We have a lot of fantastic authors at OneFour KidLit and are excited to introduce them all to you. Today, we’re talking to MarcyKate Connolly, author of MONSTROUS (HarperCollins Children’s Books, Summer 2014). One author, four questions. Here we go!
Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?
A heck of a lot if trial and error! MONSTROUS was the 7th book I wrote and 4th I queried over the course of nearly 4 years. I came so close with the book before it and I’d hit my lowest point when I decided I had to shelve it. Low enough that I was terrified to query MONSTROUS. Fortunately, I have an awesome support group, er, critique group, and the combination of their enthusiasm and the writing community’s when I started entering it in contests gave me the courage to do it. 6 weeks later, I had offers from 3 amazing agents. I signed with the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary and went on sub right after Labor Day. We had interest within a couple days and the first offer in 8 – my head is still spinning just thinking about it! We let the other editors know, waited until the deadline, and then decided to officially accept the offer from HarperCollins Children’s Books. I could not be more thrilled!
The moral of the story? Publishing is tricky and unpredictable. Sometimes it feels like you’re so far from getting an agent or editor, but you can wake up the next day and find everything has changed. So keep trying and failing with all your might as long as you love it, because you never know!
What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?
MONSTROUS is Frankenstein meets the Brothers Grimm from the viewpoint of the monster as a teenage girl.
This main character is hands down the strangest and trickiest I’ve ever written. She’s a monster sewn together from human and animal parts so she has an instinctual ferocity to her, yet she’s also very innocent. She’s a walking contradiction and it was definitely a challenge to pull off believably. I think I did her justice though!
What cool facts might readers not know about you?
1) Before I started writing seriously, I composed music. I wrote an opera about Hamlet’s journey through the underworld after Shakespeare’s play ended as the equivalent of a senior thesis in college. The plot was my own devising, but the words were all from different Shakespeare plays that I had pulled out, then strung back together to fit the new storyline. I still write music from time to time, but I eventually realized that I am considerably better at writing words.
2) I have a MS in Arts Administration which means I get to work behind the scenes at arts organizations such as symphonies, opera companies, and theatres.
3) I got the MS in Arts Administration in part because my dream of being an opera singer clearly wasn’t going to pan out. I have crippling stage fright and choke when I’m up on stage which makes it rather hard to sing, you know?
What are you most excited about in the debut process?
Honestly? EVERYTHING. Getting my edit letter. The cover art. First pass pages. Seeing my book in Barnes & Noble. Having kids read my book. Shall I go on? ;P
|MarcyKate Connolly is an author and arts administrator who lives in New England with her husband and pugs and writes weird little books. She’s also a coffee addict, voracious reader, and recurring commuter. She blogs about all those things and more at MarcyKate.com, and can often be found on Twitter. Her debut upper MG/Tween fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children’s Books in summer 2014.|