Congratulations to Meg Mitchell Moore on writing such an engaging and relatable DEBUT novel about the power of family. We can't say enough good things about The Arrrivals...or its author and that's why we chose her as our latest Lit: It Girl. So, forgive us, but we demand that you to buy it- and then start reading it-stat! And then start reading her list of answers to our Q's about how she made it in the publishing biz. It's an inspiring story for all of you aspiring authors out there or those just curious about the literary world. It can happen! But first, here's a taste of what The Arrivals is about... It's early summer when Ginny and William's peaceful life in Vermont comes to an abrupt halt.
First, their daughter Lillian arrives, with her two children in tow, to escape her crumbling marriage. Next, their son Stephen and his pregnant wife Jane show up for a weekend visit, which extends indefinitely when Jane ends up on bed rest. When their youngest daughter Rachel appears, fleeing her difficult life in New York, Ginny and William find themselves consumed again by the chaos of parenthood - only this time around, their children are facing adult problems.
By summer's end, the family gains new ideas of loyalty and responsibility, exposing the challenges of surviving the modern family - and the old adage, once a parent, always a parent, has never rung so true
And if you leave a comment, you'll be entered to win one of five copies of The Arrivals. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm EST on Sunday, August 7th.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...LIT IT GIRL: DEBUT AUTHOR: MEG MITCHELL MOORE
How many agents did you query before you found "the one"?
I don't know the exact answer to this question. Just for fun, I took a peek at my old "query" folder on my desktop and I quickly found 25 rejections. I know there were more that came through the mail, but don't know how many, and there may have been emails I deleted. So I'm guessing somewhere between 30 and 40. I'm sure there were some I sent out that never answered at all. I got every kind of rejection possible: the polite form rejection, the personalized but immediate rejection, the "I'd love to see the first chapter" followed by rejection, the "I'd love to see the whole manuscript" followed by rejection. Now that I understand how much agents do each day for their clients I am amazed anyone is able to write a personal response at all.
What was your rock bottom moment during the process? There was a time, about two months before I found my fabulous agent, when I had a few "almosts" in a row--each time, I thought I was going to get an agent, and each time it didn't work out. At that point I thought maybe this was not the right book to try to start off with. I remember going for a walk with my husband and telling him I was thinking of giving up the querying. He encouraged me to keep going.
How long did it take to write your book? First draft: about six months. Time to find an agent: another six months. Revising with agent after: six months. Time to sell once it went out to publishers: a little over a week.
What did you do to celebrate your book deal? I bought a beautiful Nespresso machine I'd had my eye on for some time. When I sold the book my husband was doing a program at Harvard Business School where he lived on the campus six out of seven days a week for two months. I was home with the three kids, and teetering on the edge of sanity. (Did I mention the littlest one was going through toilet training?) The book sale (and the Nespresso machine) helped my outlook tremendously.
Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? Let's see. I think I would have started earlier (I mean years earlier) making sure I had a manuscript that was ready to find an agent. I worked for a long time as a freelance writer and while I always had confidence in my writing ability it took me a while to gain confidence in my fiction writing ability.
Who is your writer crush? This doesn't have to be a male, right? I love Elin Hilderbrand. I was lucky enough to have her blurb THE ARRIVALS and have had some communication with her since then. I would love to have a drink with her at one of those glamorous Nantucket locations she's always writing about and pick her brain. I have a list of questions ready to go in case that ever happens.
What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? This is so lame and boring, but it's hard for me to write when there's a mess around me (and with three kids, there is always a little bit of a mess). I have to stop putting things away and make myself sit down. An unorganized drawer is like a siren call to me--if I know it's there, I'm drawn to it.
GNO drink of choice? Winter: cabernet sauvignon Summer: gin & ginger
Favorite trashy TV show? I have occasionally been known to tune into Real Housewives.
What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? I would not like to have a Twitter war. I am a pretty private person and I'd feel embarrassed. Not saying that's normal, but there you are!
Liz & Lisa