Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meet Aprilynne Pike, Best-Selling YA Author

A visit with Aprilynne Pike, part 3 of a discussion panel from Storymakers writer’s conference. (Our first two were with Dan Wells and Stephanie Black)

Aprilynne Pike, author of New York Times best sellers Wings and Spells, added a fresh voice to the discussion. I was impressed with her no-nonsense point of view both times I came to hear her speak.

Aprilynne doesn’t edit as she writes except for typos. Instead, she rereads what she just wrote the next day for 20 minutes and makes minor changes then.

She says “I swear by outlines,” referring to a 60 point outline that incorporates pacing. She jokes about having to put two child gates across the door to get her writing time in because there is always more laundry, dishes, and kids to fill your time. “You have to make (writing) a priority. Most authors give up T.V. to make time.”

“Writing is work, even when it’s fun. A manuscript becomes a novel with work!” She explained that in order for books to be best sellers, agents must be able to classify them. In other words, it’s a bad idea to put “my work transcends classification” on your query. Know your genre and be sure your book can be classified. She notes,“a marketable book gets you an agent faster than a beautiful one.”

When asked about agents, Aprilynne replied, “I wanted to be a best selling author. For that I needed to be in the top 6 publishing houses.” An agent was vital to that plan. She wrote 3 ½ books, and spent 2 ½ years querying agents—not publishers. In the end her persistence paid off and with the help of her agent, she has achieved her goal of being a best seller. She said, “your agent should be buying into you, not just your book. You need to find someone like that.” She recommended following Agent Kristen Nelson’s Pub Rants blog to get a good feel for the agent side of the industry.

She cautions against being scammed by a bad agent. “A bad agent is way worse than no agent. You should look up the predators and editors website.

I visited with Aprilynne in the bookstore as she put out some more copies. She signed my copies of Wings and Spells—great reads, both of them. I’m happy to report that in person, she is very nice with a quick sense of humor.

Keep an eye out for her third book, Illusions which is due out May 3rd, 2011.

If you follow her blog then you might have heard her good news. She had her baby at home (she was a doula in her pre-bestseller life) on November 27th. Cute little thing too. You should drop in and wish her well!

Have any of you read her books? What did you think?


kbrebes said...

Very nice and helpful. Thanks!

Wendy Swore said...

Glad you liked it Kbrebes!

Sheila said...

I love Aprilynne and I love her books! I met her before she became published and she is as nice now as she was then. I think that she always has excellent advice. Thanks for the great interview!

Rachelle said...

Great idea to post this--it was a good refresher from the conference. Her books are awesome!

K.G. Borland said...

I loved this Wendy! And I totally agree with her Kristen Nelson's blog is AWESOME! I've been following it for over a year now :)

MT said...

I read Wings (actually listened to it while I gardened last summer) and really enjoyed it. Congratulations to her on the birth of her new baby. Have a Merry Christmas, Wendy!

Wendy Swore said...

Thanks Michelle,
I hope you have a wonderful Christmas too!

Wendy Swore said...

Sheila, How cool that you knew her for that long. She seemed like a really nice gal.

Rachelle- I post notes like this as I review them. I'm glad you liked it. Her books are great.

Kyle- It doesn't suprise me that you already knew about that blog. You smarty guy, you. :) I hope you have a merry christmas!

Mike Keyton said...

An agent was vital to that plan. She wrote 3 ½ books, and spent 2 ½ years querying agents

Note to self. Query/ query, query.

Good post, Wendy