Before we get started, please stop by and check out Kim's awesome blog: http://www.kimberlypchase.blogspot.co.uk/.
Okay, so here goes:
1. So, you're a writer...how did that come about? Where did it all start?
Honestly, it never even occurred to me that one day I'd become a writer. It all kind of came about a year and a half ago when I began to really notice what was missing in my reading pile, a lack of women in aviation books, especially in young adult. I've always loved reading, but my career focus over the last sixteen years has been spent on something I loved just as much as books, aviation. It was when I combined the two passions that the idea for The Apollo Academy came about. It took me a few months to convince myself that that I should be the one to write it, but when I started writing, the first draft flowed out of me in three months. I had a lot to learn about writing and re-writing, but once I realized I could do it, I haven't looked back since. Now, using my experiences as a licensed pilot to tell stories seems a natural extension of my interests.
YABookcase note: WOW! You're a pilot? That is FREAKING AWESOME.
2. You're represented by the awesome Corvisiero Agency - talk us through the process, from query to offer of representation. How did it all happen?
I began querying late Feb. 2012. I didn't even really know what a query letter was when I started or all the things I should avoid (like asking questions), so there were quite a few early rejections. By April/May 2012 I had a killer query and my request rate went through the roof.
June 6th, 2012 I sent a query to the Corvisiero Literary Agency
June 30th, 2012 Brittany (my soon to be agent) emails and asks for the first 50pgs of The Apollo Academy
August 6th, 2012 Emails again and says she’s enjoying the story so far and wants to see the full manuscript. By this point, I’m an extremely patient person. (Ok, so that’s a stretch, but I was prepared for a long wait.)
August 8th, 2012 at 1:02 AM (YABookcase note: I love that you recorded the time!) Brittany emails. I’m shocked by her quick response and hesitant to even read the email. But when I started reading she was saying things like “I love your book,” “I couldn’t stop reading,” etc. She wanted to talk about representation and that I should tell everyone else who had my manuscript that I had an offer!!!
3. Of course, we'd all love to know about your book. What's your elevator pitch?
As the heiress to Titon Technologies, Aurora Titon can have whatever she wants—clothes, expensive gadgets, anything money can buy. All she really wants is to escape her pampered, paparazzi-prone life for the stars. Becoming the first female pilot to train as an astronaut for the Apollo Academy is exactly the chance for which she has been waiting. Everything would be perfect if it weren’t for her unreciprocated crush on a fellow student, the sexy astronaut bent on making her life miserable, and the fact that someone keeps trying to kill her.
My agent says “It’s a mix between Jennifer Echol's Such A Rush and Battlestar Galactica.”
4. Do you have plans for another WIP? Any top secret clues about what it might involve?
I have 3 WIP right now...yikes! And believe it or not, one of them has nothing to do with aviation. WIP1 is the sequel to The Apollo Academy, WIP2 is a YA historical romance, and WIP3 is an MG. I'm waiting for one of them to demand all of my attention.
5. What's your biggest advice to new writers?
I know this is cliché, but it's so true.
Don't give up. Ever. If your dream is to write a book and publish it, you can do it, but only if you NEVER give up. Learn from your mistakes and get back up!
It's like being on a diet and constantly hopping on the scale to see if you've lost any weight. It's a terrible mind game. When I got up to twenty query rejections, I stopped counting. It was better for me to not know THAT number. If I had to guess, I'd say I had around 40 rejections. But why focus on the negative? I had 12 manuscript requests, ultimately leading to multiple offers of rep.
YABookcase note: Major kudos to Kim for letting us know her stats!
7. If you could describe your agent in an elevator pitch, how would you do it?
Brittany Howard is a highly energetic and down to earth agent. Her enthusiasm for my manuscript, work ethic, and go get 'em attitude is what sold me on the call. Sometimes I think she knows my work better than I do. Not only is she my agent, but she's my friend as well.
YABookcase note: New writers...this is just the kind of agent you want! Check out Brittany at the amazing Corvisiero Agency.
8. Are you a panster or an outliner?
I'm both, but if I had to choose, a pantser. I like to have a rough outline of things, but really I write what I'm feeling at the moment. Some of my best writing is unplanned.
9. Tell us something we don't know about your characters...
Aurora is a short, quiet, and feisty character. When she's nervous her voice turns into a high pitched squeak. And of course, she's obsessed with flying and space.
10. If you weren't a writer, what would you be?
Literary agent? Drive-in theatre entrepreneur? First person on Mars?
Wow. What a fantastic insight into your world, Kim. From everyone who reads the YABookcase...thank you so much! We can't wait to buy your book!