Category Archives: julie mata

Draft # 3 DONE!

I just finished the third draft of Book #2! It feels so good to have gone through it again. I wish that this process could go faster, but right now since I’m in school my priorities are all out of order for now. Nevertheless, the third draft is done. Time to start thinking forward.

I have some more friends who are interested in reading the first 20 pages of the book which will give me an idea of what else I can do to make the book clearer. For this book I decided to mainly focus on dialogue and intentionally not describing the physical attributes of the characters. I know the lack of description might be frustrating for some readers, but I’m hoping that they begin to see the person they imagine being in the situations my characters are in. I’ll hopefully get more feedback on if my plan is working or if my readers want to know every detail of what the characters look like!

Now is also the time when I begin to think about querying agents. I really want this book to get some attention. The genre I think falls under New Adult fiction (between YA and adult) but I do not know if it’s proper to put that as a genre. It leans towards adult fiction because of issues of violence, sex, and language, but it reads easily like a YA. There’s always a gray area and that frustrates me, but hopefully that won’t be the biggest deal. Does anyone have experience with NA fiction? Any querying advice?

I am so excited to get started on the publishing process for Book #2. I’m eager to start working on the query letter and picking agents. It’s so nerve-wracking, but it will be fine. At this point I don’t think I can afford to self-publish Book #2 so if agents don’t work it will likely take a while to get it published. I’m optimistic that the angle this book is taking will at least get some attention and suggestions even if I don’t snag an agent right now. Fingers crossed!

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Meeting Julie Mata

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Mata, a local author in the Appleton area. My friend Alicia from the APL set up a meeting for the two of us to talk and share our experience as writers, authors, and the publishing process. Julie’s book¬†Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens¬†is a childrens/MG novel represented by Disney. However, despite having an agent and a great publisher, the two of us are pretty equal on the playing field.

Unfortunately for new authors, publishers are not terribly helpful. While Julie did receive a “down payment” for her book from the publisher, most of the marketing is on her. They do little advertising for her, but since Julie is not the biggest name in the industry, they don’t put a lot of money into getting her books out to the public. While this is disappointing, it was so helpful to hear from an author what her experience has been and how what I am doing now will eventually help me in the future if I do push for an agent.

Self-publishing and traditional publishing are both such difficult processes. It was amusing how as we listened to each others’ publishing process we were amazed at how much work the other did! I had to put down the money and make sure to get the proper editors, cover artists, and publisher of choice. Julie was paid for her book, but she had to query 50 agents and revise it 5 times before the book snagged an author.

It just goes to show, nothing about the industry is easy.

Yet, despite how much work it is, I love being published. I love being an author and creating a story. I love shameless advertising everyone I run into and talking up the book! I love the publishing process from getting 3,000 editor marks on a word doc to finalizing the cover art. I call writing my second starving artist career, but at this point in my life I would not change a thing. I know there’s no money in it (yet) and that it may take years before I am represented by an agent and people recognize my name. Even though the process is stressful as all h3ll I know I am in the right field because I can find the exciting bits in every process. I am revising book #2 and writing book #3 and while I may not get to work on one or both every day, I look forward to the small hours where I get to dig my hands into the world of fiction or tear apart chapters and make them better and more real. Talking with Julie got me excited again. It reminded me that it is possible to get an agent and it is possible for other people outside of my friends and family will be waiting for my next book. I cannot wait to start the query process soon for book #2!

(Also, check out Julie’s book below! Love the cover!)

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