D.K. Dailey has a problem: kind of like I see dead people but for writers. She often says, if she wasn’t a writer, she’d be crazy. Dailey’s writing journey started as a child when she began writing sci-fi short stories, a result of watching countless hours of Star Trek on a shared TV with her parents. With an inborn passion for telling stories, writing songs and poems, her hobbies erupted into a career path after she penned a play in college in 2009 and her first book in 2010—if that’s what you can call what now collects dust in storage. As a writer of color living in Northern California being immersed in a tapestry of culture and history that consistently inspires her has helped her pen thirteen books. Dailey is a proud member of Romance Writers of America (RWA, SFRWA & YARWA) and the SCBWI (Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). For inquires please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a contact form below.
What do you like about writing for teenagers?
What are your Writing Tips to other authors?
1) Write!!! Sounds simple but a lot of new writers only think about ideas or think about writing. You can’t be an author without writing something. I love what Whoopi Goldberg said in Sister Act (from Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke) “If when you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing but writing, then you’re a writer.”
2) Attempt to fully plot the story/book/idea out – especially if it’s a series. Remember the plot is not stuck in stone once it’s written down but at least you have a blueprint. If you can only think of book one in a series then write book one and the story will evolve (I promise).
3) Ask yourself questions when writing and plotting to try and poke holes in plot/ideas so there will be no holes left to poke. Ask why, how, what if, does that make sense? Are there any leaps in logic, growth in characters or time with no explanation.
4) Make reachable goals for writing. And reach them. Reward yourself when you do because you won’t be rewarded by anyone else for a while.
5) Don’t be afraid to skip around and write out of order based on what parts excite you most at any particular time. But keep in mind that if you are bored when writing you may want to rethink what you’re writing.
6) Figure out a writing rhythm. I like to edit while I write (several times over) but that slows down the process and some would argue the creativity and spontaneity. And sometimes I have to remind myself—to just get it out. Just Write!
How do you find an agent?
1) Match your book with an agent who does deals in your genre. If you don’t do this you are wasting their time and yours. This is a huge reason why authors get rejected.
2) Your agent should be just as excited if not more excited about your book.
3) Don’t be rude at any point on process. Remember you are making connections in the industry, climbing a ladder in an elite industry of published authors, don’t step on people’s fingers or toes you never know who they know.
4) If all else fails seek new literary agents because these agents are building their client list. I believe because they are just starting out they might receive less queries and therefore you have better odds. Go to www.writersdigest.com to find new agents.
What were some of the books you loved as a teen?
What do you use to jot down ideas when you’re on the go?
What tips do you have for authors querying?
1) Read all submission guidelines for the agents you submit to, these are specific! What do they want in the query letter? Your credentials, plot summary, synopsis, word count, is it a simultaneous submission? Most do NOT want attachments, unless requested, breaking this rule will usually get you in the trash folder.
2) Once you get an agent you might be asked to revise, don’t take as an insult. Think about it, is the criticism valid? Most of the time it is. It probably will make your book better.
3) Give yourself a time limit and look at your options, if you’ve been asked to revise and it could be a good deal then go for it. If you have gotten nothing but rejections then look at self-publishing.
4) Don’t jump at the first offer; jump at the one that’s right for you. You should love your agent and they should love your book, otherwise they won’t get you the deal you deserve.
5) The writing process takes time from inception, to agent to publishing. Don’t give up or get discouraged! Even after you are set to publish you have to ramp up to market yourself and your book in order to get a good buzz.