Monday, July 26, 2010

Chatting with Carrie

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Tell us about Bad Taste in Boys. What's it about and when will it be released?

BOYS is about a girl named Kate Grable. Kate’s super smart, and she’s volunteering as the student trainer for her high school football team. She figures the experience will look good on her college apps, and as an added bonus she gets to be close to her quarterback crush, Aaron. Then something disturbing happens. Kate finds out that the coach has given the team steroids. Except...the vials she finds don’t exactly contain steroids. Whatever’s in them is turning hot gridiron hunks into mindless, flesh-eating...zombies.

Unless she finds an antidote, no one is safe. Not Aaron, not Kate’s brother, not her best friend...not even Kate...

Dum dum DUM.

Now that I’ve hopefully piqued your interest, I feel obligated to tell you that it won’t be on shelves until July 12, 2011. I’m sorry. I hate waiting too. Especially when the waiting involves hot gridiron hunks.
Who is your greatest inspiration in writing?
That’s a tough question, because I get inspiration EVERYWHERE. From people I know, authors I admire, fan mail, and so on. I don’t think it’s measurable; it’s a matter of getting that extra boost on the days when I’d rather play video games or go swimming or even clean my kitchen—anything but write.

But I hate not answering a question, so I’m going to say Richard Simmons. Because he SPARKLES. My second choice was Edward Cullen. Did you know that he sparkles too?

I guess I’m just inspired by sparkles, but isn’t everyone?

Do you specifically write YA sci-fi, or are you open to other genres as well?
I tend to gravitate toward YA fantasy/sci-fi, because I love monsters and my sense of humor hasn’t matured since I was fifteen. But I like the idea of challenging myself. Right now, I’m working on a middle grade, and I’m certainly open to other genres as well. It’s just a matter of finding time to write the blinking things!

Too many ideas, too little time.

Do you have any suggestions for unpublished writers trying to get published?
The thing that really made a difference for me was getting into a good critique group. Getting the right fit is important; you don’t want a group that’s going to make you cry all the time, but you don’t want them to blow smoke up your skirt either. Once I found a group that really challenged me, my writing went to a whole new level. And now, when I’m writing, I can often anticipate what they’re going to say and how to fix it. But not always!

Admittedly, I know a few people who have managed to make it to publication without a critique group or partner. I am almost positive that they’re mutants.

Are there any specific resources you found especially helpful as you made your way through the query process?
Well, I used the print version of CWIM, Query Tracker, and Verla Kay’s Blueboards to identify the agents I wanted to query. I also double checked Writer Beware, and I’m so glad I did because it saved me from some whopping potential mistakes. I kept track of every submission and response in an Excel spreadsheet, and I always triple proofed my queries before putting in the email address of the agent I planned to submit to.

I think the most important thing is to develop a plan of attack. There’s so much info out there, and I think a lot of writers just get so excited because THEY FINISHED THEIR BOOK! And they skip the planning part. Don’t skip it! Writing is a business. Treat it that way. While you can luck into a great deal, I don’t know many people who regretted taking the time to carefully choose their agent.

If you were forced to evacuate your home with only two possessions what would you take?
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I’d take my laptop, which contains family pictures, my manuscripts, and access to random YouTube videos to entertain my children. And I’d grab the number for my insurance agent. I think I’d need it.


  1. Great interview! As always Carrie, you make me spit coffee through my nose. Thanks.

  2. Anyone who sparkles should be loved. You had me laughing outloud, I'm just glad that I wasn't Rose and had nothing to drink in my hands. I've learned my lesson a time or two.

    Great job hosting Beth! I love meeting new blog buddies! Awesome job Carrie answering those tough questions!

  3. Thanks, Beth! And, uh, Rose? Sorry about your nose. ;)