Tuesday, September 11, 2007



If you'd like to own Sara Hantz's Young Adult novel, THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, leave a comment. One lucky commenter will have his/her name drawn and will win a copy of this great book! I'll probably have Sara conduct the drawing. She's very trustworthy. :)

Here's the write-up from Publishers Marketplace: Sara Hantz's debut THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN, about a girl who joins a virginity club in her new town to try to make a new start.

Sara Hantz is my talented agent sister. This means we're both lucky enough to be on Rachel Vater's team. Sara and I will probably meet in real life next summer. How fun is that? And here's the link to Sara's website.

And without further ado, here's the interview.

Me: Would you tell us how you got Rachel as your agent?

Sara: I’d always read Rachel’s blog and was very impressed by her expertise and the way in which she conducted her business. When I parted ways with my previous agent (this was an amicable split, after I sold my first book) I queried several agents and received a number of offers of representation. I arranged to call them all for a chat, and Rachel stood head and shoulders above the rest, especially in terms of getting my writing, and her vision for my future. And she’s really cool too. A perfect match!

Me: What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you aim for a certain number of words/pages per day/week?

Sara: When writing, my guiding principle is ‘little and often’ as I have a very low attention threshold and am easily distracted. So, I open my manuscript up first thing in the morning and dip in and out of it during the day. Some times I get more done than others, depending on how busy the motel is and how sidetracked I get on the internet. In the past I have set myself a daily page target. Normally, though, I just do what I can.

Me: Do you outline before starting a book?

Sara: YES, absolutely!!! I use part of the snowflake method for plot development (snowflake also covers characters, but I don’t do that bit). Snowflake was developed by Randy Ingermanson, www.ingermanson.com. I love planning and writing in a linear way. At the start of each day I will go over and edit what I did the day before. This means when I get to the end the revisions are less monumental than if I just wrote a ‘dirty first draft’ – the thought of which brings me out in hives ☺

Me: I understand you’re part of an online critique group. How does that work?

Sara: We’ve been together for about three years. The critiquing relationship sort of evolved. The others knew each other before knowing me. We all met face to face for the first time three years ago at the RNA conference in the UK. At that time Amanda and Pat were living in the UK, Christina was in Australia and I was in NZ. It started by us just reading each others work for interest, then we began critiquing. We don’t all write in the same genre but that doesn’t matter. We speak all the time on MSN and email daily. I don’t just see these girls as my CPs they’re my closest friends. This year Amanda moved from UK to NZ and Christina came over and joined us for the RWNZ conference. We all use the critiquing part differently. I send each chapter as I write it. Amanda may send us the first two or three chapters and then we don’t see the book again until the end. Christina does a mixture of both and Pat works more like I do. We not only critique, but also brainstorm, and also if one of us is going off track we’ll steer them back on. A couple of years ago when I was asked to do some revisions by an agent, I (unintentionally) didn’t do them properly and my CPs gave me what for…… I can’t thank them enough for that. But it takes a special kind of relationship for that to happen. And our relationship is VERY special!!

Me: What are you working on now?

Sara: I’m just finishing a book called DATING THE MEGAN RUSSELL WAY, which is about a teenage girl who sells psychic dating advice to make enough money to pay off a huge debt.

And now for the most scrumptious question of all...

Me: What is your favourite cookie?

Sara: Stem ginger biscuits covered in thick dark chocolate.

Thank you, Sara!!

Leave a comment for a chance to win THE SECOND VIRGINITY OF SUZY GREEN.


Char Glatkowski said...

Mmmmm, cookies! My favorite is toffee crunch, my own recipe. :) (Don't be too impressed. I only have the one recipe!)

Wonderful interview, Barrie and Sarah! Thanks for sharing.

The Snowflake Method is great, and very flexible.


Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Cookies? Did someone say cookies??? I think I would like a Black-and-White now, please.

Christina Phillips said...

Great interview, Barrie and Sara!

As for our crit group, I don't think I could function without it!

And cookies... anything covered in chocolate works for me! So long as no nuts are involved!

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed reading the interview. As someone with a short attention span, I can appreciate Sara's writing routine. Congrats to both Barrie and Sara on your recent deals! I would love to win the book.

Marcia Kipp (from RWASD)

soonergal83 said...

Congrats on your book deals!!! I think your book sounds like a fun read, Sara! Can't wait. Hope I win!

Chick said...

Great interview, I really enjoyed reading it. And the book sounds wonderful!

(from www.chicklish.co.uk)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know Sarah's stance on virginity in a YA novel. The book sounds interesting but I would shy away from anything didactic.


Jill from rwasd

Sara Hantz said...

Hey, thanks for all the comments.

Jill, I don't make a stand on virginity in the book. My aim is to portray teen life as it really is for those coming from the backgrounds I'm writing about. Great question!

tetewa said...

Enjoyed the interview and sounds like a great read!

Anonymous said...

Pat Posner says:

It took me all day to work out why the post ended at this point
"And now for the most scrumptious question of all..."
I couldn't scroll any furthet down Then I clicked on WIN THIS BOOK and hey, presto, all the missing text appeared.

Hi, Barrie and Sara
Great interview - especially the cp bit (awww!)

Whoever wins Sara's book is in for a fantastic read.


Barrie said...

Pat, thanks for the heads up re having to click on the title to pull up the entire blog! I've had this problem once before with blogspot.

Amanda Ashby said...

Oh, I'll have an anzac cookie if we're serving up!! Great interview, btw!!!!!

danetteb said...

I enjoyed the interview, its good to hear that you have a good agent representing you.

Anonymous said...

Just glad I sussed it, Barrie
Was sheer good luck or maybe just cussedness on my part - cos I hate being left out (grin)


Anonymous said...

What is the snowflake method? My favorite cookie is peanut butter, BTW
~Kelly @RWASD

cas2ajs said...

Enjoyed the interview. Cookies. My favorite are no-bake cookies. Yummy.
The book sounds interesting, something my 13-year-old daughter and I both could read. I also love the title and premise of the book you're finishing up.


Shari said...

Great interview! Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

I loved the interview, Barrie and Sarah.
I'm not familiar wit the snowflake method but my favorite cookie is Oatmeal chocolate chip.

Sara Hantz said...

If you check back to the interview you'll see I've put the email address of the guy who invented the snowflake method - R S Ingermanson.

aBookworm said...

Sounds like a great book. Count me in!

Authorness said...

Fabulous interview, Sara and Barrie! I read the brilliant Suzy Green today. Sara introduced me to the snowflake method a couple of years ago when I was struggling to finish a book - it works!