I'm thrilled at the opportunity to interview yet another member of the Class of 2k10, as a bonus this week on my blog. I'm especially happy to have met Rhonda (in a virtual sense) because we share a similar film business background and are also neighbors in lovely L.A. I hope we'll be able to meet in person soon as well!
Tell us about your book.
THE WITCHY WORRIES OF ABBIE ADAMS comes out on April 1, from Dial Books for Young readers. And hmm...I’d have to say it’s a fun, middle-grade novel (not to get all braggy or anything) about a contemporary, fifth grade witch, who runs into a little trouble balancing the normal world with the magical one.
Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication?
Yikes. It was long and torturous, I’m sorry to report. I finished the book five years ago when my kids were the right age to read it...Then, it took ages to get an agent but hardly any time to sell it once I did. Naturally I thought that my literary career was launched...and it was...except for the fact that Raincoast, the publishing house that bought it, went out of business just as the book was headed for the copy editor. My intrepid agent didn’t gave up though and she sold it again to Harcourt...which soon after started undergoing upheaval related to the economy...and caused a lot of upheaval in my heart. My editor Kathy Dawson left Harcourt, but took me with her to Dial, bless her little heart. Then all I had to endure was the glacial pace of the actual publishing process... which takes us right up to this week.
Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?
Don’t tell anyone this, but there were kind of a lot of passes before my agent sold the book for the second time...so many in fact that when she called me in person rather than e-mailing me, I felt positive that she was calling to break the news that there was no point in sending it out any more. When I recognized her voice, I instantly plummeted into an abyss of despair. But I popped right out when she told me she’d sold it again. Got all chirpy and everything.
What’s the one thing that’s surprised you most on the journey from starting your novel to publication?
How everlastingly LONG it all took.
Where were you when you got the news that your book had been sold?
I was sitting at my desk, glumly slogging away at the second book in my series, even though I was slowly giving up hope that the first one would ever get sold.
What did you do to celebrate?
We went out to dinner where my husband surprised me by having the waiter bring over a bottle of champagne that he said had been sent from JK Rowling because she was such a big fan of mine.
Where can we find out more about your book and about you? Why how charming of you to ask. You can find me at my website www.rhondahayter.com, or you can find me with a wonderful group of other debut YA and MG authors at www.classof2k10.com. We’re a-bloggin’ and carrying on all the time over there.
Thanks so much for having me.
Thank YOU, Rhonda! And I hope everyone noticed that Rhonda's book is already out, as of this posting. You can find information on how to buy her book at her website.
I'm a novelist and screenwriter living in Los Angeles. Find details on this "blog" about my books and appearances. Want to reach me? You can Contact Me here.
What I'm working on now:
- A new YA novel
- A middle grade novel
- An original screenplay for the Disney Channel
Writing Book of the Month:
"The Comic Toolbox" by John Vorhaus.