I’m back! Again, not completely, but just enough to share another post in my series of author profiles, this time on Trish Doller. Trish is a former radio personality and newspaper reporter with a B.A. in Journalism from Ohio State University. She lives in Florida with her husband, two teenagers and The Cutest Dog in the World. She divides her time between working at Barnes & Noble and writing young adult fiction. Her favorite band is The Slackers. Her debut novel, SOMETHING LIKE NORMAL (Bloomsbury, June 2012), about a Marine home on leave, was named to the Best Fiction for Young Adults list and received numerous accolades. WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE was just published by Bloomsbury in September 2013. Take it away, Trish!
What are you working on now?
I’m finally finishing up the psychological thriller formerly known as Arcadia Falls and I’m super excited to get started on two new projects: a young adult romance set in Berlin (possibly a dual POV story) and an epistolary adult novel set aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean.
What was your favorite book as a child/teen?
My favorite book was actually the same as Callie’s favorite book in Where the Stars Still Shine. It’s a children’s novel called Mandy, about a little girl who lives in an orphanage and wants most in the world to have a home of her own, and it was written by Julie Andrews. My mom’s best friend gifted it to me and I passed it on to my daughter when she was old enough to read it on her own.
What are you reading now?
I’m about to start Lady Thief by A.C. Gaughen. I was a huge fan of her first book, Scarlet, so I can’t wait to dive into this one!
Do you work with a critique group/partner?
I have a couple of critique partners I rely on for bouncing ideas, troubleshooting, and sympathy Coronas. I also have a couple of great blogger friends who beta read for me.
Are you a pantser or a plotter?
A little of both, really. I’m terrible at writing outlines but when I start a project I generally have an idea of where the story is heading. Then I turn the characters loose and see what happens. Sometimes we veer widely from what I had in mind, but sometimes that works.
What’s your memory of how we started working together?How did our first submission go, etc.?
I was querying agents when I heard about the “look at the acknowledgements of books you like” method. At the time, my manuscript was 13 Little Blue Envelopes-ish, so I thought Maureen Johnson’s agent might be a good fit. Except when I actually looked at her acknowledgements it said Daphne Unfeasible and I was like, “That can’t possibly be her real name!” So after I tracked down your true identity, I sent off my query. You requested first a partial, then the full manuscript, and while you had the full, I received an offer of representation from another agent. It was just before Thanksgiving weekend, but when I emailed to tell you about the offer, you said you’d read over the weekend and get back to me. You called on Monday or Tuesday and to this day I’m not completely sure what we talked about because a) I might have been freaking out a little bit and b) I was under the bleachers at my son’s soccer game so my brain was in two places at once. But here we are, so clearly it was a good conversation.
Also, when you gave me some editorial feedback on that original manuscript, you said, “Remember how in Return of the King there were too many endings? I feel like there are too many endings to this story.” If I wasn’t already certain that you were the right agent for me, that would have been the moment. (You were right about that, by the way.)
What other hobbies to you have?
Is tumblr a hobby? Let’s say it is. I also love sailing when we are not sailboat-less (which we are right now, sadly) and kayaking, and I read like a fiend.
What’s a random weird fact about you?
I sleep on the couch in our sunroom. Not because I don’t like my husband––I totally do––but because with all the windows open it’s like camping, but without being outside where there are bugs and other creepy crawlies.
And, of course: favorite pair of shoes?
I live in Florida, so nearly all my shoes are flip-flops, but I do have a pair of black-and-white polka dot peep-toe wedges that are super cute!
Plus, bonus lightning round!
Dog or cat? Dog. I have two.
Coffee or tea? Tea. Usually iced.
Coke or Pepsi? Both!
Wheat or White? Wheat.
MG or YA? YA.
Morning or night? Night.
Star Wars or Star Trek? This one is so tough because I love them both! But…Star Wars.
Hogwarts or Narnia? Narnia.
And finally, six word memoir. Go!
Live to write. Write to live.
I wish I were in Florida right now. Trish, mix up some daiquiris, I’ll be there soon!