Thursday, June 18, 2015

Interview with author, Jodie Wolfe! Going to a Conference...



1. Why did you start writing? And what do you write?
I've had a passion for writing since I penned my first poem in second grade about my love at the time - Snoopy. :) I soon graduated to short stories and started my first novel at the age of thirteen. I think watching and reading Little House on the Prairie greatly influenced me with the desire and passion to write.

I write Christian historical romance although I hated history as a kid. Now I love to delve into research about whatever era I'm writing about and find interesting stories to spark ideas for my next novel.

I totally understand. Hated history as well and now love to research for a novel!

2. How do you prepare for an appointment at a conference?
I try and pick publishers who I feel could be a match for my work, and then I start learning more about the individual editors, what they prefer, etc. I also pray a LOT... for God to calm my fears, give me the words to say, etc. I'd much rather hide at home with my computer.

3. What do you take with you?
I search to find out in advance what the editor prefers. If I don't know, I at least have a one-sheet so they have something to look at besides me during the conversation. Okay, partially kidding there, but it does give them a nutshell of what the novel is about and also is a kick-off for further questions. I usually have proposal/sample chapters if needed.

4. What scares you the most even if and when you are completely prepared?
That I'll forget my characters' names or the premise of the book or something important like that.... and yes it has happened to me.

5. Do you remember that they are human also (except for those whose robotic arms and legs get in the way)?
LOL. This reminds me when I was student teaching in the elementary grades and kids didn't think of you as anything outside of the classroom. I DO try and remember that they are human... and likely get tired of sitting, hearing pitches, etc.

6. Do you wait for them to talk or do you dive in?
I don't have a lot of experience here, but I try to be prepared to start the conversation. Most times (all three of them) I've found the appointment starts out with shaking hands and introducing myself.

7. Are you prepared in case they simply sit there and stare?
Yikes! I haven't faced this one yet. I guess if I get a sense the pitch isn't going anywhere, I'd either make small talk or bring the appointment to a close and thank them for their time.

8. What advice would you give a new author so they could be better prepared for appointments?
Find out what you can about the editor/publisher before your appointment. If you can find out something fun, it makes a great way to break the ice. "I saw on your website that your publishing house was started by __________. That's really fascinating. Could you tell me a little more about it?" Or something like that. I found it easier when I started the conversation with something else to help put my nerves at ease.

JODIE writes really sassy characters. Think it's a reflection of the author???
Thanks for sharing, Jodie. We look forward to your books hitting the shelves~

11 comments:

  1. I totally understand about forgetting the premise of my book, Jodie. That happened to me at my first conference, and the editor wasn't impressed.
    I also learned everything I could about an editor. Maybe too much. Maybe I scared her off.

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  2. Fortunately when it happened to me the editor was very gracious. :)

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  3. Fun interview, Linda and Jodie! Prayer is so important, as you mention. I'd never thought of asking questions about the publisher as an ice breaker. Hmm . . . something new to try. Thanks for sharing your tips on pitching.

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    1. I don't know that it will always work, but at least it helps to put me a little more at ease and I'll take any help I can get. :)

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  4. Linda, thanks for hosting Jodie!

    Jodie, I enjoyed learning more about you. Also appreciated your candidness and sense of humor on preparing for a conferences, so says me who will be doing the same in another couple of months. You brought back to mind 2 of my worst experiences, which now I laugh about because I know these folks weren't meant for me: one yawned in my face, the other, who was late in taking me into the appt. interrupted me about 3 minutes into my pitch to say he had to leave for another appt.

    I'm thankful for the positive direction I feel I'm going in now!

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    1. I can relate, Elaine as I'm trying to prepare for a conference this week and one next month. Maybe one day this will get a little easier. :) But I'm not holding my breath.

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  5. BTW, Linda, I like the updated look of your blog. Love the colors.

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    1. Thanks, now if I can get all the text the same color. I set it up that way, but alas, it did its own thing. LOL

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  6. Great tips, Jodie and Linda! I'll be linking to this post on 7/24/15.

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