Friday, June 20, 2014

Author Event: Getting it Published with Catherine Linka and Mollie Traver

On June 12th, 2014, I had the privilege of attending an author/editor event for Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Called Fearless, and her former editor, Mollie Traver.

The event was held at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore down in Redondo Beach. Catherine and Mollie set out to explain the long and somewhat arduous process of publishing a book.

Before the two dove into publishing, though, Catherine read an excerpt from A Girl Called Fearless, her debut novel.

Publishers Weekly described the novel: "Set in an alternative present day US, this debut features a teen who must decide whether to submit to forced marriage or run for freedom".

As a work of speculative fiction, the book focuses on the life of a young women living ten years after a hormone in beef triggered ovarian cancer in women across the country, killing millions of women. In the wake of this catastrophe, women's rights have been severely limited and society has become exceedingly patriarchal.

Frequently passing the mic back and forth, Catherine and Mollie sought to explain the different steps between the author writing his/her work and the book being released. The two explained getting a book agent, shopping the book around (sending the book to different publishing companies), and the process of working on "spec" (if no publishing company is willing to take the book, an editor can ask an author to work with them to edit the book in the hopes that an edited version will have more luck with publishers).

One of the more interesting aspects of the process of publishing A Girl Called Fearless was all of the changes that had to be made after the book was put out on the publishing market. Unfortunately, the original manuscript wasn't considered due to its similarity to the multitude of YA dystopians in the market at the time, thus necessitating some modifications. While the original manuscript was set in the far future, the setting was altered to the present in order to distinguish the book from futuristic dystopian books. Additionally, the original manuscript employed a virus to kill off millions of women, but the viral outbreak was substituted by a large number of cancer cases because viruses are frequently used to kill of populations in many dystopian books.

As a reader, I am very appreciative of the immense effort that went into A Girl Called Fearless, as it would not exist in its captivating and brilliant final form without all that work poured into it. The event was wonderful, and it was fascinating to hear about the complexities of publishing.

A full review of A Girl Called Fearless may be expected in the upcoming weeks.

Note: Photo credit goes to Nutschell Windsor, who graciously allowed us to use her photos of the event.

Thank you, Carolyn for sharing about your visit to Mysterious Galaxy.  I would like to welcome Carolyn to Kid Lit Frenzy.  She will be doing some regular posting.  Carolyn, in her words, is an AP student, voracious reader, competitive archer, nerd, and foodie. In the event that she is unable to become a companion of the Doctor or Sherlock’s blogger, she hopes to pursue a career as an editor in the future. You can find her on twitter at @YAlitfrenzy.