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Paying It Forward with Maurissa Guibord

Hey! This week I'm joining Elana Johnson's brilliant idea of Paying It Forward: author interviews about upcoming folks & books you *have* to check out! And I quote:

"This week I'm bringing in the big guns: People who've traveled down this long and winding road toward publication. Some of them already have book deals. Some have agents. Some have both. They've "made" it. I want to spotlight someone each day this week to hopefully inspire you, provide a beam of hope along your way, and really prove that you CAN succeed in this crazy business."

So for my inspiration, I chose one of my awesome critique partners, Maurissa Guibord, who also happens to be a fellow Elevensie, to talk about her journey and her debut novel coming out in 2011!

Maurissa Guibord, author of WARPED

1. Tell us about your book.

It’s called Warped and will be released Spring 2011 from Delacorte Press. Warped is about a girl named Tessa who discovers a dusty old unicorn tapestry. One day Tessa pulls a silver thread from the tapestry and accidentally releases the young nobleman who’s been trapped inside for five hundred years. Sparky romance and time travel ensue…

2. Can you tell us a little bit about your road to publication?

I can and I will because I love reading other people’s journeys too! Ahem. The road was long and bumpy and twisted. With poor visibility. I started writing short stories around 2000 after I left medical practice and had some success with sales to magazines. After I finished a YA historical mystery I found my first agent through a snail mail query. This was 2007. The novel we eventually submitted was not that story but a middle grade, high concept mystery.

That book didn’t sell. I think this happens more frequently than we newbie authors realize. After the first round of subs (and rejections) the communication and enthusiasm seemed to fizzle between my agent and me. The whole thing was kind of devastating. And I still believe in that book. But at that time I was thinking – “Well that’s it. That was my one and only shot. I’m not going to publish a book.” It really derailed my writing for a time.

But as these things happen I got an idea for something and in a fever pitch, I wrote Warped. I was super excited about it but my agent was, meh – not so much. And the communication was practically non-existent. I knew then it was time to part ways. So after hearing a presentation at the New York SCBWI by an editor from Delacorte about what they were looking for I decided I really wanted to send Warped. So I parted ways with my agent – it was mutually polite-she’s a really lovely person. And the next day I sent a query about Warped to Michelle Poploff who emailed me back the same day to request it! *(Can you imagine??) I got an offer – I think about two or three weeks later.

I was lucky enough to have the wonderful Ted Malawer agree to represent me, so he’s my agent now.

*As luck would have it- there was a snowstorm in New York that day and Michelle was working from home, and thought my story sounded fun to curl up with. Yay for snow!!

3. Was there ever a time you felt like giving up? Why didn't you?

See above. After the first book didn’t sell I felt that way. Even now I feel like giving up sometimes. Not the writing – but the push to sell things. Most of my doubt when writing comes from wondering whether I am capable of telling the story adequately. Can I pull it off? Am I up to the task? But things nudge you from inside to keep going. Even if it’s not at the pace that others go. If you’re writing, that’s progress.

I am also fairly stubborn and have a teeny bit of the “Well I’m gonna show you!” attitude. So there.

4. What's your favorite kind of jelly bean?

Actually I’m not a big bean eater. The only kind of jelly beans I like are black licorice!

YAY! Attitude & talent wins!! Learn more about Maurissa Guibord and WARPED at http://maurissaguibord.com !

Want to read some more of the 70+ interviews happening this week? Click here for more inspiration: Elana Johnson, Lisa and Laura Roecker, Beth Revis, Leah Clifford, Victoria Schwab, Kirsten Hubbard, Susan Adrian, Kim Harrington, Carrie Harris, Amy Holder, Kathy McCullough, Suzette Saxton and Bethany Wiggins, Tiffany Schmidt, or just stay tuned right here at Officially Twisted!

You never know who or what might inspire YOU!


( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2010 01:26 pm (UTC)
So fun!!! I am IN LOVE with the idea of releasing a handsome nobleman from a tapestry. Can't wait to read this book.

You inspire me, Maurissa! Thanks for sharing this, Dawn! Smiley cupcakes all around!
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
I can tell you, having read it, I'm totally *in love* with said nobleman. I CAN'T WAIT to see him displayed on the shelves...so to speak... *blush*
Mar. 29th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
This is exactly the kind of story I love to read. Thank you so much for sharing with us!! I feel all tingly with inspiration now. And I can't wait to read WARPED! :)
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:59 pm (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH for coming up with this! They're even more fun to read than they were to do. *YOU* inspire me!

Authors are just plain awesome. ;-)
Mar. 29th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
What a great interview! Very inspirational; thanks for sharing. I love the "Well I'm gonna show you!" attitude...that's something I can completely relate to.

I can't wait to read WARPED!
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC)
Both Maurissa and her book are inspirational, fun, funny & well worth waiting for. (I get to see her at NESCBWI! *squee!*)
Mar. 29th, 2010 08:13 pm (UTC)
Yes! A fellow black licorice lover. AND I love the title of your book, Maurissa. It sounds like it will be a wonderful read. :)

Mar. 30th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Okay, I don't know about the licorice (*blik*) but I'll second the wonderful book love!
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:04 pm (UTC)
Okay, I don't know about the licorice thing (*blik*) but I will join you in the book-love! YAY!
Mar. 29th, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
It's gotta be really tough to go through the whole book-not-selling/falling-out-of-love thing with an agent. But yay you for sticking it out, and congrats on the book deal! Warped sounds like a fun story. :)
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Maurissa is extra-inspirational for taking on her writing career with humor, grace, aplomb and a whole lotta humanness at the roller-coaster ride. She *totally* deserves every success so pre-order her book when it comes out! ;-)
Mar. 30th, 2010 01:25 am (UTC)
What a perfectly timed snow day and what a great story! Thanks for sharing :)
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks for being part of the fun!!
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:06 am (UTC)
love these interviews!
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:03 pm (UTC)
Me, too. I'm just so blown away by everyone's stories!
Mar. 30th, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the kind words- and the interview Dawn!
Mar. 31st, 2010 03:30 am (UTC)
Wonderful interview! I love how resilient we are as writers--it truly pays off!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )