QueryTracker Blog

Helping Authors Find Literary Agents

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Interview with Author Leah Clifford

I'm thrilled to announce a very special sale. Leah Clifford has been a member of QueryTracker family since the beginning and is the moderator for the QT Forum. I've had the good fortune of meeting Leah in person and she's fantastic--witty, smart and just plain fun. This couldn't happen to a cooler person. When she gave us the good news, the QT family had a lot to celebrate.

Leah has sold her book, A Touch Mortal, in a three book deal! The announcement can be found here. The quote from Publisher's Weekly reads as follows:
In another deal for a book that toys with life spans as we know them, Rosemary Stimola of Stimola Literary Studio landed six figures for three books by YA novelist Leah Clifford. Virginia Duncan, v-p and publisher of HarperCollins's Greenwillow Books imprint, pre-empted North American rights in the transaction, and the first book in the planned trilogy, A Touch Mortal, is slated for winter 2011. InTouch, the heroine, Eden, is a lost soul trapped in limbo between the living and dead, a being known as a Sider; her unique powers have put her at the crossroads of a showdown between the angels of Heaven and Hell.
Leah agreed to an interview and we look forward to another as her release date nears.

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QueryTracker: You had several offers of representation from literary agents. What made you decide to sign with Rosemary Stimola?

Leah Clifford: Ro was the first to offer, and when you have work out with other agents, it's important to let them know you have an offer so they have a chance to read too. After hearing back, I had four offers, all from agents that were on my dream list. The whole time I kept waiting for someone to wake me up. I had phone conversations with each agent, and in the end, I felt like I connected best with Ro and that she embodied what I was looking for most in an agent/client relationship.

QT: What is the revision process for your editor like?

LC: I totally don't know if I'm supposed to talk about it but hey, this is the kind of stuff I was dying to know when I was getting going so I'm gonna spill. I JUST started in the editing process so I'm not sure if there will be more or not, but I do know because of my publication date I've gotta turn them around pretty fast. My actual letter was sent email and covered more of the big picture stuff, character's emotional arcs and stuff like that. The mss was mailed to me with notes she'd made while reading. Now, I should say that I love to edit. LOVE IT. Most people don't. But for me, any chance I have to make my story better or stronger I jump on, so I'm kind of dancing about my edits. :)

QT: You are a founding member of QueryTracker and the moderator for the QT forum. How has QT affected your career?

LC: QueryTracker has been ....I really can't even put into words how much QT has helped me. I was extremely lucky to find it so early in the process. Every step I've taken in this crazy road to publication, QT has been essential--from encouragement to finding beta readers to finding my agent. I wouldn't HAVE a career without QT.

QT: You are a member of YA Rebels, a group of young adult authors. I've loved following the YA Rebel tweets and vlogs. It's a fun mixture of personal and publishing information. Tell us about how it got started. What are the goals of the group?

LC: Thanks! I'm so glad you like it! We do try to keep a balance so there's information for both writers and readers and over the next few months we're looking to bring you some VERY fun topics.

The original idea was pretty simple. I'd been kicking around starting a collab channel on youtube, and brought up the idea with Courtney Moulton. We wanted to get a group together that were all agented, some with books sold, all in different places. Courtney had a few others in mind she thought would be a good match and once the ball got rolling it happened REALLY fast. From the start, we knew we wanted to mix fun and serious and have a lot of interaction with our subscribers. Our goals were pretty simple. There was a ton of information out there for finding an agent, but not much on what happens AFTER. We kinda wanted to pull back the curtain a bit on that, and have fun doing it! (sidenote: If you have any topics you'd like to see the Rebels hit, we'd love to hear them-- YARebels (at) gmail (dot) com)

QT: Any advice for aspiring writers?

LC: Want it more than anything in the world. Work harder than you ever have in your life. Don't be afraid to get your hopes up and don't be afraid to be disappointed when you're rejected. Be stubborn enough to get back up and try again.

Oh, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee.

I also wanted to say thank you so much for the interview, Mary and for everything you the other QTers have done for writers with this blog!

* * * * *

We're excited to be one of Leah's first interviews in what we know will be a stellar career. We wish her the best of luck. If you haven't checked out the YA Rebels, you should--highly entertaining.

More on Leah Clifford can be found on her website. Join us in congratulating Leah, who worked hard for this.

I love it when the good guys win, don't you?

Have a great week!



Kristi said...

A huge congrats to Leah and thanks for the interview! I'm off to check out YA Rebels.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Great interview! It always amazes me how much editing there is even after you've worked with your agent before the book is sold.

I'm looking forward to read the book.

Christine Fonseca said...

Great interview! I interviewed Leah today too...check it out at http://christinefonseca.wordpress.com/2010/02/10/an-interview-with-ya-author-and-rebel-leah-clifford/

Alli said...

Leah, that is really exciting and inspirational news. Congrats!

Michelle McLean said...

Congrats Leah!!! You so deserve this :) Great interview - I'm so excited for you!!

Annarkie said...

Congrats to Leah! Success stories always thrill and inspire me!

Words In, Words Out said...

Thanks everyone!



Elana Johnson said...

Congrats Leah. :)

Diana said...

Leah, congratulations!

Suzette Saxton said...

Congratulations, Leah!!! Great interview, Mary.

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

Yay Mary and Leah!! Again, SUPER FRICKIN HUGE CONGRATS to you, girl. You deserve it. YA Rebels FTW!

*fist pump!* haha