Today, we’re thrilled to have the lovely Cora Carmack as our Honorary KickAss Chick. Cora definitely kicks ASS. She is a multi-published NYT and USA Today bestselling author with her three series–Losing It, Rusk University, and the Muse series. I had the great fortune to meet Cora at the RT Convention book fair last month, and let me just say she is gracious and wonderful in person, even after a long, exhausting week “conferencing” with other book nerds like me. Without further ado, let’s hear what Cora has to say.
What are the top three mistakes authors make in writing and/or submitting their work?
1. Submitting before you’re ready. Finish a book can feel awesome! And there’s this rush of excitement that makes you want to send it out now, now, now! But you know what’s not awesome? Getting rejections. Burning opportunities with awesome agents or publishers because you’ve submitted something that’s not as strong as you can make it.
2. Lack of research— this is a killer both in the writing stage and submitting. There are no shortcuts in writing or publishing. Do the research. Make your work as accurate as you can. And when it comes to submitting— research the agents and publishers. Not just for their likes and submission preferences, but also research whether or not they’re legit. Whether they can really advance your career. I had an ineffective agent at one point in my career, and I wasted a lot of time with her. Now, I have an amazing agent, and I can’t even begin to describe how much better she makes me and the things she’s done for my career. (Suzie Townsend for those interested).
3. As a writer, I’m huge on characters. Your main character should have an objective, a motivation, something they want so desperately that it drives all their actions. And that want, should directly influence the plot of your book. In fact, it should be inseparable. If the plot of your book could play out the same way regardless of what character you drop into the story, then it’s not ready yet. Your character is just a cog in the wheel, a pawn in a story that plays out with or without them. When they should be the central component, the crank that makes the whole mechanism work.
Favorite Things: My cat, Katniss. Reeses peanut butter cups. Reading. Tequila. These are a few of my favorite things! 🙂
Pet Peeves: DRAMA. I’m pretty laid back, and let most things just roll off me. I can’t stand the kind of people who have to make everything into a big deal. Who has the time or patience for that?
Addictions: Netflix, Harry Potter, audiobooks, salt (seriously. My blood is probably going to dry up in my veins), traveling, cats, foreign accents, Gordon Ramsay, Twitter, running for my life from Shia LaBeouf (Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf). (God, I’m so weird. Sorry I’m not sorry).
Kick Ass Superpower: I can make anything awkward. Is that kick ass? Or sort of unfortunate? OR BOTH?
Your best book boyfriend:
- For the night: Will from Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren
- For a dirty weekend: Nate from Samantha Young’s Before Jamaica Lane
- To have and to hold: Brigan from Fire by Kristin Cashore or Aiden from Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Covenant series
Thank you so much for sharing some awesome advice and your quirky Rapid Fire answers. Loved them! Cora, we share MANY addictions. It’s almost time for my annual, summer HP marathon. Thanks, again. You totally KICK ASS! And readers, don’t forget to check out Cora’s newest release, ALL PLAYED OUT!