A BIG welcome to literary agent and author, Lucienne Diver!
It is such an honor to have you here today. Let's get started, there's so much we want to know about you.
Revamped is a quirky and engaging read! Where did the story idea come from?
Thanks so much! Actually, originally Gina’s second story was going to go in a completely different direction. Then, once I got the plot on track, I decided that every third chapter was going to be from Bobby’s point of view. (Gina was actually going to give him some facetime…now that’s love!) But both turned out to be false starts.
One of my authors once said that she writes twice as much on each novel as is ever published, and I think that’s true for me as well. I throw out as much as I keep…sometimes more. Just like life, fiction doesn’t come with a road map. Oh, okay, some writers use these funky things called outlines, but I can’t seem to work like that. My stories are very character-driven, and characters, like people, are unpredictable. I always have a general idea where I’m going, but if I find that any specifics more than three or four chapters ahead are irrelevant by the time I get there.
Any obstacles during the writing process?
Noise! Coming from New York City, where the walls are fairly thick to tune out the neighbors, I was totally unprepared for what I swear are paper thin walls in Florida. I love my son and my puppy, but neither are exactly quiet, and it often isn’t cool enough here for me to go write on the dock, which is one of my favorite spots to sit.
The need to beat my household and my inner editor/critic awake are what prompt me to rise between 5:30 and 6 a.m. (depending on how late I was up the night before) to write.
What aspect of writing has been the most difficult for you?
Endings. I have a very bad habit of racing to the finish line once it’s in sight. Because of that, my endings generally suck the first time through and take several revisions or complete rewrites before they’re ready for prime time.
What is the first thing you like to do when planning a new project?
If it’s part of an on-going series, I usually have two or three completely divergent ideas about what I want to do. I sort of let both percolate and research in the various directions until one solidifies in my head and says, “This is it!”
How long did it take you to write Revamped?
Six months all told.
Any bites yet on movie rights?
I wish! There’s so much vampire material out there already that Hollywood’s pretty much said, “Enough!” It would be wonderful, though, if someone out there would fall for my characters the way I have. I mean, what would be cooler than a fanged Cher (Clueless) or Elle Woods (Legally Blond)?
Any advice for aspiring writers?
Don’t give up your dreams! I started writing when I was eleven. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I started selling. Some people are clearly quicker on the uptake, but the point is that writing, like any art, takes talent but then also refinement. Men and women aren’t born knowing how to work metal or fire glass or any other old thing. They might be self-taught or instructed, but either way there will be failed efforts, learning experiences, marked improvements and lots and lots of practice before success.
Any advice for writers seeking representation?
I won’t sugar-coat it, there’s a lot of competition out there. The days, if they ever existed, when agents or editors had time to nurture diamonds in the rough are long gone, which is why I always emphasize honing your craft. Once you’ve done that, it’s a good idea to do your research to find the right, reputable agents for your work. Whatever you write, there will be a writers organization that can help you, like:
The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA)
The Mystery Writers of America (MWA)
Romance Writers of America (RWA)
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)
And many others. These groups will likely have a list of agents they’ve vetted, who’ve made legitimate sales within the fields. Two other great reference sites are Preditors & Editors and SFWA’s Writer Beware site. Both give alerts and information for what to watch out for. For who’s selling what to whom or for interviews with publishing professionals, there are Publishers Marketplace (full subscription will cost) and Media Bistro (which won’t). The latter is comprised of many blogs; signing up will get you a daily summary of links and headlines.
How do you balance the time between agenting and writing?
I spent a lot of time on seesaws as a child, practicing for later life. Oh, seriously? Writing is a compulsion and agenting is a calling. I couldn’t give up either one. To stay sane, I only wear one hat at a time (see Author hat here). I write in the mornings before I’ve offered my agent-self enough caffeine to make an appearance. Then I have an agent who is not me to handle my work during business hours and to keep submissions et al at enough of a remove that I won’t obsess and can focus on my clients’ careers.
Where can we learn more about you?
Thanks for asking! Here’s my link soup:
To sign up for my newsletter: http://www.luciennediver.com/newsletter.html
Author blog: http://varkat.livejournal.com/
Character blog: http://ginasgems.livejournal.com/
Whew! I’m tired just looking at all these links. Wouldn’t swear I’m interesting enough to maintain them all!
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule. You rock!! And so does Gina! Any film agents out there reading this? Pleeeease, Gina would make for an awesome movie star!! She really would.
My pleasure. Thanks for having me here and for rocking so hard yourself!