I’ve ran across a lot of really awesome people, and culled an enormous amount of information from blogs. As I raided my brain – yes, I picture myself on the prow of a Viking ship, approaching my own gray matter – for more people I’d like to interview, it repeatedly offered up names of bloggers. And so, the third series; Bloggers of Awesome. Yeah, it’s the BOA.
Today's BOA guest is my agency mate Michelle Krys. Her debut, HEXED, features snarky sixteen-year-old cheerleader Indigo Blackwood, who is forced into a centuries-old war between witches and sorcerers only to discover the first of many dark truths about her life. Also, it has boys and kissing. HEXED is coming from Delacorte Press/Random House Children's Books, Spring 2014
You’ve got a fun and straightforward blog. What made you decide to take that approach?
There was never this big decision over which approach I would take to blogging, though I did consciously decide not to try to imitate other author blogs that I admired. The explanation being that there were (and still are!) so many awesome blogs out there that it was a bit intimidating to give it a try. I worried I wouldn’t have anything to add to the conversation or that no one would want to hear what I had to say because I wasn’t as intelligent or funny as XYZ author, etc. Finally, I told my inner critic to shove it and decided to just be myself, which is apparently fun, so yay (and thanks)!
I know a lot of aspiring writers who are intimidated by the idea of blogging. They want to, but they are worried it will cut into their (already precious) writing time. How do you keep a balance between blogging and writing?
Right, that was another of the worries I had before I started a blog. Only now that I’ve been doing it for quite a while and have fallen into a routine, it really isn’t that time consuming. I can usually get out a post in less than an hour. Less than an hour once or twice a week isn’t so much of a time commitment (especially when you kill two birds with one stone and watch TV at the same time ☺ )
Like me, you do query critiques. What made you decide to offer that to your readers?
I’ve always loved critiquing query letters (writing them too, but I’m told that makes me weird). I’m a huge fan of the Query Shark blog and shamelessly decided to offer the same service on my blog, which in retrospect contradicts my earlier mantra that I wouldn’t imitate blogs I admired. Gah! In any case, I’m so honored that anyone would want to hear my thoughts on their letters.
Do you think blogging is a helpful self-marketing tool?
Definitely, blogging can be helpful for self-marketing. Having said that, it’s probably not a good idea to blog solely about yourself and your book, as you run the risk of boring and/or annoying your readers. Which is to say, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.
Sometimes social media feels like a do-or-die. How do you approach Twitter or Facebook on days when you really don’t feel like you have much to say?
This question is easy, because I always have something to say. Literally, always. It’s a challenge to shut me up. Just ask my husband (or anyone else who’s ever met me).
What other websites / resources can you recommend for writers?
As I’ve mentioned before, I think the Query Shark blog is an awesome resource for querying writers. I also really loved QueryTracker for keeping track of the agents I queried, and the Literary Rambles blog for researching agents accepting YA. And I highly recommend Mindy’s SHIT series (Submission Hell It’s True) for authors on submission.
Any words of inspiration for aspiring writers?
I’ve said this a bunch before but I’ll say it again because it’s still true and helped me a lot during particularly down moments (of which there are many in the writing business): The odds of making it out of the slush pile really aren’t as terrible as writers are often led to believe. The slush pile can be full of less than stellar projects, to put it nicely, and if you’re a good writer, do your research, work hard, and keep at it, then your odds are much, much better of succeeding. Don’t let the statistics scare you!