Interview With Mindy McGinnis (@bigblackcat97)

Today I continue my series of writer interviews. We have an amazing woman in our midst. She is affectionately called BBC by the Agent Query Connect group, and is a wonderfully talented woman. She is also a very great friend to have.

Mindy McGinnis is a YA author and librarian, represented by Adriann

Ranta of Wolf Literary. She serves as a moderator at

Agent Query Connect, under the screen name bigblackcat97, more

affectionately called BBC. Mindy’s blog, Writer, Writer, Pants on

Fire, is geared toward helping aspiring writers find their way towards

representation and publication, featuring interviews with agents

(BBCHAT – Bigblackcat’s Humane Agent Talk), published writers (SAT –

Successful Author Talk), and industry bloggers (BOA – Bloggers of

Awesome). Mindy also contributes at From The Write Angle, a blog

offering multiple perspectives on writing and the publishing industry—

from first draft to final product, and everything beyond. She tweets

from @bigblackcat97, where you can learn all kinds of random things

about her life. It’s terribly interesting.

1) What genre(s) do you write? And why?

I write YA.  I’m a YA librarian and I spend 40 a week with my

target audience, plus I’m immersed in the market as part of the job,

so it was kind of a no brainer to write YA. Plus, this market exploded

right when I decided to jump back into writing, so it was the route to

take. I found out I loved it after cranking out a few YA novels.

2)  Tell us about your latest project. This is your chance to crow about being published, agented, or winning a contest.

 My dystopian, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, is being subbed right now.  My

agent, Adriann Ranta, is doing an excellent job of getting it on the

desks of people who can make it happen. DRINK is about a future where

there is very little freshwater, and people kill over backyard ponds

and streams. The query can be found here.

3) Other than writing, how do you like to spend your time?

I have no time. I’ve got five acres, and yes – a pond, a massive

old farmhouse and feral cats that seem to flock to me. They hate me,

but they love to tribute me with their babies. It’s a lose – lose. I

also knit, scrapbook, read like a fiend, and blog. Sometimes I eat.

Once in awhile, I try sleeping.

4)  Do you have any tattoo’s, if so where? If not, do you want any?

No tatts. I’m hard pressed to think of something I want on my body

for the rest of my life.

5) What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

I just finished up THE DARK AND HOLLOW PLACES by Carrie Ryan last

night. It’s the third of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH trilogy. I’m

sold on these books because Ryan does an excellent job of writing with

female narrators, but making the books accessible to males. I’ve got

more male readers of the series in my library than females.

6) What is your advice to those who want to be authors? (I know, it’s a crummy one, but needs to be asked)

My advice? If there’s anything else you think you want to do, do

that instead. 🙂 No really, you do have to ask yourself how much you

want this, and how much you’re willing to give for it. I was trying to

find an agent for ten years before I landed Adriann.  Granted, I

wasn’t actively querying and looking for that whole time, but it was a

decade-long slog of rejections and disappointment.

Part of the reason I failed on such a grand scale is because I was

naive enough to think that talent is what lands you the contract. I

didn’t do research, I didn’t know how to write a query, I didn’t want

to invest the time involved in knowing how to do things the right way.

I was self-righteous enough to think that someone would instantly fall

in love with me, and it’d be magic.

Wrong.

Do your homework, always. Yeah, it sucks that there’s rules, and

formulas, and red tape everywhere to keep you from your dream, but if

you want it, you jump through those hoops. Join sites like

AgentQueryConnect and QueryTracker, find crit partners, read industry

and writer-related blogs, and know your market.

7)  Tell us one thing no one knows about you

I can’t think of one thing no one knows about me. I’m a talker, so

this one always stumps me when it comes up. Um… I’m not wearing a

bra right now. Nobody knew that.

Links for the interview:

Blog: http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/bigblackcat97

AgentQueryConnect: www.agentqueryconnect.com

QueryTracker: www.querytracker.net

FromTheWriteAngle: http://www.fromthewriteangle.com

My Query that Worked:

http://writerwriterpantsonfire.blogspot.com/2011/03/collection-of-ya-ya-sisterhood-my-query.html

This amazing librarian inspired a short story that will be coming up a month from this Sunday for First Sunday Short Fiction. It is called, “The Librarian’s Revenge”. Look for it for the month of September! Thanks BBC for your descriptions of the antics of middle school boys!

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7 Comments

Filed under Agent Query Connect, author, character traits, characters, crazy, growing, ideas, inspiration, interview, librarian, Pants on Fire, The Write Angle, thinking process, voice, writing, writing process, Young Adult

7 responses to “Interview With Mindy McGinnis (@bigblackcat97)

  1. What a a great interview…glad i came across your blog…Eliza Keatin

  2. Knowing what I do about you, BBC, the bra answer isn’t very surprising.

    Great interview, Dawn. Mindy is everybody’s cheerleader and a wealth of information. We need more of her to keep us motivated!!!

  3. Yay, Mindy! (Like Bethany, I’m not too surprised about the no-bra thing. *snort*)

    Great interview, Dawn!

  4. And here I thought everyone would be shocked…. Sigh. I’ll have to dig deeper for the “something no one knows about you” next time 🙂

    Eliza – thanks for checking out the interview and visiting Dawn’s blog!
    Bethany – More of me? You still want more!??! You’re insatiable:)
    Cherie – Thanks for stopping by – I’m glad I made you cyber snort!

  5. Awesome interview, Dawn and Mindy! 🙂 Good luck in those submission trenches, Mindy my friend! Your book sounds awesome!

  6. Loved this and love my twitter buds. Mindy and Dawn are both made of awesome sauce. 😉

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