Awesome Author Interview: Avery Olive

Oh guys…you are not going to believe this!  Someone I critiqued for is getting published!  I’d like to  introduce you to author Avery Olive.  Her novel A STIFF KISS (the title may change…that’s the great thing about working with an editor) will be out sometime next year.

Avery has graciously agreed to answer a few of my questions and any you may ask in comments.  So if there is anything you’re wondering, ask away! 

Hi Avery!  Tell us a little about yourself in two tweets or less.

My names Avery Olive, I’m proudly Canadian and currently living in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Anyways, I’d say, I’m a mother, a wife and an Author. And a whole lot more. (BTW, you can follow her on twitter at @AveryOlive)

If you were going to set up a Facebook page for your book, how would you describe it?

A Young Adult romance, with a hint of paranormal, tragic loss and death, but it ends happy. So that’s good J



Describe your path-to-published to five essential steps.
1.       Write. And then write some more, then write even more.
2.       Edit. A lot. Find some super awesome Beta’s and Critique Partners; they are your best friends during the editing/rewriting process.
3.       Draft a super awesome query, compile a list of super awesome agents (and publishers)
4.       Send out your super awesome query, and wait. Since I didn’t procure an agent, I then sent my query to a whole bunch of super awesome publishers.
5.       Pick from multiple super awesome contracts, and sign one. Now I’m on the road to publication. Oh and if you really want to be an Author, NEVER GIVE UP!


What’s been the biggest surprise you’ve had to this point?
When I received my first contract offer, and then, as customary, I responded to all the other publishers with my manuscript still under review and mention my offer. Instantly, I got several e-mails from publishers asking me to hold off on making my decision until they could read it. Turns out, other’s thought my book was super duper too, because I then had a few contracts to choose from. I never thought, in my wildest dreams I’d get one, but multiple? That was a huge surprise.


What part of this process would you not want to repeat?

Honestly, I say this with the full notion that I will probably at some point have to repeat this process with future works but… that being said, the Query Process.



Writing a query, I swear, is harder then writing an entire novel. You get approximately 250 words to subtly say to an agent/publisher, “You will honestly not live another day unless you read this novel, and it will be the best thing you have ever read!” Of course, you can’t actually say that, so you have to sum up your novel in those 250 words and leave such a huge impression that an agent/publisher will pick your query out of a pile and say, “yeah, you’re right, I don’t think I can live another day without reading this novel.” Then they either request a partial or full to read. It’s a huge waiting game, sure you got your foot in the door with your query, but then your novel has to hold up that standard you implied in your query, and it has to knock their socks off.


How did you get picked up by a publisher without an agent?

One of the greatest myths out there is that you can’t attract the attention of a publisher without an agent. And for the most part that’s wrong. Sure, there are some publishers, mainly the “Big 6” that won’t give a manuscript a second glance unless it’s been brought to them by an agent. But there are lots of publishers open to Authors with whom don’t have an agent, yet. So I just compiled a list of all the publishers that I thought would make a good fit with my novel, and submitted to them, following their submission guidelines. It works a lot like the query process, you send in your query, maybe they ask for some sample pages, or the whole manuscript, and then, you wait. You just wait.



What do you think is your greatest writing strength?

I have no idea! I’d like to think that imagery is one of my strengths. A lot of my readers, critique partners and Beta’s always tell me that they can “see” most everything in the book. That I’ve described everything in such away, that they become part of the novel, and it plays like a movie inside their heads.



How did you celebrate when you signed?

Well, first I screamed from my rooftop, bought the most expensive champagne and drank it, told every single person I know, and went out for a fancy dinner.



Okay, sadly that’s not at all true. As it turns out, I had signed the contract while my husband was a way at work, a lot of my friends and family were out vacationing or camping. So, I celebrated alone. I ordered my favourite pizza—Tropical Chicken Pizza from Boston Pizza—and watched a good movie. The next day when things really sunk in, I started telling people. I think when the book comes out I’ll celebrate more, have a party, and buy that expensive bottle of champagne.

13 Comments

  • Laura C.

    Congrats Avery! Thanks for sharing your road to being published. I’m wondering how many novels you wrote before you got a contract. (I’ve heard the average is five.) Thank you for your entertaining interview and your advice. I will, indeed, never give up! 🙂

  • Jess

    Great story Avery! It’s so inspiring that you kept going after querying agents, moved to querying publishers, and got multiple offers! Oh, and I’m all for having celebration pizza. In fact, when I have my little daydreams, it’s always pizza for the contract celebration (though I’d probably do a steak and seafood dinner for a paycheck celebration). I already have my pizza type/brand picked out 🙂

    One question: How did you choose between publishers for your novel? What made you go with one over the others?

    Thanks for the interview!

  • Avery Olive

    @LauraC, A Stiff Kiss was my third novel, however, only the second novel I tried to get agents/publishers with. There was a novel in the middle that just needed to much work to polish 🙂 So I wrote three but only subbed 2. Those are great stats. But really don’t worry about the numbers. So people get it right the first time, while other’s it takes 5 or even 10. Just don’t give up.

    @Jess, When I chose publishers for my list I enlisted the help of Absolute Write Forumns, QueryTracker, Writer Beware and word of mouth. I picked the publishers that had similar genre’d books as mine, great covers and when I e-mailed some of the Authors, they all had great things to say about the company in question.
    How I picked one contract over the other? They were very similar, only slight wording differences, maybe a little less royalty here, a little more there. So when it came down to it for I picked who I thought would/could do the best job to sell my book. And gut. Always listen to your gut feeling.
    Also I had someone I trusted who has dealt with publishing contracts to look at mine, which is important too 🙂

  • ReneeRearden

    Avery,

    Congratulations on your soon-to-be-published novel! What a journey. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on what worked for you. Inspiration + direction x perserverence = success!

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