For everyone in the querying trenches, I decided to start an Author Series featuring a wide range of authors with their debuts! Just like the material we write, the publishing world is filled with diversity and options. Sometimes all we need is someone to show us the way!
Without further ado, I'd like to welcome the fabulous Lora Palmer and her debut, THE MIRRORMASTERS!
DZ: Congrats! Can you tell me a little bit about THE MIRRORMASTERS?
LP: Leah Ellis never knew why she was found abandoned on the beach at two years old. Content with her adoptive family and small town life, she hadn't thought much about it over the years. That is, until her life takes a bizarre turn when she begins seeing images in mirrors she can't explain--cloaked figures using powers that manifest like lightening bolts, or flash-frozen beaches on another world beneath a purple sky.
She practices mirror-gazing, driven to understand these images and their possible connection to her forgotten past, and discovers that it's kind of addictive with its wild, boundless power coursing through her veins. Soon, she learns to control what the mirror shows her.
When new neighbors move in, Leah is shocked that they're dead ringers for the people in her visions. According to Brian, with the gorgeous ice-blue eyes and his father, she is a MirrorMaster--an alien with a gift that lets her travel through mirrors, even to worlds light years away. Her birth parents sent them to take her from Earth back to her home world of Jantyr, a planet she doesn't remember. They've searched for her ever since she disappeared.
But Leah's long-lost birth sister, a sorceress, activated an ancient device to trigger a cataclysm on Jantyr as a bid to consolidate her own power. Leah must return to Jantyr, master her new found ability in order to locate and wield crystals that will disable the device and thwart her sister's plans. Otherwise, the destruction will consume the entire galaxy, including Earth and everyone she loves.
DZ: The concept is so interesting! What inspired you to write it?
LP: It started with this story idea I'd had as a kid and would act out with my friends. Orignally, it was a time travel story about two girls who discovered a mirror in an attic, and it took them into the past. Then, as I set down to re-work what I'd first written, what came out was much different than the original story. Now, the main character, Leah, has the gift of controlling mirrors to view, even travel to, other places. Then, everyting else, like the cataclysms her birth sister triggered on their homeland fell into place around that.
DZ: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
LP: I think deep down I probably did! Reading was definitely one of my favorite past times as a child, and I was writing little stories--even in crayon--from the time I learned to read, so I'm told :). Of course, I also wanted a career that involved helping others, so I also work with young adults at a local residential facility. During college and beyond, I kind of got away from writing until maybe about 10 years ago or so. I loved writing role play becaue it was fun creating stories with a partner, and then I finally decided to get back to writing original stuff of my own.
DZ: Can you tell me a little bit about your journey to publication?
LP: It's been quite a journey to reach this point! Over the past few years on and off, I queried MIRRORMASTERS. A couple years back, I submitted to Astraea Press following a full request from a Savvy Authors pitch opportunity. It didn't work out at the time, but I kept querying, revising, getting feedback from beta readers, more revising, and more querying. And then, following #Pit2Pub in July, two of my pitches were favorited by Stephanie Taylor, owner and Editor-In-Chief of Clean Reads and my full manuscript was requested. After doing a little dance of joy, I submitted again, noting that I'd made substantial revision since my previous submission, and a few weeks later, I woke up to a lovely email that included a contract!
DZ: For other aspiring authors who are struggling through the querying trenches, what kind of advice would you give them?
LP: Persistence does pay off! Keep writing, keep editing, keep querying, and find a really good critique partner and betas to help you get your manuscript in shape. Oh, and once your manuscript is ready, Twitter pitch parties like #PitMad and #Pit2Pub can be a great way to connect with industry professionals interested in your work. Checkout out AgentQueryConnect and QueryTracker forums. These are places where you can learn from other writers, tons of useful information about the publishing industry, as well as workshop your query to get it into shape. the main QueryTracker site also came in handy for keeping track of queries sent and their responses.
THE MIRRORMASTERS is available on Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo !
Ended! Congrats to Dani C.!
Lora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Bucks County, PA is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. in her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.