The winner of the copy of Drift by M.K. Hutchins is Selah Bell.
Congratulations, Selah! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
To celebrate the coming holiday and vacation, we're hosting the 12 Giveaways of Christmas. That's 12 giveaways, 12 days in a row, starting today.
Each giveaway will run for 48 hours, so be sure and check back each day to see what giveaway is next and who the winners are.
M.K. Hutchins is the author of the YA fantasy novel Drift (Tu Books, 2014). Her short fiction appears in Orson Scott Card's Intergalactic Medicine Show and Daily Science Fiction. She studied archaeology at BYU, which gave her the opportunity to compile histories from Maya glyphs, excavate in Belize, and work as a faunal analyst. Visit her online at http://www.mkhutchins.com to learn more.
Welcome to Go Teen Writers, MK! Tell us about yourself and your novel.
I'm a boardgame-addicted, bread-baking mom of three boys. I've also got a degree in archaeology, so I enjoy studying really, really dead people and their trash heaps. Drift is a YA epic fantasy inspired by Maya mythology and set on the shores of hell.
Ooh, sounds intriguing. You were a teen writer. Can you tell us about your journey to publication?
Getting published took me a long time. I didn't really have a critique group until I was twenty, and I think that slowed down my learning process (on the other hand, by the time I had a group, I was super-excited to have other people tear my manuscript apart, instead of being crushed by criticism...maybe that's an okay trade-off). I started Drift when I was nineteen, but I knew it wasn't working. I kept writing other things, occasionally coming back to poke at it as my skills grew.
In 2011, I submitted Drift to Tu Books. I'd heard Stacy, the editor, speak at a conference and I thought she might like it. Also, I stink at query-writing. Stink. I'm glad they had open submissions at the time so I could just send sample chapters.
Stacy asked for a full. Lots of revisions followed, eventually the book was accepted, and now Drift is out!
Congratulations! How many books did you write before Drift was published?
Before I submitted it, I'd written six or seven, including Drift--Drift is in the middle of those. Before it was published, I'd written twelve.
Wow! That's a lot of time respecting your dream and honing your craft. I love that you built worlds on the backs of turtles. Where did you come up with that idea?
One of my archaeology professors was talking about how the Maya viewed the world as being on the back of a turtle, surrounded by a watery hell. I latched onto that image and began imagining how a world of drifting turtle-islands would be different from our own.
So awesome. What advice would you give teen writers?
Focus on what you can control. You can't control agents, editors, or reviewers. But you can more or less control how much you write and how much you submit. When you collect the inevitable rejection letters (everyone gets rejection letters--lots and lots of them), be proud of them. They're tangible proof that you wrote something, and that you had the courage to submit it.
That's great advice! Thanks so much for sharing that. What's next for you? Is Drift a stand-alone novel or is there a book two?
Drift is a stand-alone, though I've contemplated writing some short fiction in this world, both before and after the novel. I'm getting ready to release a collection of previously-published short stories. And of course, I'm working on writing and selling new novels...hopefully I'll have news there in the not-too-distant future, too!
Thanks for visiting Go Teen Writers, MK!
As part of the 12 Giveaways of Christmas, we're giving away MK's novel Drift. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. International entries are welcome---anywhere The Book Depository ships.