Can you refer me to your agent/editor?
Can you be my critique partner?
I’ve written a book—can you tell me how to get it published?
Do I need an MFA in creative writing to be a published author?
Will Skylark and Shadowlark have a sequel?
Will These Broken Stars have a sequel?
Can I have a review copy of one of your books?
Can you send me a signed copy of one of your books?
Will you tell me what happens in the next book in one of your series?
You’ve co-written a book with someone else—will you co-write with me?
Where do you get your ideas?
How do you and Amie write novels together?
How can I help support you and other authors I like?
Will you come speak to my class/library/book group?
Will you write a review blurb for my novel?
Can I write fanfiction/draw fanart of your series?
Can you refer me to your agent/editor?
This is always difficult, because I would love to help other writers out. Queries and submissions are so nerve-wracking! The problem is that I can’t refer people without having read the manuscript and gotten to know the writer, and that takes time I can’t spare. What time I have after writing my own books, revising them, marketing them, blogging, tweeting, etc., is reserved for the critique partners I’ve had for years. So if you have a question about querying my agent, by all means, please ask! But I really can’t offer to refer you, sorry!
Can you be my critique partner?
Unfortunately this is also a no. I’m actually terrible at reading people’s work in a timely fashion, and so I can’t actually have many CPs or I just never get time to read all their manuscripts. My advice is that you seek out other writers at the same stage you are. If you’re just finishing your first novel, look for other writers who are doing the same, on blogs and on Twitter. If you’re getting ready to query, look for others at the same place. You’ll get the support and camaraderie of shared experiences, and you can go through the process together. My CPs, while all published writers now, were not even agented when we first started working together. I’ve been with them for years, and you can’t manufacture that sort of genuine bond.
Yes! Lucky for me, my publisher bought all three books in the trilogy. The third book in the trilogy, Lark Ascending, will continue to follow Lark and the other characters in the first two books. Book three comes out October 1, 2014 from Lerner Books!
Yes! That said, the sequel of THESE BROKEN STARS will not focus on Tarver and Lilac. Their story ends after book one, but the action in book two will be picked up by two new characters, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase. (Don’t worry, they’re just as awesome as Lilac and Tarver.) Book two is called This Shattered World, and will be available from Disney-Hyperion on November 11, 2014!
The simple answer: no. I don’t have an MFA, and I’ve sold six books. Depending on what you write, though, an MFA program could be really helpful to you. They can teach you about craft, give you experience having your work read and critiqued by others, and—perhaps most importantly—force you to spend a lot of time writing. You don’t need an MFA to have those things, though. If you want to learn more about writing, and work with other writers, but not invest the time and money required for an MFA, consider an intensive workshop like Odyssey or Clarion. I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop in 2009, and it made a big, big difference in my writing.
See this post for more on whether you should get an MFA.
I wrote These Broken Stars (Disney-Hyperion, Fall 2013) with Amie Kaufman. We were friends long before we ever wrote TBS, and had been writing together the entire time, as well as critiquing each other’s work. We have a familiarity with each others’ strengths and weaknesses that benefits the writing as a whole. That’s not a bond or an understanding that can be forced or artificially created. Writing with someone else can be an intensely painful and frustrating experience if you don’t completely click with your co-author. (I have heard horror stories like you would not believe!) Of course, when you do click, it’s completely awesome—and very different from working on a solo project.
If you’re interested in co-writing a book, try talking with other writers who have read your work, and whose work you’ve read. Just make sure you talk about how it’s going to work a LOT before you start putting any words on paper!
This is such a big question that I don’t feel qualified to answer it! There’s no “one way” to get published. The way I did it is pretty common, but definitely not the only way. There is a wealth of information on the internet, though. My advice is to start following the blogs of writers and agents. Start collecting tips and information. Revise, revise, revise. If you send query letters to agents and only get rejections, don’t get mad at the agents—take another look at your book. It may need more work.
If you want some specifics about blogs and tools for writers, check out the Resources page. That may give you a good place to get started!
Believe it or not, but I’m not actually the person to talk to about this! Authors often get very few copies to work with. If you’d like to request a copy of one of my books, please contact my publicist for review copies—for the Skylark Trilogy, this is Lindsay Matvick at Lerner Books. For the Starbound Trilogy (These Broken Stars and This Shattered World) this is Jamie Baker at Disney-Hyperion.
I love talking to readers about my books, and I also love talking to aspiring writers and giving them what advice I can. If you want to arrange an author visit, please email me to inquire about logistics and fees. Right now I am offering Skype visits with classrooms and libraries of up to 30 minutes for free—just email me and we can work it out!
If you’re interested in having me read your novel and consider writing a blurb for it, those requests should be directed through my agent, Josh Adams, NOT sent to me directly.
Writers get their ideas from everything, all around them. Books, TV, movies, friends, news, history, music… everything can spark an idea if you’ve got your mind open to it. So that’s the quick answer… you can read more about where I got the ideas for my books here and here!
The books in the Starbound Trilogy are told from dual perspectives, with each chapter alternating between characters. Typically Amie writes the male characters and I write the female characters, but in actuality the process is a bit more complex than that. You can read more about how we write our books here.
Unfortunately, no! Due to the cost of the book and the cost of postage, I can’t afford to give people signed copies of my books. However, you can always find signed copies at my home bookstore, as well as any bookstores where I’ve recently signed. You can find all that information here!
Yes, please do! I wrote fanfiction when I was first starting to seriously pursue writing as a hobby, and it’d be an honor to inspire others to do the same. Just be sure to say somewhere, either in the information about your story or in the caption of your image, what book/author inspired the piece.
I love you just for asking! Buying our books and telling your friends about them is the best thing you can do, but if you want more ways to help, here’s an article with some ideas.