||Did you always want to be a writer?
The first thing I really wanted to be was a veterinarian (this lasted until I realized I couldn’t stand the smell of formaldehyde). When I was thirteen, my parents bought a Victorian house from author Millie J. Ragosta, who had used the house as the setting in two of her books. From that point forward, I was hooked.
You were the winner of the SCBWI-MI novel mentorship competition for 2009. Tell us about this experience and how it helped you meet your writing goals.
This was such a fantastic opportunity! My mentor was the amazing Shutta Crum who read and gave me feedback on my novel five times throughout the year. We met every couple of months to talk about the suggestions Shutta had. She also shared with me some of her favorite first pages of other YA novels, and referred me to articles and books that addressed specific areas I needed to work on.
How did you find your agent?
I used querytracker.net to identify agents that represented YA authors. As a member (it’s free to join), I was able to track on-line who I’d submitted to and what their responses were. I actually met my agent, Kevan Lyon, at a RWA chapter meeting.