Hey everyone! It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a debut author interview. Sorry to post this one so late in the day – things have been terribly hectic with finals and then my computer decided it would prefer not to connect to the internet for undisclosed reasons. It’s probably mad at me for filling my hard drive with jpop albums.
I got to chat with Monica Ropal, author of 2014 YA Running Press debut THE BODY OF COOPER MCCAY! It’s an unconventional murder murder mystery with an awesome twist and I can’t wait to read it.
Monica Ropal writes from soon-to-be snowy St.Paul, Minnesota. She lives with her three children, husband, Daisy Dog and Molly Cat. She loves people, traveling, and traveling to see people. Her debut THE BODY OF COOPER MCCAY will be published with Running Press in Fall of 2014.
Can you tell us a little about your debut book?
THE BODY OF COOPER MCCAY is about Cass, whose secret boyfriend is murdered, and one of her best friends is the prime suspect. But it’s not your typical murder mystery–because it’s also about how Cass deals with violence, mourns her loss, and learns to emotionally trust again in the midst of trying to figure out who killed Cooper!
It will be released in the Fall of 2014 with Running Press.
What was the hardest part of writing this particular book?
I’m a natural pantser, but the mystery aspect of the book required more forethought, and dare I say OUTLINING. Well . . . at least roughly.
What is it about young adult fiction that draws you in as a writer?
The emotion. Connecting to life experiences that resonate. Emotional memory is so deep and last forever. Even if I’ve never experienced the actual events (especially in fantasy, etc.), they can tap into an emotional truth that I can identify with.
Was there ever a time when you seriously considered giving up on your writing dream?
The process is sooo long–with plotting, the writing, the revising . . . the revising again and again and again . . . and querying–and all of the rejection that is inevitably a part of it all . . . it can get discouraging, to say the least. Every writer feels that way, I’m sure. I think, for me, getting through it all is due to the support of people who really GET IT. Twitter, conferences, and my critique partner, in particular, is not just there to give editorial advice, she’s there with virtual hugs and brownies–and I do the same for her.
Could you tell us anything about how you met your agent?
In the midst of querying, I took a Writers Digest webinar with Barbara Poelle (PLUG! She has another one coming up with Holly Root on Oct 24th). Along with the entertaining (she’s hilarious) and informative class, she also critiqued our query letters. Lucky for me, she liked mine, and asked for the full. An R&R later, she offered rep.
Do you have any advice for writers trying to get published?
Have a supportive critique partner/group! Reach out to other writers. (Find me on TWITTER! @MonicaYAWriting) Keep working. Keep revising. Don’t give up–on your writing or on getting a top-notch agent. Celebrate every little success on the way to the big ones.
Keep an eye out for THE BODY OF COOPER MCCAY! (Maybe it’s in a car trunk? In the basement?) And be sure to follow the fabulous Monica on Twitter.