Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday TAG! - R.C. Lewis

Eeep! This tag is-of course :p - EXCITING!!! R.C. Lewis is a math teacher, an awesome woman, always helpful, moderator over at AQC, AGENTED!, oh yeah and she's got a TWO book (six figure) deal! Yeah, did I mention she's AWESOME!?! :D

You can find R.C. on her blog, Twitter, and AQC. And make sure to keep an eye out for STITCHING SNOW(coming Summer 2014). The query is awesome and I can't wait to read the novel itself.

(EDIT: I forgot to add that RC also posts over at From The Write Angle Blog. It's an awesome blog for writers, go check it out. :)  )

1. When did you start writing?
I began writing my first novel in August 2009.

2. What made you want to write?
I was discussing some YA novels with my sister. We talked about how some had so much potential but fell short because of this or that. I thought, "It's easy to complain, but could I do any better?" Then once I got started, I discovered how much I love it.

3. When did you decide you wanted to write to be published? (As opposed to writing just to write)
That first novel started out as an experiment to see what happened if I tried. I felt like what I ended up with was pretty good, so I started looking into what it takes to get published.

4. What genre(s) do you write?
Always YA, mostly sci-fi, and I have some veering toward fantasy, plus one contemporary.

5. Why that(those) genre(s)?
Sci-fi and fantasy have long been my favorites to read (and watch when it comes to movies). So mostly because I'm a geek. I veered to YA because I've been surrounded by teenagers for a while with my day job, and I like the psychology that comes with that period of our lives.

6. Do you have any particular ritual when you write? (A specific way things are done during the process)

7. Do you use an outline, or do you just start writing?
It varies. I'll often jot a note or two before I start, then add to those notes as I go and things start fleshing out. Other times, I'll have a more solid idea of the whole plot from the beginning, so those "jotted notes" are more of an outline.

8. Is there something you MUST have when you're writing? (Aside from the typical writer tools-computer, pen, paper, etc)

9. Do you write out your story on paper and then transfer to a computer, or straight to the computer?
Straight to computer.

10. How many books/short stories have you written? (Published or not, even those you wrote and then thought-what the hell?)
I've written seven novel-length manuscripts so far, one novelette, and four short stories.

11. Is there, or has there been, anyone in your life (real or online) who thought you being a writer is/was just another hobby? Or that you are/were wasting your time as a writer?
No, never.

12. Do you do Social Media sites? If so, which ones? If not, why don't you?
I'm on Twitter (@RC_Lewis) and I blog (, plus I'm a moderator at AgentQuery Connect.

13. Any advice for writers that makes you cringe every time you hear it? (I know there is some cringe-worthy advice still worth following, so only advice you don't follow.)
Really, any advice that's presented as absolute makes me cringe. The various forms of "to be" aren't inherently evil. Neither are adjectives and adverbs. If you go a day without writing, that doesn't make you not a real writer. Everything should be considered individually, with moderation and balance.

14. What made you choose Snow White to revamp for STITCHING SNOW?
It wasn't exactly a decision to revamp something. There's a line in a Florence + the Machine song about "Snow White stitching up your circuit-board." That conjured an image, and the story started to form from there.

15. Why did you decide to set it in the future and in space?
I lean toward sci-fi anyway, and that line of lyrics already got me in the mindset of Snow White juxtaposed with technology, so it made sense.

16. How does it feel to get a (not prearranged) call from an agent? Followed by four others wanting you too.
The cold call was startling, but fine—largely because the agent was very personable and disarming from the beginning. As for five agents offering, it's extremely flattering on the one hand ... but it was also gut-wrenching. They were all stand-out, awesome agents, and I had to figure out which of five amazing choices was the right choice for me.

17. How did you react when you got that call? (Were you cool about it-"Oh hey, Ms Agent, what's up?" or OMG!)
I guess I was pretty cool about it, at least outwardly. My outward reactions tend to be kind of muted—not exactly the jumping-up-and-down type. Inwardly, though, I had mile-a-minute thoughts, especially because I was sitting in my classroom during prep time and had to violently shift my brain from math-teacher mode to writer mode.

18. Is there any specific reason you prefer to write YA?
There are a lot of reasons. I like the transitional aspects of teenage-hood. It's a fascinating (and in turns fun, dismal, exciting, and maddening) time of life. Probably a lot of the same reasons I like teaching teenagers so much. And I like writing books that I wish I could've read as a teen. Hopefully my books will reach some teens so they don't have to wish.

19. What do you do when you aren't writing?
I teach math! Up until recently, I taught high school kids at a school for the deaf. Now I'm back to hearing kids and will be teaching eighth and ninth graders this fall.

20. Any words of wisdom for anyone who is thinking of becoming a writer, or just something you think all writers should know?
I covered the main thing in #13. :) But also, there are a lot of options to consider these days. Don't rush. Take your time to figure things out and do it right.


Yolanda Renee said...

Congrat's to R C Lewis, great interview!

Especially liked the answer to 20
"Take your time to figure things out and do it right."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Other than the math (not my strong suit) RC sounds a lot like me. Science fiction and fantasy is my favorite genres of books and movies. And five agents wanting your manuscript? The pressure!

Kelley Lynn said...

I love this:

I was discussing some YA novels with my sister. We talked about how some had so much potential but fell short because of this or that. I thought, "It's easy to complain, but could I do any better?" Then once I got started, I discovered how much I love it.

Can I do better? That's a great question and one that is fun to find out.

Anonymous said...

thanks for posting.