"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

FORMER DEBUT: Angie Smibert, Class of 2K11 and The Elevensies

I admit I've had a secret crush on the book covers for this week's former debut! They are so compelling and awesome! And now I'm honored to be featuring Angie Smibert as a former debut on my blog!

Name: Angie Smibert
Debut Group: Class of 2K11 and The Elevensies
Debut novel: MEMENTO NORA

Hi, Angie! Thanks for being here!

PJH: Okay, so it’s been 1 year since you graduated from your debut class. Personally, I miss the heck out of knowing what my classmates are up to. So give us the low-down. What have you been up to in the last few years? New books? New degrees? New pets? What has been going on, and what do we have to look forward to from you in the future?

AS: I've mostly been writing since graduation--and not much else. My second book, THE FORGETTING CURVE, came out in May of this year. It's the sequel to my debut, MEMENTO NORA. I'm working on revisions to the third book in the series, THE MEME PLAGUE, which should come out next spring. I've also sold several short stories, including "The Actuarian" and "The Long Glorious Now of Max Madden" in Odyssey. Oh, and I got two new cats, who are almost 2 years old now.

MEMENTO NORA (Amazon Children's Publishing, April 1, 2011)

PJH: If you could summarize to a debut novelist the best part of being a member of a debut author group, what would you say?

AS: The best part(s) are
(1) you don't go through the experience alone, and
(2) you can reach more readers than you can on your own.

You may have the support of family and friends, but they don't understand the fears, frustrations, and joys of this business. Other debuts do because they're going through the exact same thing. You need someone who gets it to vent to and/or get advice from. As for the marketing, our class set up a week long trip to NYC during BEA. That and the exposure to other opportunities (blogs, interviews, etc.) made the whole experience invaluable.

PJH: Though I absolutely loved being a debut author, I’m really thrilled with all the experience I’ve gained since. What advice would you give to those who are debuting now? What do you wish you had known when you started out?

AS: Two things.
(1) Don't obsess about reviews--good or bad.
(2) Don't obsess about marketing.

Put your energy into writing another book. You have zero control over reviews (and the average reader doesn't care about them), and you have only a smidge more control over sales. You have do some marketing, but don't go overboard. (Psst. No one knows what really works--except having a publisher that puts big bucks into your promotion. And most authors don't have that luxury.)

THE FORGETTING CURVE (Amazon Children's Publishing, May 15, 2012)

PJH: In addition to writing the next mega-million bestselling novel, what do you want to accomplish in the next five years? Do you want to write five more books? Get your black belt in Kung Fu? Walk the Great Wall of China? Let’s hear it.

AS: Of course, I'd like to write several more books, but I don't think my back can take writing a book a year for 5 more years. What else? I would like to go to London. Maybe lose 30 lbs. ;)

PJH: Thank you so much for being here! And good luck with everything in the future!


Angie Smibert was born in Blacksburg, a once sleepy college town in the mountains of Southwest Virginia. She grew up thinking she wanted to be a veterinarian; organic chemistry had other ideas. But she always had stories in her head. Eventually, after a few degrees and few cool jobs—including a 10-year stint at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center—she wrote some of those stories down. She’s published many short stories, for both adults and teens. (You can read some of them here on her author site.)


Thanks for helping me celebrate former debuts! And if you are a former debut and are interested in being featured, check out this post here!


Heather said...

Congrats to Angie on her new book! I've heard great things about the first one and it's excellent to see that she kept writing.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks for dropping by, Heather! I just love the look and feel of her books, and yes, I've heard great things about them!