The author in the cute photo to the left is Michele Corriel.
Tell us about your book.
Fairview Felines: A Newspaper Mystery (Blooming Tree/Tire Swing Press, July 2010) is the first in a series of middle grade mysteries based on the main character, Thomas Weston, who loves everything about newspapers, inky fingers and all. He dreams of having his own newspaper at school, so when all the cats in his town of Fairview start disappearing, he figures he can prove himself and solve the mystery. Oh, yeah, and he thinks in these really funny headlines.
First of all, it was a long, twisted road with lots of potholes. I’d written this novel a while ago (and have since finished three other novels) but I just couldn’t seem to find a home for it. Finally, after an SCBWI conference I began talking with the publisher of Blooming Tree Press and she asked me to send her the manuscript. It was almost a year later when she called and said Blooming Tree wanted to publish the book.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?
There were plenty of times I felt like giving up. I have a whole room in my house wallpapered with rejection letters (not really, but I have enough of them!). I’ve always been a writer. There was never anything else I ever wanted to do. I knew if I didn’t continue to send my work out it would never get published. So I kept on writing and I kept on submitting and it finally paid off. (I also have a non-fiction picture book coming in the fall from a different publisher – Weird Rocks, published by Mountain Press!) And I now have a great agent who believes in my work, which really helps me to keep the faith.
What’s the one thing that’s surprised you most on the journey from starting your novel to publication?
How long everything takes … I’m used to writing for newspapers and magazines … books take years to come out!
Where were you when you got the news that your book had been sold?
I was at home, alone. My cell phone rang and it was Miriam Hees, the publisher for Blooming Tree Press. Everything seemed to rush by and go in slow motion all at the same time.
What did you do to celebrate?
I jumped around the house for a while with my dog. (She was really happy, too, of course she’s happy when I drop anything on the floor so it doesn’t take much.) And then I called my husband and my writers’ group. My writers’ group has a pact: if anyone gets anything published that person has to buy chocolate for the group. It was best pound of chocolate I ever bought.
Where can we find out more about your book and about you?
My website is www.michelecorriel.com. From there you can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and you can also read my blog, Playing With Words. I’m also in the Class of 2K10 and you can find me (and 22 other debut mg and ya novelists) on that website as well: www.classof2k10.com.
Thanks for the interview and good luck to everyone!
Thanks, Michele! I hope readers are noticing the strong role chocolate is playing in all of these interviews. One of the blogs below features the question "M&Ms or Twizzlers?" in their interviews. I think you can guess where I and my authors (I'm assuming) stand in answer to this question. I won't tell you which blogger asks the question -- you'll have to visit them all to find out.
Lisa & Laura Roecker
Suzette Saxton & Bethany Wiggins