Q. How do you pronounce your name?
It’s definitely a tricky one—a flat “a” (like in “apple”) + dee + eh. Just put some Middle Eastern oomph behind it, and you’ve got it.
If you totally tuned out to that explanation, I pronounce my name in the first few seconds of THIS video.
Q. Where do you get your ideas?
Honestly, this will sound like such a cop-out answer, but I get my ideas from everything around me (cue the muzak). Sometimes it’s a song I love or a piece of art I like. Sometimes it’s a conversation I overheard while standing in line for coffee. And sometimes it’s just because I want to read a certain kind of book and haven’t found it yet. Then there are those wonderful moments of inspiration that arise from personal experience. It sounds exploitative, but I find the best inspiration in the everyday interactions I have with those around me.
In truth, I have several personalities lurking in shadowed corners of my brain. When one of them takes over and decides to write a book, who am I to stop him/her?
Q. How long does it take you to write a book?
On average, 4-6 months. Some of the things I write are a bit research-heavy, so there are times when I’ll spend a few months researching and putting together a paper brick of an outline. I’m serious. My dog used my last one as a step onto the couch.
I’m pretty sure if my agent or editor ever saw my outlines, both of them would run for the hills, screaming Old English hexes over their shoulders.
Q. How did you get published?
I sold my soul for a bag of magic beans.
Ha. The truncated truth is that I refused to give up. This industry is full of fantastically talented individuals, and each of the ones I’ve been privileged to meet has a limitless talent floating around the space they occupy. And yes, a few of them were also blessed to have a wonderful book at the exact right moment.
But every single one of them refused to take “no” for an answer. And every single one of them heard “no” many, many times.
If you want the whole truth and nothing but the truth, I wrote something HERE about getting published.
Q. Who is your agent?
Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency. And I’m convinced Sarah Palin stole the lipstick-wearing pit bull line from her.
Q. How did you get an agent?
I wrote a book. It sucked. Then I wrote another book that sucked less. By the time I wrote the third book, I started thinking I should try to get it published. I bought a bunch of books on querying agents and breaking into publishing. I read them religiously. Then promptly ignored all their advice. My first query was in second-person. Oh yeah. *high-fives self*
After I wrote my fourth book, I went to a Writer’s Digest conference, where I threw caution to the wind and marched up to Barbara with a bright-eyed grin and a bushy-tailed story.
Two weeks later, she offered me representation.
Again, if you want to know the specifics, HERE they are, in all their horrifying glory.
Q. How many agents did you query?
Which time? Seriously. I probably have two hundred rejections to my name, give or take. So many aspiring authors are concerned with the number of agents they query at any given time. You have to be the one to decide when enough is enough. But if you’re at a place where you’ve exhausted all viable options and are starting to query any semi-literate nutjob with a creaking shingle outside their door . . .
Maybe you should stop.
Q. How can I get in touch with you?
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to submit a comment below or on any of the other pages of this website. Also, I’m on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Tumblr.
Q. Will you read my book/query/synopsis/haiku?
Alas, no. I wish I had all the time in the world to read all the words in the world. But I do not.
On second thought, send me your haikus. I’ll read those.