Today I have a treat for you all: an interview with Lindsay Eland, author of the middle grade novel, Scones and Sensibility. Take it away, Lindsay!
Q1. First off, my burning question to everyone published is at what point in the long road to publication did you actually think you could succeed, that you could make it into print?
A1. At the time, I had been writing for about four years, focusing mostly on writing picture book manuscripts and dabbling for the first time in a middle grade novel (and obviously I never looked back from that first dabble, though thankfully that manuscript is tucked safely in a drawer!). For my birthday that year my husband gave me a framed piece of paper that he had typed up for me. On it were statistics. Statistics like: "Dr. Seuss's first children's book, "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street," was rejected by 27 publishers. The 28th publisher, Vanguard Press, sold 6 million copies of the book." It was having this next to me at my desk and reading and rereading and rerereading all the statistics that led me to believe that, "I know for a fact that I WILL get published someday. Why? Because I refuse to give up." And as my editor says, "Publishing is about persistence."
Q2. Was there ever a point when it was the opposite, where you thought you couldn’t succeed in getting published? Dare to share the story?
A2. Umm, that pretty much happened daily until I actually saw the book with my own eyes and held it in my hand--and that was a month before the official release date! I still wrestle with that self-doubt every single day, as I think most authors do, wondering if we'll ever have another book come out into the world.
Q3. You have an amazing blog. I love to lurk around there and glean from your wisdom. Do you feel that blogging has helped you in your path to becoming an author? If so, in what ways?
A3. Thank you so much for "lurking" on my blog! :) Blogging is a ton of fun and though I didn't actually start writing a blog until my agent had already sold Scones and Sensibility, it has been extremely helpful as an author...if for no other reason than to get my thoughts out into the world and express myself creatively. Blogging also curbs my baking habit...you can only have so many dozens of cookies and loaves of pumpkin bread at one time.
Q4. And now for the hardest question yet: many of my readers are moms or are working full-time outside of writing. Can you give us some advice on how you manage to keep up this writing gig and mother kids to boot?
A4. I'm a pretty disciplined person, which pretty much means that I need to keep myself on a schedule or I'll wind up eating bon bons and watching poorly written Soap Opera's all day long :). So, in response to that horrifying image, I keep to a pretty basic writing schedule every day that my kids just accept as being a part of life. They don't question it, they just go off together and play and hopefully not kill themselves in the process. I think that moms need to change how they look at their writing. They are not bad moms for getting away for an hour a day by themselves! Actually, they are: 1. Doing something they love, which rejuvenates the spirit and enables you to LOVE your family better 2. They are pursuing their dreams And 3. They are teaching their kids to do the very same thing--to do something they love and pursue their own dreams! What could be better than that?!
Q5. As a kid, I went through a phase much like Polly’s where I wanted to be and live Anne Shirley’s life. I also had a match-making phase! Do have any thoughts or plans on making a sequel where we can hope to see Polly morph into another phase? If not, anything new in the works you can share?
A5. I have brainstormed a sequel to Scones and Sensibility, though nothing is written yet except a basic outline and a horribly written synopsis. But don't worry, I have not been bon bon eating nor Soap Opera watching! Instead, this past year I have written and completed two other contemporary middle grade novels, and I am currently working on an upper middle grade fairy-tale-esque (YAY for made-up-words!) type of book that has been a LOT of fun to write! (Fun being relative since I have not started revising it yet.)
Q6. Final question (a writerly one): long-winded first drafter or a skeleton sketcher?
A6. Definitely skeleton sketcher...I ALWAYS have to go back and add to my stories, which I am thankful for because it is MUCH harder for me to get rid of things...just look at my closet :)
Thank you so much for having me on your blog!
And thank you, Lindsay! I ADORED your answers. :o) To learn more about Lindsay and her writing, check out her beautiful website and blog.
Now for a chance to win Scones and Sensibility… Just leave a comment and be a follower. A chance to win will be open until Thursday, March 10th @ 8 pm MST. The winner will be announced Friday, March 11th, when we’ll have another author interview and giveaway.
Have a lovely weekend!