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I know I’m behind times, but I recently found this sweetheart and knew that I wanted to pick her brain (but I labeled it as an interview). Seriously – 17 yrs old with an agent. HELLOOO … I’m jealous, let me just say that!  I asked her if she liked chocolate – and I was secretly hoping she’s say no, so I’d have a reason not to like her. Yeah, didn’t work. LOL
Let me introduce the adorable (sorry hun, but I’m older than you and I’m allowed to place endearing terms upon you here …hahah)  Emilia Plater!!!
I’m inserting my own thoughts in red …
 

Steena,

Thank you so much for the opportunity to do a Q&A with you! Here are my answers. I hope they’re good πŸ™‚
Here’s the link to my blog: http://www.emilia-plater.com and my Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/emiliaplater

I’ve also attached a picture. At LA SCBWI, me and a bunch of the YA Highway girls dressed up for the gala in a Day of the Dead theme – and this was my costume! I thought the red would go well with your blog πŸ™‚
To be honest – I love this costume. I think it totally suits her. And the red … well, yes, it does go well πŸ˜‰  Now if only she held chocolate in her hand ..
 

How old were you when you wrote your first book?First off, thank you so much for the interview, Steena! Let’s see… I started writing this mutant fantasy novel thing when I was ten, but it didn’t get past the second chapter. (My teacher loved it, though, so there’s that.) After a few other start-stops, I completed the very bad first draft of Autochromatic right around my 16th birthday. Fun times! (I realized I wanted to write at age 16 but never did anything with it … looking back, I’m jealous. I wish I had known I could have pursued my dream to write. But I thought it was for those ‘truly gifted’.)
 
How old when you found an agent – and how did you find your agent?
I signed with Suzie this past July, so I was seventeen by then. The hunt was nice and standard: I sent out a bunch of queries and sat back.
The moment I sent out that first batch, I remember thinking: No one’s going to like this. But then – dude – some people did, including my Agent Soulmate! I still look back and think it’s crazy it ever happened. (I’ve heard amazing things about Suzie Townsend … love to hear she’s your Agent Soulmate … do me a favor, keep her on her toes πŸ˜‰


What do you write? How many books do you have in the works to be pubbed?
I’m big on contemporary YA. The ups and downs of real teen life are so awesome to me. My first book, Autochromatic, is undergoing a few more edits and will be heading out to publishing houses soon. I’m so excited! (Excited? I’d be jumping for joy and rejoicing in chocolate!!!!)

Why do you write? How has it changed your life? Is this what you want to do?
When I first started writing Autochromatic, I thought it was going to end up like everything else I’d tried – a hobby that I’d lose interest in fast. (Members of the hobby grave include: braceletmaking, sand art) But after about a week of writing nonstop, something electric and visercal and crazy switched into the on position. I’ve known since then that I want to write novels for the rest of my life. Writing has changed my life in that it’s given me direction and passion that I never, ever expected to feel. I know some people go a while without finding what makes them click on – so I feel so incredibly lucky. Tru fax! (again, I know I shouldn’t be jealous … but this gal is only 17!!!!  I’m not even going to tell you how long it took for me to figure out writing is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life …)

Please tell me you love chocolate πŸ˜‰  What’s your favorite kind?
Yes. I do. So much. If I had to pick a lifetime supply of one, I’d probably go with 100 Grand – but anything combining the words chocolate + cluster pretty much makes my mind melt. Augh, there’s no chocolate in the house right now! (so here’s the Canadian girl saying ‘what???’ 100 Grand … chocolate and cluster … why have I never heard of this … in my various trips across the border, I’ve sampled various chocolate delights we don’t have up here, but this 100 Grand, I’ve never heard of)

Tell me a bit about yourself: (other than writing stuff)
I don’t have a sense of smell. That’s my go-to fact when people ask for info – to follow up on it, yes, I can taste! Hee. I’m also a world-class horrible cook (I’d blame it on not being to smell when things are burning, but really, I just suck), and my non-writing dream is to travel the world. In fact, my BFF and I are planning a backpacking trip across Europe for this summer. Fingers crossed it happens! (and this is where I remind you – Emilia, you are only 17!!!  Don’t worry about cooking yet. You’ve a lifetime ahead of you of endless lunches and dinners. But child, please learn how to bake. That’s what saved me. I still can’t cook – ask my family, but man I can bake (just ask my hips)


In a perfect world – what is your perfect day?
Wake up around noon to the sun shining brilliantly through the windows. Stumble into the kitchen to find my mom’s famous unburned pancakes. Take a walk in the woods, and then… Wow, I’m being really uncreative about this. Where are the hoverboards? The unlimited candy machines? Ah, well. I’ll settle for the noon wake-up time. (Hand up – who here would settle for noon wake-up calls???)

What is the one thing you have learned since getting an agent that you wish you had known before hand?

I guess I could say that nothing much changes once you’ve reached that landmark. You’re still moving towards the next landmark, and the next one after that. That means whatever work you brush off – whatever improvements you don’t make – you’ll have to get to eventually, simply to be fair to yourself. For that reason, it’s always worth it to not rush yourself and to perfect your work to the best of your ability. All attention to detail pays off in the end!

Wise words don’t you think? Take the time. Don’t rush. Be fair to yourself and to your work.

Now – I strongly suggest, if you don’t already, follow this girl. I’m glad I did!

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