Q: How do I get published? How did you?
A: Everyone has their own unique path to publishing. I got started as a hobbyist on Wattpad; I'd always had a passion for writing, but I never saw it as a career option. I was twenty when I started posting on Wattpad, and it was really just for fun at first, a place to trade critiques with other writers. Then I began to research the industry and realize that there was a potential career in this thing I had been doing since I was eleven. I began querying in 2016, but my work was not ready for professional eyes yet. I continued posting on Wattpad as my craft improved, and as their company grew, so did my opportunities with them. In 2019, when I was twenty-four and gearing up to query yet again, I was offered a book deal for my messy first draft of SEA GLASS, which would turn into my debut, THE SUMMER I DROWNED.
The most straight-forward way to get traditionally published is to get a literary agent who can submit to publishers for you, which I'm happy to say I now have so I can continue to share stories with the world in the future. But these days, there are many paths you can take. It's important to research and find out which is best for you, whether that's indie, self-publishing, or going the trad route.
Q: How did you get a literary agent?
A: Years and years of perseverance and persistence. I've queried three projects in total since 2016, some with multiple rounds of edits/queries. Ultimately, it was the third manuscript I queried that landed me an agent. And to be clear, that was not the third manuscript I had written and completed--it was actually my seventh full-length novel.
I worked on it for about two years total before sending that first query. But everyone's process is different. It's helpful to get trusted eyes on your work and objective feedback.
Q: Are you going to publish more books?
A: Absolutely! I'm working with my literary agent to create more commercial content to submit to publishers, mainly YA Thrillers and Mysteries. My writing has evolved and changed a lot since I published THE SUMMER I DROWNED. I hope I can share them with you soon!
Q: Will you read my book or query?
A: Please check out my business website for Hale Editorial if you're interested in working with me!
Q: What is your favorite book?
A: This might sound odd from a writer, but I truly don't have a favorite book aside from this awesome indie novel. I was also very moved by Between Us and the Moon by Rebecca Maizel and All in Pieces by Suzanne Young . And anything by Kara Thomas, but especially Little Monsters. As a kid, I loved the Robyn Hunter series by Canadian author Nora McClintock. Recently, I loved Sadie by Courtney Summers.
Q: What inspires you to write?
A: I am inspired by my own life experiences when it comes to building characters, although they do become their own people, very much different from me in many ways. Other people's lives inspire me, stories I hear, true crime, etc, and of course, I'm inspired by other writers!
Q: What do you do when you're not writing?
A: Thinking about writing, mostly, but also rock climbing, playing video games, doing Magic the Gathering drafts with my friends, sitting on a patio with a cider (when it's nice out), or at the gym, lifting weights and listening to my writing playlists on repeat.
Q: What's your advice for new writers?
A: Write a lot and don't stop. Explore new ideas when you hit writer's block. Try to persevere to the end, but it's okay to take breaks from WIPs, and it's okay to embrace your own personal process, even if it seems slow. Don't limit your creativity. Research endlessly and read in your genre. Try not to compare yourself to other writers; everyone starts somewhere, and writing is a craft you must develop. It's okay to suck. It's okay to write bad first drafts. And learn to take criticism. No one can improve their writing without it. Also: never fall into the trap of thinking one of your stories is your best work or "the one," because you might find yourself disappointed if it doesn't get you the opportunities you want. Be realistic, and when querying/on submission, always always always be working on your next project. Get excited about it! If you're a writer, you will have lots of stories in you.
Q: What are some random facts about you?
A: Well no one really asked this but here's some anyway: I've been ranked Mythic in MTG Arena (the highest rank! I had no life!). My favorite video game is The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, although Elden Ring became a close contender in 2023. I was diagnosed with ADD (now known as Inattentive ADHD) when I was in the fourth grade. I took creative writing classes in high school--twice--and did terribly both times, too afraid to submit anything honest. I went to college for a year for internet development and consistently ditched class so I could write, or just wrote in class until I accepted the program wasn't for me and dropped out to work part-time and focus on writing all the time. I used to bartend at a live music venue that mostly held blues and old rock shows. My music taste ranges from indie rock to indie pop to electronica to classic rock and oldies. I love frogs and have a leopard gecko.
Oh, and I was really into Naruto for like, nine years before it ended.