We've been loving all the fantastic books about dogs lately. From Stay by Allie Larkin to You Had Me At Woof by Julie Klam we've been in doggy heaven. And this week is no exception! Today, the fabulous Eve Marie Mont, debut author of Free to a Good Home, is hanging out with us here at CLIND. And let's just say, she's definitely Lit IT Girl material! In Free to a Good Home, Noelle Ryan works as a veterinary technician at a New England animal shelter, helping pets find the perfect homes. If only it were as easy to find the same thing for herself. After discovering that she can’t have children—and watching her marriage fall apart after a shocking revelation by her husband—Noelle feels as forlorn and abandoned as the strays she rescues.
And now you have a chance to win this fabulous book. Just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of FIVE copies. So. Freakin'. Easy!
SO... read on to discover more about the fantastic Eve-we think you'll enjoy her answers as much as we do! (Anyone who makes a Dawson's Creek reference is a friend of ours for life!)
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS: LIT IT GIRL, EVE MARIE MONT!
1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? I wrote a novel before Free to a Good Home that never got published, and I probably queried over 50 agents for that one. My search for representation for this book was a little more focused, hovering around the 30 mark. After six months of nibbles and rejections, I followed up with a handful of agents who hadn’t responded yet, and one of them said my manuscript must have gotten lost in their vetting system. So I sent it to her again, she read it, loved it, helped me revise, then signed me on at Kimberly Cameron & Associates. Her name is April Eberhardt, and she’s a pro!
2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process? My earlier novel was ultimately rejected by every agent I sent it to. One small publisher requested the full manuscript, and I spent two months with my fingers crossed, hope and anxiety coursing through my veins. Finally, the editor wrote me a letter saying they couldn’t publish my book because my characters drank too much, and the love interest was not “sufficiently paramount” in the heroine’s life. In hindsight, they probably weren’t the right publisher for me, but it was a crushing moment all the same.
3. How long did it take to write your book? Because Free to a Good Home was my second book, I didn’t obsess about it quite as much as the first. It took me about a year to write the book, then my agent and I revised it for two months to get it polished for editors.
4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal? My husband bought me a bottle of champagne and St. Germaine, and we went to our favorite BYOB and ordered every course on the menu. On my release day, we went on a field trip to local bookstores where my husband took dorky pictures of me holding my book.
5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? I’m an introvert by nature, so I’m still unsure about social networking. When I first got my book deal, I started a website, Facebook page, and blog without really knowing how to utilize them. Looking back, I wish I’d found a mentor who could have guided me through the process. I also wish someone had given me the magical formula for getting a book blurb!
6. Who is your writer crush? Right now, probably Jonathan Tropper. His books are so smart and funny, but there’s tons of heart there. My brooding high school self would have said Neil Gaiman. Oh, and Elizabeth Berg is still my all-time favorite.
7. What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? Often when I’m writing, my dog will lie next to me and lean her head against my arm while I’m trying to type. Book blogs also suck considerable time. And Goodreads—love that site!
8. GNO drink of choice? My standby is a gin and tonic, but if it’s a special occasion, I’ll ask for a White Cosmo. If the bartender doesn’t know how to make it, it’s Grey Goose vodka, white cranberry juice, St. Germaine, and a splash of lime. Tastes like lychee fruit!
9. Favorite trashy TV show? Definitely Vampire Diaries. My husband totally makes fun of me for this because I am so not a vampire junkie in general. I only read the first Twilight book, never watched an episode of True Blood, and didn’t read Anne Rice, even when everybody and her grandmother were reading Anne Rice. But there’s something about Vampire Diaries that makes me giddy. I like to think it’s not just that every character is ridiculously good-looking. Incidentally, one of the writers, Kevin Williamson, also wrote Dawson’s Creek, a guilty pleasure of mine ten years ago. He’s brilliant at playing with the audience’s allegiance to the characters—I never know who to root for from week to week.
10. What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? My brother set me up a Twitter account just before my book came out, but it remains sadly neglected. I’m not much of a fighter by nature, but one of my feistier characters would love to have a go at the guy who called Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak pornography.
Thanks Eve! xo, Liz & Lisa