published
- When I was querying, I felt, well, I never technically queried. I got my agent when a few agents contacted me about a literary short story I published while I was in grad school.
- The biggest mistake I ever made querying was um, see above, but I have never been any good at writing the darned query letter. I'd rather write a novel than a query letter for a novel.
- What I love most about my agent is all the different hats she wears with me. Sometimes she's my friend. Sometimes my fierce defender. My financial advisor. My cheerleader. My editor.
- While my book was out on submission, I ate a lot of chocolate.
- When I got "The Call," my first thought was that I must be dreaming--the whole thing was very surreal.
- When I saw my book sale in Publishers Marketplace, I cheered. The day I sold my first novel I went to a Barnes and Noble, ordered a caramel frappachino, looked at the YA bookshelves, and cried with utter happiness.
Cynthia on Life Outside Writing
- If I weren't a writer, I'd probably be a very bored office assistant or a literature professor.
- Secretly, I'm terrified of elevators getting stuck.
- My secret girlfriend/boyfriend is Jamie from the Outlander series.
- Sometimes, when no one is around, I make myself a batch of homemade fudge, which is a real treat since no one in my family likes it but me.
Cynthia Hand is the New York Times bestselling author of several books for teens, including the UNEARTHLY trilogy, the contemporary novel THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE, and the new historical comedy, MY LADY JANE. Before turning to writing for young adults, she studied literary fiction and earned both an M.F.A. and a Ph.D. in fiction writing. She currently resides in Boise, Idaho, where she teaches creative writing at Boise State University.