February 18, 2006

Hotclue’s First Interview

I was sitting around sunning myself out on the deck today, chatting over the Internet with Beth, when a brainstorm hit me. It was probably sunstroke that caused it, but I decided to interview her just to see what she comes up with WITHOUT my help–for a change.

She finally agreed, as long as I said I’d also interview other authors every couple of weeks. (She hates to be greedy, don’tcha know.) But I have a secret reason and PLEASE don’t tell her. I’m hoping I can snooker into telling me who the killer is in her new book, which she’s calling THE SCOUTMASTER’S WIFE.

About that title. She’s had that title since I first thought up the book and without missing a beat SHE stole my whole idea! She loves the title because, she says, it’s a solid, no-nonsense mainstream book title. I bet her a whole box of Oreos her publisher (if she ever gets one) will make her change it. I hope I win. I adore Oreos. Anyhow, let’s get on with the interview:

Me: First Question, Beth. Who’s the killer? (Subtlety is a fine art form, don’t you think?)

Beth: I’m never going to tell you.

Me: You say that to EVERYONE! Your crit partners are about to kill you! Why won’t you tell even one person? Like me?

Beth: Because as long as I can convince myself while I’m writing that I don’t know who it is, when I write scenes with my two leads, neither of whom knows who the killer is yet, I don’t have to worry about even giving out even a hint of it. I’m so much into their heads when I’m writing that I’m as confused as they are. Although I did in several places without realizing it before I decided for sure who it was going to be. I was surprised when I read back over the first chapters to find I actually had done that.

Me: So you DO know who it is?

Beth, shrugging: Of course.

Me: You sound so..so..well, sure of yourself.

Beth: You really ARE funny. I’m the world’s most insecure human being.

Me: You are not!

Beth: Am so.

Me: Are not!

Beth: Sigh…

Me: How can you be insecure when you have ME around?

Beth: Because you don’t have to write query letters. That’s the business part, remember? I do that part, and I’m almost to the place where I have to write one.

Me: You’re afraid of a little old query letter? A one page letter? A piece of PAPER?

Beth. Petrified would be more accurate.

Me: Why?

Beth: Because I’ve had six books published and I’ve never had to write a query letter. I freeze up every time I even think of it. I did write one once, actually, and I screwed it up so badly I cringe every time I think of it.

I. Did. Every. Single. Thing. Wrong.

Me: Every? Single? Thing?

Beth. Every. Single. Thing. Please don’t make me repeat myself, Hots. It makes me sound senile.

Me: What could be so hard about it?

Beth: It’s just that the first thing agents read has to entice them to want to read the whole book. It’s the most important thing an author does, other than write a dynamite book.

Me: So did you at least do that?

Beth: Yes. But that’s just my opinion.

Me: But…

Beth: It’s the blurb. The one paragraph blurb. I have so much going on in this book that I can’t decide what to put in that paragraph and what to leave out.

Me: But you have a blurb on the first page of your website, where the books are listed. What’s wrong with that one?

Beth: I don’t know. I’m not entirely happy with it.

Me: HA! Remember, I told you to change it!

Beth. I know. I did change it. But not enough.

Me: I don’t know what I’m going to do with you!

Beth: I don’t blame you.

Me: I thought you were going to work on that this morning.

Beth: I played Turbo Solitare instead.

Me: Oh, THAT’s really professional of you!

Beth: Hots, does everything you say have to end with an exclamation mark?

Me: You’re procrastinating again. You’re doing it right now. Aha, I get it. You wanted to do this interview so you wouldn’t have to think about a query letter, right?

Beth: Probably.

Me: I might, just MIGHT, be able to help you. If you’ll listen, for once.

Beth: Shoot.

Me: Honk on over to: http://www.agentquery.com/symposium_pitcheditors.aspx . That’s Agent Query.com. They have a lot of info about some great agents, how they work, what they’re looking for, how to submit to them.

Then, go to Readers Room and check out a couple of things there: http://www.readersroom.com/blog , that’s Natalie Collins’ blog, Inside of a Dog, and that gal really knows what’s going on in publishing. This month it’s about writing a query letter and a whole lot more.

They also have: www.readersroom.com/jmkagent.html –that’s written by one of the new Folio Literary Agency’s owners, Jeff Kleinman, talking about the agency and what each of Folio’s agents is looking for.

If that’s not enough, at Writersmarket.com, several more top agents answer questions about the author/agent relationship: www.writersmarket.com/content/agents_secrets2.asp

Beth: You’re so smart, Hotclue. How’d you find all that?

Me: You want to know? You really, REALLY want to know?

Beth: Yes. Please.

Me: You’re absolutely, positively SURE you want to know?

Beth: Sigh. Yes. Pretty please.

Me: I’m never going to tell you.

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10 Responses | | Comments Feed

  1. Waahahahah! You two are a hoot! I don’t see you tameing Hotclue any time soon.


  2. Beth probably doesn’t want to that much. I’m the one with the quick wit and ingenuity. She’s just the one who sits in front of our computer whining, “What do I do n-o-o-o-w?”

    I’m telling you, it’s really tough being Second Banana in this team, especially since I do most of the work no matter what she says. She’s just delusional.

    Next time I’m getting my own website and I’ll give HER just one page.

    Hugs and thanks for visiting!

  3. Well, Hotclue and Beth, I’m totally fluxxed, and you know that doesn’t take much. Thanks for all the great sites, I’ll pop on over, AND give credit to both of you. As for the killer, I know who it is, AND I’M NOT TELLING, (in case I’m wrong!) But, Sloane, and Yasmine, have their thongs in a twist, and that’s a lotta material, over who is the killer, and does the killer die in the end. This is just as good as a James Patterson book, I can’t put his down until I finish it, and damnit, I know the same thing is going to happen with this one.

  4. I bet you a dollar you don’t know who it is!

    I hope your faith in both me and Beth is justified. Of course I think it will be, but Beth is so full of insecurities (although some would call it something else), and the query letter is just one. Keep checking in, though. I’ll fill you in on all of them. 😉


  5. Ladies, ladies, I love your blog and particularly the interview.

    Hots, it’s up to you to get the wind back into Beth’s sail. She has an exciting book and had better get off that damned Trubo. Where did you ever get the idea, Beth, you could waste your talent and time playing that dumbass game?

    Hots, you tell me what to do and I’ll get that lazy wench on with her query. Hmm, seems it’s time for theGrasshoppers to wield the 2×4. Right, Yasmine?

  6. Hi, Sloane!

    Re: the query, Beth’s got it rolling around in her mind all the time here lately. She tells me she’s going to nab you and Yasmine, after y’all read the whole book, to brainstorm a no-fail (HAH!) short query paragraph that will have agents salivating and knocking each other out of the way to get her book in their hands.

    😉 I say, dream on, Bethie. That query had better be good…

    Hugs, thanks for stopping by! Did you like the chablis this time? And how about those chilled glasses? Nice touch, don’t you think?


  7. Yes, the chablis is better then red any day. You’ve always had a good taste. Well, maybe not always in men but we won’t go there.

    You stop harassing Beth about her query. You know damned well it will be excellent.

  8. Taste in men? Well, you have a point there, mine’s bad for sure, but no way is mine worse than Beth’s, which is non-existent. She’s been messing up with men ever since a boy she was dating in high school asked her if she wanted to go watch the submarine races at the Basin in D.C. where the Cherry Blossoms grow. She believed him and said yes.

    Sigh…she is SO always gullible…

  9. I don’t understand why you haven’t whipped her into shape by now. How long is it that you two have been hanging out together?

  10. Ohhhhh, I know a trick question when I see one. Nice try, Sloane!

    Love, Hots







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