WIPpet Wednesday: A BIG announcement and an “interview”

I’ve been putting off saying anything because I wanted all my ducks in a row, but now that everything’s in order, I’m ready to reveal my big, huge, ENORMOUS secret:

I have a publisher. As in, signed contract, paycheck, editing and publication schedule, actual-real-live publisher.

Oh, my.

I’m going to be a published author.

*faints*

Sorry about that; I’m back. The novel I’ve been editing (which I posted snippets of until mid-March), Lower Education, will be out early next year. I think I’m still in shock. Getting this thing whipped into shape is a long, difficult process. Some days, I enjoy it. Other days, I want to smack every single one of my characters and tell them to just do as I say.

In honor of my exciting news, I’m jumping on the character interview bandwagon. I snagged Phin and locked him in the room sat down with him to chat. I know I didn’t have to play by official rules, but I did anyway. 5/21/14 = 5 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 4 = 13 questions.

Phin sits on the couch, leaning back, one ankle resting on the opposite knee and his arm draped lazily over the back of the couch. He leans his head back and closes his eyes.

Me: Thanks for stopping by.

Phin: I didn’t exactly have a choice. Ugh. Do you have any coffee? I’m dying. It’s way too early.

Me: You got up early when Alex asked you to.

Phin: Yeah, but that was different, and I still wish I hadn’t. Coffee?

Me: Nope. Here’s some water, though.

Phin: Is this going to take long? I have plans.

Me: Oh, really? That’s news to me.

Phin: You don’t know everything about me.

Me: That’s what you think. We’re going to play 20 questions. Well, okay, 13 questions, because this WIP thing has to mesh with the date. That’ll wake you up. Ready?

Phin: Are you sure it can’t wait til I’ve had coffee?

Me: I’m sure.

Phin: [groans] Fine. Go ahead.

Me: All right. We know how you got stuck—er, ended up in North Cowell. First question: Do you miss the city?

Phin: Hell, yes. There is nothing to do here. And also people I’d rather not talk to but can’t really hide from because there is f***ing nowhere to go.

Me: Yeah, I get the sense it’s pretty quiet. If you had a day to do whatever you wanted, no restrictions, and your only goal was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Phin: [smirks and uncrosses his legs; leans forward] I think I could find something.

Me: You seem to have forgotten I wrote you. I know all your tricks.

Phin: Nope. You don’t.

Me: [rolls eyes] Whatever. Let’s stick with that theme. What’s your ideal date?

Phin: Why don’t you tell me about yours instead?

Me: Because this is about you.

Phin: No, I mean that is my ideal date. I like to know what the other person wants and then deliver spectacularly.

Me: In order to manipulate them?

Phin: That counts as one of the questions.

Me: Fine. Then answer it.

Phin: Yes. Sometimes it’s because I want something. But sometimes, it’s just because, believe it or not, I like to make people feel good. [winks] In more ways than one.

Me: Is that what’s going on between you and Alex?

Phin: [flushes] No. He just…pushes my buttons, that’s all. And I can’t read him, which pisses me off.

Me: Are you going to tell me what happened between you that made him so angry with you?

Phin: [examines his hands] I don’t really want to talk about that. I was twelve, okay? I was a little s**t.

Me: That’s fair. I shouldn’t have asked. Let me try something different. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Phin: What’s with the heavy questions? I don’t really know. If you’d said five years ago I’d be here, I’d have laughed at you. Always thought I’d be married with kids, living some suburban dream. Life just gets in the way sometimes, I guess. I didn’t really sign up for this s**t, but it found me anyway. God. Can we talk about something else now?

Me: Sure. The rest are just your basic rapid-fire. Here we go. Coffee or tea?

Phin: Coffee, damn it!

Me: Cats or dogs?

Phin: Dogs.

Me: Morning or night?

Phin: Night, clearly.

Me: Ocean or mountains?

Phin: Definitely ocean. Mountains are overrated.

Me: Beer or wine?

Phin: Both are good. Nothing else, though. I’m a bit of a lightweight.

Me: Radio station?

Phin: [cringes] News or sports. Sorry.

Me: Last one.

Phin: Thought you said thirteen.

Me: Bonus question. Because I’m in charge.

Phin: Hey! That’s not fair.

Me: I know. Favorite thing about Alex?

Phin: I hate you.

Me: [evil grin] Just answer the question.

Phin: [huffs] He actually cares about people. Unlike you, obviously.

Me: I care. I care deeply about making you uncomfortable. Anyway, I’ll let you go get your coffee now. Thanks for hanging out with me.

Phin: [escapes as fast as he can]

Happy WIP’ing, everyone! Thanks to K. L. Schwengel, our excellent host. Be sure to read the other entries, and hopefully add one of your own!

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33 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: A BIG announcement and an “interview”

  1. Wow many congratulations on being a published author!! I’m so jealous *sighs* Seriously though, it’s great and if you have any tips on how you managed it I’m all ears!!

    Lovely interview. Phin’s personality came across really well. I’m glad you didn’t let him bully you. Looking forward to reading his story soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I have no advice. When I started writing Lower Education, it didn’t even have a title, because I never intended to publish it. LOL! When it was done, everything sort of fell together just right.

      Phin is one of my favorite characters. He’s part awful, part charming. I suppose I get what some of his previous…ahem…relationships? dates? see in him, but I wouldn’t want him.

      • It’s interesting that you say things fell into place for you. I get the impression that that is quite often the case with being published.

        I like what you say about Phin – he sounds like a bad boy, hugely attractive, but not necessarily a keeper!!

        • Yes, I think Alex is about the only person who can put up with him because he isn’t going to fall for a few fluffy words. He’s just as strong-willed as Phin.

          And yeah, I do think publishing is a strange combination of hard work and happy coincidences.

        • Actually, I only sent it to one publisher, though I was prepared for rejection and many rounds of queries. I wasn’t going to publish, believe it or not. I was going to use it as a series on my blog or maybe post to a fiction site like FictionPress.com. I figured it was just a start, dipping my toe in the fiction waters. But through my work beta reading, I met another author (who also shares her WIPs in the linky thing on Wednesdays). I love her writing, and we’ve been working together for a while—over a year, but I’m not sure how long. She encouraged me to publish. She said her publisher might want it, so I sent it. It was just a series of various things that all came together just right.

    • LOL! That was fun to write. And thanks—I’m still in a little bit of disbelief, even with a contract sitting right next to me.

  2. HUMONGOUS CONGRATULATIONS!! *glances over shoulder* And…um…in honor of that…well the monkeys have been just dying to show off the mini-skirts and pom-pons some mysterious person sent them in the mail so, just for you… ta-da! *flourishes a hand, monkeys come out to perform*

    Love this WIPpet interview by the way. I do adore Phin. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Hey, as long as the monkeys aren’t attacking, they are welcome here. At least until they start throwing things and swinging from the chandelier.

      Phin is one of my favorites. I think I may have to interview Alex next, in part because I’m still trying to get inside his head. Phin’s right—he’s tough to read.

  3. Cute interview, Amy. Though… as someone who has dealt with her own fair share of headstrong characters, I’m curious about your perception that you know everything about Phin. You mean your characters have never surprised you? (I know people for whom this seems the case, but it’s an alien concept for me. My characters are always taking liberties).

    Congrats on the publishing conquest Parabens menina!

    • LOL! Well, it was meant to be a bit tongue-in-cheek, just some banter between author and character and not meant too literally. But actually, I do have a philosophy about that. I firmly believe my characters don’t exist somewhere in time/space independently of me. They really did come out of my head. I may joke about not being able to get them to behave, but if I wanted to, I could essentially make them be and do whatever I want. This story began with the idea that the two original POV characters (Phin and Dani) would end up together. It wasn’t working for me, so I changed the story. But I easily could have looked for a way to make it happen if I really wanted to write it that way. The reason I didn’t was that I felt I could say more, make more social commentary, if I changed direction. I always think that as I discover each character and situation, I’m not really learning about independent people but about something deeper within myself or the not-fictional people I love.

      • Now that I can totally relate to. Too often, we don’t even know ourselves deeply enough to access the people our characters are. Or the parts of us our characters are.

        Of course, that is part of the journey.

  4. Yaaaaaaay, congratulations!! I loved the character interview! All of his smirking and arrogance and winking, lol. Too bad he wouldn’t really answer the question about Alex very straightforward…

    • Thanks!

      I really liked the character interviews I saw the other WIPpeteers do. It’s neat to see the characters a little out of their context and get to know them more personally. It was fun to write, and a nice break from editing! ๐Ÿ™‚

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