This week (in between WriteOnCon fun - have you guys had the chance to look at all the incredible posts and transcripts from the past couple of days? Check them all out here! ) we're welcoming authors of THE IVY, Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur.
3. What is your writing process like? How do you guys collaborate on projects?
We do our brainstorming together, and then Lauren does the actual writing (she was the English major, after all!). In terms of the day to day, we email constantly about the tiniest little details--both book-related or otherwise. We're kind of codependent that way.
[Editorial note: Codependency for the win! Let's call this one a tie, shall we?]
4. What was your road to publication like?
In the middle of our senior year at Harvard, Lauren attended a talk for English majors given by the VP of a major publishing company. After the meeting, she somehow tricked him into giving her his email address. We pitched him the idea via email and he seemed very interested. The problem was, we hadn’t written anything yet!
Lauren scrambled to write the first three chapters of the book in the next few days--with Rina yelling frantically over her shoulder--and sent it off. Then... there was a LONG period of silence. Just nothing. Finally we received a rejection letter citing the sample chapters as "too YA." (Up until this point, it wasn't exactly clear to us who our audience was, but when we saw that it was like--duh! Teens have so much more fun.) Anyway, we thought it was over until we received another email several months later, this time from an editor working at the YA division of the same company. We were actually in the Bahamas for our senior year spring break and had to turn Rina's blackberry on to data roaming, because it clearly was an emergency. We nearly broke the phone (or more like broke the bank) while trying to send off those chapters.
Then we waited... and again, there was a LONG period of silence. Finally weeks before graduation, we cracked and emailed the editor to give her a nudge. She responded back with some great advice that made us (more like Lauren) believe that there was hope in The Ivy after all. Lauren spent the entire summer writing and sending off chapters to Rina as Rina rejoiced, cheered, pep-talked and gave back feedback.
After Lauren was finished with the manuscript, we got into the whole ordeal of finding an agent. We realized the book must have been somewhat readable and entertaining (to people other than just us!), because we received an overwhelmingly positive interest from the agents we contacted. We signed with Rosemary Stimola and after a few months of editing (Lauren ended up cutting about 25% of the original manuscript), Rosemary negotiated a four book deal with Greenwillow!
[Editorial note: Harvard? Bahamas? VPs of Publishing houses? Crap. I think we almost need to give the gorgeous Harvard gals two points for this one.]
5. And now for the most important question of all...Twizzlers or M&Ms?
Hmmm, hello? M&Ms! OF COURSE! We are unanimous on this front.
[Editorial note: Um, sorry girls the correct answer was Twizzlers. Duh. Point goes to LiLa.]
Well, we're sorry to say that Lauren and Rina totally beat us 3 to 2, but, hey, at least it was close. And the good news is that everyone wins when they pre-order a copy of this dishy new book. Now if we could just convince them to send us the manuscript for Book 2 in the series....
Here's what the other Bookanistas are up to this week:
Christine Fonseca - PARANORMALCY
Kirsten Hubbard - GIRL, STOLEN
Beth Revis - LIPS TOUCH: THREE TIMES
Carolina Valdez Miller - THE DUFF
Myra McEntire - VORDAK THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE
Bethany Wiggins - TELL ME A SECRET
The Plot This Belles - THE DUFF