Now, chances are, since I think she has many more blog readers than I do, that you already know kt literary client Krista Van Dolzer very well! Nonetheless, I’m delighted to share another in my new series of client interviews. Officially, Krista Van Dolzer is a stay-at-home mom by day and a writer by naptime. She holds degrees in Mathematics Education and Economics from Brigham Young University but tries not to talk — or write — like a mathematician. If she’s not typing away on the computer, she’s probably watching college football or wiping someone’s nose. She lives with her husband and three young kids in Mesquite, Nevada, and blogs at Mother. Write. (Repeat.).. As an agent, I’m thrilled to be currently on submission with her latest contemporary MG. Let’s see how she handles my interview questions!
What are you working on now?
My current work-in-progress is a YA contemporary told in alternating time frames. In the first chapter, seventeen-year-old Karina stops a boy from jumping off a bridge; the second chapter flashes back to the day fifteen-year-old Karina found her older sister dead after she swallowed a bunch of sleeping pills. The front story moves forward and the back story backward from there.
What was your favorite book as a child/teen?
I read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD in ninth grade and absolutely loved it (though I barely understood it). I read it again two or three years ago and finally understood it (and loved it even more).
What are you reading now?
I get through books as often as I get through rolls of toilet paper, but at the moment, I’m reading Claire Legrand’s THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS. Also on the nightstand: Megan Frazer Blakemore’s THE WATER CASTLE and Tiffany Schmidt’s SEND ME A SIGN.
Do you work with a critique group/partner?
Absolutely! I have eight or nine critique partners I exchange manuscripts with (although I usually only use five or six for any one project). That’s probably too many to list, but I will say Amy Sonnichsen, kt literary’s most recent addition, is one of my oldest and dearest.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
Both? I started as a die-hard pantser, morphed into a die-hard plotter, and now am some strange hybrid of the two. Different projects require different techniques, so I try not to commit myself to either camp. Steve was the first manuscript I let come out however he wanted to, and I’d say he turned out pretty well:)
What’s your memory of how we started working together?
I queried you with four projects over four years, and you requested partials on all but the first. After you politely passed on that second request, you encouraged me to query you again with my next project, which I would have done, anyway. (Silly you, thinking you could escape…) True to your word, you requested a partial of that next project (which happened to be Steve), then a full a few months later. And a few weeks after THAT, you e-mailed me to ask when we might be able to talk. I might or might not have screamed out loud; I don’t recall…
As for Steve’s submission process, that’s been one wild ride. He doesn’t fit solidly into any one genre, so he’s been a tricky manuscript to sell. But he’s not dead yet, and I’ve been very impressed with your tenacity and enthusiasm over these last few months. Fingers crossed!
What other hobbies do you have?
I got into family history about a year and a half ago, and now I just can’t stop! There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as finding one of your ancestors’ names on a census record or parish register. I also volunteer one night a week at my local family history center to help other people get started researching their ancestors, too.
What’s a random weird fact about you?
I was born with tiny buds on my feet that probably would have developed into sixth toes. Unfortunately, the doctor snipped them off.
And, of course: favorite pair of shoes?
I have a pair of knee-high, spike-heeled boots that I feel especially fierce in:)
Plus, bonus lightning round!
Dog or cat? Neither? But if pressed, I’d go with cat.
Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate!
Coke or Pepsi? I haven’t had either since I was, like, fourteen, but I remember liking Pepsi better.
Wheat or White? White *blushes, ducks head*
MG or YA? Both!
Morning or night? Night
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars, no question (but not the prequels)
Hogwarts or Narnia? I refuse to pick between two equally awesome places.
And finally, six word memoir. Go!
Looked for dreams. Found patience, life.