Posted on 01/06/2016 at 12:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Most of the time, if not always, we ask our author Q&A subjects about their route to publication. C.M. McCoy, however, saved us the effort — she’d already written a three-thousand-word blog post about it.
That’s not because she’s wordy. It’s because her journey to publication was an epic one, littered with missteps and doubters; her story, on the other hand, is packed with hard-fought victories, humor, memes, and, finally, a triumphant GIF.
McCoy’s new adult romantic fantasy adventure, Eerie, was published last month by Omnific. Up next is YA/crossover thriller 30 Days With Dr. Death and continuing her work at a literary agency (which she stumbled upon while trying to publish Eerie).
SADYE: You’re a lifelong reader who always wondered about writing a novel. What pushed you to finally try?
C.M.: Honestly, the tipping point happened one night when I'd thought of a scene involving Eerie's main characters, Hailey and Asher. It was a scene that was ultimately cut from the book, but it was such a vivid and sad moment, it made me cry. (It was a scene at a grave.)
I knew I had to write it down, and when I grabbed my notebook, the words to describe that beautiful scene just came tumbling out of my pen. Once I started I couldn't stop.
SADYE: That scene was part of a falling-to-sleep fantasy story you’d been telling yourself for a year. Have you always told yourself such stories? I used to, but ran out of steam in college.
C.M.: Oh yes, always! And I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one! After I wrote that in my bio, I thought, “crap ... does that make me sound weird?” Here's to all the falling-to-sleep-storytelling-weirdos!
SADYE: While you fought to publish Eerie, were you ever tempted to give up?
C.M.: I'm too stubborn to quit! Really, there was never an urge to give up. Sure, I cried a few times, but I knew publication was a reasonable goal — I knew I had a great book.
I also knew it didn't fit neatly into any certain genre, and that was a huge turnoff for a lot of agents. Plus, it was a little on the long side (not as long as Twilight), but “too long to be marketable.” Or so I was told.
I didn't believe the naysayers. The folks I believed were my thirty-plus beta-readers who fell in love with Eerie and helped me shape it into the book it is today.
SADYE: With hindsight being 20/20, what would you have told younger C.M. McCoy to do differently?
C.M.: In all seriousness — nothing. I needed to make the mistakes I made to learn the things I learned and to discover the opportunities I discovered, if that makes sense.
SADYE: You have some great quotable reviews for Eerie. What’s your favorite reaction from a reader, about anything you’ve done?
C.M.: Probably the best reaction I got was from my Irish dance teacher, who's originally from Ireland and, like me, a hopeless romantic. After beta-reading Eerie, she compared me to J.K. Rowling, and I think I fainted.
SADYE: Are you still working at the literary agency?
C.M.: Yes, I'm the PR manager at Inklings Literary Agency, and things are going great!
I've got a world-class mentor-friend in Michelle Johnson, and I'm surrounded by outstanding writers. Every day I learn something new about the business, which to me is fascinating.
But the best perk in a literary agency job is e-meeting the authors and their readers. Such a fun group! I can't wait to meet them at the RT convention in Vegas this April!
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Categories: Author Interview