Awesome Author Interview: Brigid Kemmerer

I’m so, so, so pleased to introduce the fabulous author Brigid Kemmerer!  Her debut novel, ELEMENTAL, will be on shelves in May 2012!  I can’t wait.  Here’s the copy that will appear on the back cover:

Elemental: Rethink the world around you

Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they have more power than you dream.

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’twant. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.

Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.

The storm is coming . . .

Sounds totally awesome, huh?  I can’t wait to read it!  Now on to the questions!

Hi Brigid!  Tell us about yourself in two tweets or less. 

I’m a working mother of two boys (a fabulous son and an amazing stepson), with another boy on the way. I sacrifice sleep for writing time, so I’m generally highly caffeinated. And surrounded by testosterone.

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

I’d start with the title: ELEMENTAL.

I’d definitely post the cover, which I haven’t seen yet. I can’t wait to see it—but much like being pregnant, there’s not a whole lot I can do to speed up the process.

Describe your path-to-published in five essential steps.
  1. I wrote a book. This sounds basic, but it’s not. This is the hardest step. It’s also the most important. You can have the greatest idea in the world – if you can’t get it down on paper in a way people want to read about it, you’re going to be stuck at square one forever. 
  2. I queried the hell out of it. I didn’t find an agent. So…
  3. I wrote another book. I queried the hell out of this one, too. And when Tamar Rydzinski requested a partial, I accidentally sent her 30 double spaced pages and 20 single spaced pages. I felt like the world’s biggest idiot. And the worst part is that just that morning, I had read an entry on the Bookends blog about taking a little extra time to make sure you’re sending what the agent requested. It all worked out, however, because Tamar ended up requesting the full, and then offering representation. Then the best thing EVER happened.
  4. That book didn’t sell. Why is that the best thing ever? Because it allowed me to start a new project, ELEMENTAL. This book is stronger than the one that landed me an agent. I learned a lot from the editorial rejection letters. I kept my story focused, and I never took my eye off the ball. ELEMENTAL garnered almost immediate attention from editors, and…
  5. It sold at auction the last week of January, this year.

What’s been your biggest surprise to this point?

This is going to sound insanely trite, but how amazingly nice everyone is. My agent is nice. My editor is nice. My critique partners are nice. (And amazing, but that’s another story.) Other authors are nice, especially the ones who offered to read and blurb my book. I’ve gotten to the point where I’d be surprised if someone came out of the woodwork acting like a raging jerk.

I don’t think that sounds trite at all! Especially because I’ve experienced it first hand.  Aren’t writers/industry folk awesome!

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

I’ve been sitting in a recliner staring at this question for three minutes now, and I have no idea how to answer this question. Every part of this process has been a stepping stone to where I am now. Back in January, before there was an offer on the table, I took the train to meet my agent in New York. The train hit a huge chunk of ice and broke something underneath. It took the train engineers approximately two hours to fix it (during which they killed the electricity in the train), making my trip to NYC take five hours instead of three. I would not want to repeat that train ride.

How did you snag your agent? 

I wrote a book and Tamar liked it. I didn’t know anyone in publishing, I didn’t have some huge blog following, it was just me and a laptop and late nights with a cup of coffee. I mention above how I messed up the original submission packet, and it’s a miracle Tamar still requested the full manuscript.

What is your greatest writing strength?

Oh, wow, this is a tough question to answer. My greatest strength? My greatest weakness is easy to nail: writing setting. I once had a teacher in high school tell me I should just write plays. Dialogue comes easily to me, so that’s where my comfort zone is.

How did you celebrate when you found out ELEMENTAL sold?

Well, we didn’t really. I think we went to dinner at the Japanese steakhouse in Glen Burnie. But it was a turbulent time for me. (Here’s a link to her not-exactly-celebration and book auction story.  Check it out!)

Brigid, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!  I can’t wait to see ELEMENTAL in print!   


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