A bit about Monica (in her own words):
I'm a YA fiction writer represented by Michelle Wolfson of Wolfson Lit. I was born in Peru and was raised in Chile. With my sister in Australia and my father living in Ethiopia, I've had no choice but to be a bilingual world traveler. And I love it! I travel around the globe with my husband and three kids, learning about different cultures and countries.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in business and a master’s degree in HR, I settled with my husband in a very small town in Chile, near the Pacific Ocean. (link)
Q and A:
What genre do you write and how did you get the idea for your novel?
YA fiction. I just love YA. =)
Um, I have more than one YA novel up my sleeve. But I get my ideas from things I really like, or often obsess about. Take the first YA novel I wrote: it’s set in the afterworld. And since I was little, I often wondered what happened when you died. So ta-da! I wrote a novel about that.
What kept you pursuing your dream of finding an agent even when you felt discouraged?
OMG, yes! Sometimes I felt very discouraged. But I guess I kept pursuing my dream because I’m so stubborn. If you don’t believe me, you can ask my hubby. ;)
I know that the process of finding your agent was a very unique one. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Yes! It was really unusual! I got my agent through the Baker’s Dozen Auction on MSFV Blog. (For those of you who haven’t heard about it, the auction was a sort of contest in where many agents participated.)
And what can I tell you? When I was querying, I always tried to read a lot of Twitter feeds, blogs, Absolute Write Threads, Query Tracker comments, etc., to find out if there were contests out there. There are many going on, always. So I totally think it’s worth it to spend some minutes every day to look for them.
When taking “The Call,” is there one thing you would recommend a writer be prepared for?
I think that when you have some fulls out, you should be ready with the questions you’d like to ask agents if they were to offer. Because some agents like to SURPRISE you!
Luckily, my call was scheduled, so I had my questions right beside me, and Michelle was kind enough to answer them all.
There are many sites on the internet that suggest what you should ask, and I think it’s good to Google some of them.
Based on personal experience, what final advice could you give to other writers? This can involve the querying process, general writing advice, or both.
I’ve said this before in another interview, but I’ll say it again because this is what I would have liked to hear when I started writing:
Lawyers and architects take more than 5 years to start working. Doctors take even longer. Then why writers would take just a few months to publish something? So have patience—if you want to learn the craft of writing it *usually* takes time to get it right.
Just for fun short answers:
Just one? Geez, I have MANY! But okay, I’ll bite. A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
If you could be any fictional character, who would it be?
Hermione Granger! I mean, who wouldn’t want to have magic powers? ;)
Thank you so much for your time, Monica! <3 I know readers will enjoy getting a glimpse into your journey as a writer.
Thank YOU for having me on your blog today! I really feel honored! And I had a blast answering your questions. <3