One of the things that nobody really talks about when they discuss what it's like to get an agent is how awesome it is to have AGENT-MATES!! Okay, so maybe it's not normal to be this excited about such a thing, but shortly after I signed with Vickie Motter, I met another of Vickie's clients, Cambria Dillon, who I now adore (there's yet another agent-mate I had a chance to meet, Kristine Asselin, but I'll introduce you to this lovely later). Cambria's not only my agent-sister, she's freaking amazing. Here, see for yourself.
She's as happy as she looks. Seriously. Makes my day when I see one of her emails arrive in my inbox.
Okay, so Cambria signed with Vickie about a month before I did, and guess what? She's celebrating her big news this week by giving away new prizes every day. Also, in an incredible act of generosity, Cambria asked to interview ME during HER agent signing celebration week. For real. This should tell you a little bit about Cambria. Not enough? I also interviewed Cambria just so you could get to know her a little better. Check out how our little chat went:
Me: Hi Cambria! So happy to have you visit! I spruced up the place just for you. What do you think of my new sculpture?
Cambria: Thanks for having me! Two thumbs up on the sculpture…but uh, I think Sculpture Jared would prefer NOT to be sporting a tiara. Just sayin'.
Err...well. About that. See, there was thing, and then--look, a flying pig!
*Cambria glances out window*
*Carol spinning-kicks tiara off Jared's head*
*Cambria turns back around, eyebrow arched high*
Oh, what a shame. You missed the pig. It was FAST. Anyway...eh hmm. Back to the interview. In two words or less, please tell us ALL about yourself.
My, you are concise. *Carol’s distracted by shirtless Jared Leto*
*Cambria takes opportunity to flash a real bio at readers*
Well, two words really isn't a whole lot, especially since I'm the Queen of Rambling AND Queen of Tangents. You probably didn't realize you were interviewing royalty today, huh? Okay, okay…in all seriousness, I write contemporary YA and live in Maryland with my husband (BicycleDude) and two-year-old daughter (Toddler Trouble). I have a blog and also contribute to Adventures in Children's Publishing. Oh! And I'm running an awesome contest this week, so go check it out (and enter for a chance to win a crit from Carol!)
Oh, so sorry! Got a bit distracted. A fly, you know.
*Cambria tucks hands behind her back. Whistles.*
Eh hmm. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about where you are in your publishing journey and how it’s gone for you?
I signed with Vickie Motter of Andrea Hurst Literary Management in February and after doing a couple rounds of revisions, just went out on sub last week. It's been exciting, nerve-wracking, and fast and slow all at the same time.
Holy catfish, that's fast. How exhilarating! Must be hard to do anything but refresh email. What is your project about?
The story I queried is a contemporary YA called LIFE AFTER SEND. It's about a popular girl who sends a sext to her boyfriend, who must then deal with the social backlash when the picture gets a rather public viewing.
Dang, that sounds awesome. So timely and relevant to today's teens! I look forward to reading it. Would you tell us a little bit about what you’re working on at the moment? Any new projects?
I'm writing the first draft of another contemporary YA about two teens in love who question their place in each other's lives when what they thought they knew, turns out to be wrong. It's a dual narrative…and um, there's some other stuff that happens too. Obviously I need to work on my one-line pitch.
No work necessary. That has definitely piqued my interest. But I'm curious how you go about creating your new stories. Would you tell us a bit about your writing process?
My first drafts are usually all over the place because I'm an in-betweener – I outline a little and pants a LOT. But once I have the story down on the page, I create a big storyboard, which helps me see the major areas I need to fix, things like plot threads and pacing. After that, I send it to my critique partners to rip apart. And then it's REVISE, REVISE, REVISE.
Sounds like we work in similar ways!
Alright, it’s time for some invasive questions.
London or Fiji? Bring on the huts on stilts! Fiji for sure!
Beans or filet mignon? Depends on what kind of beans we're talking about…if we're talking about JELLY BEANS – then totally the beans! If not, then filet mignon.
Croissant and cappuccino or biscuits and gravy? Croissant and cappuccino!
Chocolate or Jared Leto? Hmm…tricky…I would say Jared Leto ONLY if I'm guaranteed Jared a la Jordan Catalano.
Dude, it’s been so AWEsome to have you here, I want to capture this moment forever with a picture. Smile.
Now this, folks, is Cambria Dillon. Smart, sweet, supportive, thoughtful, and super talented. She's got a mega bright future ahead of her. Be sure to stop by Cambria's blog and wish her a hearty congratulations! And while you're there, remember to enter her giveaway. For today, I've offered up a five page critique of the winner's manuscript, and Cambria's also giving away a SIGNED copy of FEED by M.T. Anderson. Holy cannelloni. And that's not even all. She's giving away prizes every day with a super prize on Friday. Go check them all out. And while you're there, you can take a peek at my interview with Cambria, in which you can get a glimpse of my agent story.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Cambria! It was a pleasure and an honor to have you.