KEYNOTE: Don’t Give Up
Listen to Janae Marks below!
Amy Parks: Welcome! You’re listening to a 2020 WriteOnCon podcast. This is Amy Noelle Parks from the WriteOnCon team, and I’m so excited to talk today with middle grade author, Janae Marks, about not giving up. Janae, thanks so much for joining me.
Janae Marks: Hi! Thank you so much for having me. Excited to be here!
Amy Parks: For those of you who may not know, Janae’s middle grade debut, From the Desk of Zoe Washington, is out as of January 14. It’s a Junior Library Guild selection, and has already gained three starred reviews.
How about we start with you telling us a little bit about From the Desk of Zoe Washington.
Janae Marks: Sure. So, From the Desk of Zoe Washington is about twelve-year-old Zoe, who is an aspiring baker. She dreams of getting on the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge show. On her twelfth birthday, she receives a letter from her incarcerated father — who she’s never met — and decides to write him back. Through their correspondence, she gets to know him, and discovers he might actually be innocent of the crime. So, she decides to find out the truth. It ends up being somewhat of a mystery as she decides to figure out the truth about her father.
Amy Parks: That’s so great. And she goes through the baking competition as well?
Janae Marks: Well, she wants to get into it, she’s in an internship during the book to prove to her parents that’s she responsible enough, has the skill to be able to audition. So, she’s doing this internship once a week with a family friend’s bakery. There’s still a lot of cupcakes, and her talking about baked good throughout the book!
Amy Parks: That’s so fun!
You’ve worked in publishing, and you have an MFA. I was wondering how both of those experiences shaped your writing of this debut.
Janae Marks: Working in publishing, I don’t know that these things shaped the writing of my debut specifically, but I think in terms of just trying to get published — being in this world — it was very beneficial. Working in publishing was really helpful, because I got to see behind the scenes. Really early on, I was actually getting an MFA while I was working in publishing. I was doing it at the same time – I hadn’t even finished my first novel yet.
I got to see what goes into publishing a novel once that novel is acquired by the publishing house. I got to see all the steps from editorial, marketing, publicity, sales – just to see what goes on behind the scenes. I think a lot of debut authors are really very confused by what actually happens. So it was really nice to just have that sort of knowledge. And, of course, things can change. It’s been at least eight or so years since I’ve worked in publishing, so things definitely could have changed, but I think the basics of it are the same.
It’s just nice, being a debut now, to know. I’m aware of the fact that this is why it’s such a long timeline, this is why it takes so many months — eighteen months to two years — for a book to come out. And I understand the different meetings that happen, where the book is being presented to the different teams internally, like marketing and sales. It lessened my anxiety a little bit.
A lot of authors feel a lot of stress; “I don’t really know what’s happening. Nobody’s updating me.” And I just felt like, “oh, I know, they’re probably doing this, they’re probably doing that.” I think that helped.
As for the MFA, the biggest thing is that it helped me hone my craft. Learn how to give and receive critique, and being able to take feedback and make those changes. Revision is so important as an author. It’s important at any step, at any phase. Having that structure of these workshops, where you’re doing that — you’re really facing the people who are giving you your critiques, and having to be like, “okay, let me not take this personally. Let me just take this back and do the work.” I think that’s a really good skill to have.
And I think the other biggest thing I got out of it was the community. I met a lot of writers through that, and we got to become good friends. As you go along your journey, it’s really helpful to have those kinds of friends to help you along the way! I mean, this is an episode about not giving up, so I definitely think finding that community is a big part of that.
The other thing is, because I was in this MFA program that was specifically for writing for children, it was also just really helpful to study KidLit. Get a better sense of the history of it. We studied YA and middle grade books, and really like read them and tore them apart to figure out what made them work and what the themes were. That was really helpful, too – in writing the books that came after that.
Amy Parks: I also read that you have a little bit of a background in musical theater! Do you think that that has contributed to your storytelling, if not your writing?
Janae Marks: Yeah, I think so. Definitely! I was into it as like a child, and as a teenager. At the end of the day, when I look back, I think what really attracted me to musical theater, besides the music itself, was the stories and the storytelling. It was my way of being involved in storytelling. When I got older, and in college, I realized “oh, I’m actually more interested in creating the stories, not performing in the stories.“
Being in those kinds of environments, where you’re having to do a lot of character development, that definitely has some sort of impact — even though I haven’t really thought of it that way before. I’m not really thinking about it that way, but there’s got to be moments of that seeping its way into my writing and helping me prepare characters and come up with storylines, things like that.
Any time that you’re spending time reading, absorbing stories in any form — whether it’s a movie, or a play — you’re just getting that sense of what makes a good story. What are the arcs? What are the climaxes? All that stuff helps when you’re going to write a book.
Amy Parks: To frame our conversation about not giving up, I thought you might start by telling us about your journey with this book in particular. From writing a manuscript, through querying, and getting the book deal.
Janae Marks: I feel like my process of getting an agent went a lot better this time than my previous one that I had queried. This was actually my fourth written manuscript. I had just queried one other manuscript several years before and got a little interest, some requests and things. But did not get an offer of representation. And then I wrote two other books that I ended up not querying. And then I decided to write this one.
Amy Parks: So, can I stop you there and just ask; why did you decide not to query those other two books after you wrote them?
Janae Marks: Well, for one of them, I wrote it, I started to revise it, and I started to realize that it just wasn’t… good.
I spent so much time on my first book, because that was the book that I started writing in my MFA program — I spent so much time revising that I felt pretty good about that one.
The second one, I decided to try something different. Instead of doing a real outline, I was like, “let me try Pantsing a novel!” And it was a disaster. I think it started out okay, but then the plot went all sorts of weird places. It was a contemporary, but it was bad. I just felt like I didn’t even know where to begin to fix it.
I think, actually, speaking of WriteOnCon! I put my materials on the forums back then, for the second book. And I think I had even gotten a ninja request, and I sent her the first fifty pages. And she had really good feedback, but I realized what was going to be involved, and I kind of just lost interest in the story.
The next book after that, I started working briefly with a book packager on that book, but the book ended up falling through in the end. So, I wrote it, but I wasn’t able to query it. Still a good experience to write it, but it wasn’t something I could query in the end. The book ended up falling through.
So, again, it ended up being another practice novel. I feel like the second and third books were kind of like practice novels — and it prepared me for writing the fourth one, which was the one that ended up getting published.
Amy Parks: Got it. So you’re querying the fourth one…
Janae Marks: For that one, I feel like a lot is due to timing – and it’s hard to say why. I wrote it in early 2016, I think I wrote it within a few months, spent the rest of that year revising it with the help of critique partners and things. And I remember, the following year — in 2017 — I actually did post my materials back to the WriteOnCon forums. Every time I had materials ready to go for WriteOnCon, I was like, “oh I’m going to do this!” So, I did that. And actually it worked out.
I think I got two ninja agent requests, and one of them ended up – after she finished reading the book — gave me a revise and resubmit opportunity. Which, if anybody listening doesn’t know what that is, basically, it’s when the agent says “I like this, but I see there’s a few things that I would like you to change. If you’re willing to make these changes, I’d be willing to reconsider it.” I thought her notes were really good. We even actually had a phone call about the notes, so, I was like “okay, I’m going to do this.”
In the meantime, I had started querying a couple other agents. But then I was like “hold off! Don’t read it!” They had requested it, but I told them if they hadn’t read it yet, don’t read it. I’m gonna make these changes.
A few months later, I ended up winning this local award. Within the state of Connecticut –which is where I live – there’s this award called the Tassy Walden New Voices in Children’s Literature Award, and I had entered earlier in the year, because one of my friends — who’s also a writer in the area — was like, “oh, you should do it!” And I was like “alright!” And I had submitted my stuff and forgot about it. I got a phone call, saying “you won for the middle grade category!” And I was like, “this is so cool.”
So, that kind of got things going, because after that, another agent ended up seeing that I had won, and reached out to me. I ended up finishing the revisions for that revise and resubmit, and then sent that to everybody to who had since requested it, or who I had told them to hold off on reading it. And that was in the Fall.
At that point, I immediately got offers on it. And, actually, the first offer that I got was my current agent — Alex Slater at Trident Media Group. He was one who had reached out when he saw that I had won the Tassy, because he is from Connecticut. So he was aware of the award.
It ended up being like a much easier process than any other time I had queried. But again this was not my first book. This was not my first time querying. I feel like, sometimes, things take forever — and sometimes you turn a corner and things happen really fast. That just kind of how it is in this industry. So, even though it happened quickly, it was years before we got to this point of it happening.
Amy Parks: What about the time from querying to the book deal, how did that go?
Janae Marks: I think, because I had done the revise and resubmit, and also, during that time, had gotten more feedback. As I was trying to figure out the revise and resubmit, I reached out to other people to help me figure out how to tackle it.
I had done so much revision before my agent got the book, that by the time he got it, he was like “I feel like this is fine.” I think like most of the time, you do rounds of revision with your agent, but because I had just done a large revision with another agent’s notes, he got to see this really polished version. He decided that I did not need to do any more. I signed with him in November, and he decided to put it on sub just after the New Year. And it was really fast. Like, we got the first offer within a week or something. Pretty crazy.
And, again — I tell this story and I’m always like, “but don’t feel bad if that doesn’t happen, because it’s not normal.” Normally, it takes at least a few months. At the minimum. Sometimes the stars just align and it happens. So it ended up being really fast, in the end.
Amy Parks: So, I wanted to ask if there was a low point in this journey towards publication for you, where you felt like giving up. And given how this went, I’m going to guess it happened before you were querying Zoe Washington.
Janae Marks: I graduated from my MFA in 2010. And I did not get an agent until the end of 2017. So, it was a long journey to getting to that point.
I was very naïve. There were a lot of really great alumni who had book deals — or who had published books already — and had gotten them soon after graduating. So I’m thinking, “oh, I’m going to be just like them! I’m going to graduate, I’m going to get a book deal within the next couple years — if not sooner!” I felt so sure of it. And then that didn’t happen. I definitely had moments where I was like, “am I going to be that one person in this program” – not everybody in the program ends up publishing – but I had these really high expectations that did not come to fruition.
As I was saying earlier, a lot of it is really just about timing and luck. It’s not only about talent. It’s about whether you’ve written a book that a literary agent or publisher wants in that moment. I kind of knew that.
As kept working on more books — even the second book that I mentioned I ended up not querying — I did start to feel discouraged. Because I felt like I had this MFA, but I had nothing to show for it. Other than some manuscripts in the drawer, and bunch of student loans. I was like “did I waste my time? Did I waste my money? Should I not have done that?” But I also was really determined to keep trying.
I started querying in 2013, so I guess the five years from when I actually started querying for real — and then got the agent, it was more like five years. It’s not that I wanted to quit, I just felt like maybe this isn’t going to happen the way that I wanted it to. You just start to feel like, “did I waste my time getting this MFA?” You’re putting it out there that you have it, and you feel almost embarrassed that you haven’t gotten a book deal yet. That’s why you go. It’s not a guarantee, but you go because you feel like you’re at this level in order to be able to do that next step. And then if it doesn’t happen. It definitely made me feel really bad.
Amy Parks: Yeah, and I imagine — I don’t know if this is true — but like the downside to community is that you’re hearing about other people succeeding.
Janae Marks: Yeah, exactly. And it’s so tough. There are definitely people that I knew that were already starting to get book deals and agents. And also, just being part of the community on Twitter. It’s like you’re just constantly congratulating people when you’re like, “I’m happy for you, but also really sad for myself.”
You’re trying to make friends with other authors when you go to conferences or meet people through different things. You are genuinely happy for them. But there is that sense of “when is it going to happen to me?” You just kind of feel bad.
But I feel like those moments never lasted long enough to stop me from writing. I would have little periods where I felt oubt about myself, but I ultimately was able to pick myself back up, every time.
Amy Parks: So that’s sort of the advice — to let yourself feel it?
Janae Marks: Yeah. It’s valid feelings. It is really hard when you have friends around you constantly getting that thing that you want, and you feel like you’re working just as hard. And it’s not like you don’t want them to get the thing, you just want to get it with them.
Amy Parks: It’s hard.
Janae Marks: Yeah, it is. And I think those feeling are valid. You should definitely allow yourself to have a little pity party if you need to. Just turn off the social media. You need to take a break from all those announcements. One of the tough things when you’re trying to get an agent and on sub are those Tuesdays and Thursdays book deal announcement days, the Publishers Weekly emails. Just try to avoid it. Don’t even pay attention to what’s being picked up. Take a break. I think it’s totally fine to let yourself be sad about it. If you really want to keep going, let yourself keep going. Don’t let it stop you, just because you’re sad that someone else got something that you want.
Amy Parks: I wanted to ask; as an author who is not white, if there have been moments in this publishing journey where the overwhelming white-middle-classness of publishing added to these moments of feeling like you wanted to give up, or created this additional layer that you had to work through?
Janae Marks: I feel like I’ve been pretty fortunate that I haven’t really felt that way. Though I’ve definitely had conversations with other people who have felt that way. It’s a really valid thing, and it’s a real issue that some people have.
I even have a friend who is published and got some of these kinds of comments from people that she’s working with on her book — that’s actually coming out. And, you know, it’s a tough thing. A lot of times people get it in their rejections, saying “oh, we already have a book like this.” And it’s like, you wouldn’t say that if it was a book about a white character. There’s tons of books about white characters doing this, that, and the other. But if it’s a Black character doing that, they only want one.
So, I know that that’s a thing. And I was kind of aware of that. I think I was trying to prepare myself for that. Like, “okay, I’m going to send this out, and prepare myself, and brace myself, for these kinds of comments.” And luckily I did not get them.
And it’s hard not to want to give up, because it starts to feel really demoralizing to get these – to have this kind of weight put on you. These kind of comments. I definitely think — similar to the last thing we were just talking about — you should definitely allow yourself to feel those kinds of feelings. Because they really are valid.
One helpful thing you can do is to try and find your community of other writers and creators of color who you can vent to. Whether it’s just through Twitter DMs, even if you didn’t know anybody — if you just happened to be friendly with someone on Twitter — just try to connect with them outside of that, in a private space. They would be open to it.
Another, if people have the ability to do this – not everybody lives in the New York City area — but, there is a conference. It’s in the Spring, it’s an in-person conference called Kweli – The Color of Children’s Literature Conference – and that is specifically for BIPOC creators to come. They have the same kind of structure as a normal conference. They have keynotes, and they have workshops — but it’s specifically for and about creators of color, and it specifically talks about those things.
What’s nice is, that in a lot of those panel discussions, this stuff comes up. And I feel like those kind of things never come up in just any general conference. It just feels more like a safe space, to have these kinds of conversations on how to navigate being a person of color in this majority white industry.
If anybody can go to that, I recommend it. Even if you can’t, I think just trying to find people online that you can connect with and vent to. Because it is really something that’s tough, and I think that everybody should take the time that they need to deal with it. If they’re having a hard time, take the break, or allow yourself to feel those feelings. Because it is really tough.
I just feel very fortunate that, so far, I haven’t had anything happen to me. Or if it’s happened to me, it hasn’t happened to me to my face. I don’t know, it might have been behind the scenes, but so far I feel lucky. And I hope that things get better so this isn’t even an issue that you have to bring up.
Amy Parks: Yeah.
Janae Marks: Yeah.
Amy Parks: You’ve mentioned some of these, but are there are any other self-talk strategies or bits of advice that you would share to help other people get through these moments where they’re really feeling that urge to give up?
Janae Marks: The one thing I think is so important to have in this industry is just a sense of perseverance, and – well, grit. Being willing to pick yourself back up, if you can, I think that’s like the hardest thing. It is really hard to get rejected. You’re literally getting rejections in your email, so it can be really hard. You have to have that spirit of “I’m going to just keep trying!” Obviously, not everybody is able to do that on your own. That’s when it’s really helpful to have a community to help, to help you do that.
There are a couple of things that I just remember when I was feeling down. For one – I don’t know where this quote came from – but there was a quote that was something along the lines of “the difference between those who did get published and those who didn’t is that those who did get published never gave up.” You just never know, it could be the next query you send out. It could be the next book you write. You just never know. A lot of times, you just have to keep trying, you just have to just keep putting yourself out there. It could really be the next thing.
Like for me — it could be one book I think is so terrible I don’t even want to bother revising it, and then the next book, it’s getting like an agent super-fast, and a book deal super-fast! I had no way to know that. I just wrote the book that I was excited to write. I wasn’t even trying to write anything that I thought would be commercial, or that I thought people would want. I was just like “oh, I like this idea. I think I’m going to try to explore this!”
I think that’s part of it, too. If you have a story that you’re really excited about, then you’re just going to be excited about writing it no matter what happens. And then, the bonus will be if it actually gets published.
There’s another thing I remember seeing when I was discouraged. Ira Glass, who hosts the podcast This American Life, has this – I don’t now if he did a talk or a speech, but somebody made it into a video — and it’s about storytelling. It’s a little quote, it’s only two minutes long, and basically, it talks about how there’s this period of time when you’re a creator, where you have really good taste — you know what’s good. But you’re not able to create that good thing yet, because you’re still kind of new at it. And a lot of times that disappointment in not being able to create something as good.
You know what’s a good book, you know what an excellent book is. You know what really amazing writing is. But you can’t seem to do it yet — because you’re still new. A lot of times that gap of knowing what’s good and not being able to create what’s good causes people to quit. Because they’re just like “I’m never going to be able to get there”. But, basically, at the end he’s like “no, this is the moment you just have to keep going.” It comes with practice. It comes with writing a book. That’s why I didn’t really mind that my second and third books that I wrote didn’t go anywhere. Because, at the end of the day, I got something out of it.
I practiced, I learned about something through it. I learned about plotting — or I learned I need to Plot during that Pantsing one — I learned about character development. You might even take lines from those books and reuse them. So nothing’s ever wasted.
I think the self-talk strategy that you can have is, tell yourself that you just have to keep going. One step in front of the other. Because you never know what is going to happen next. You never know. It’s so hard to guess what’s going to happen, or who’s going to want what kind of book. So you just have to keep going. And if you really want this, eventually you are going to get better. Every single book you’re going to get better.
Amy Parks: I wanted to talk a little bit just like about the idea of giving up. You’ve said “I had this book that I didn’t even query.” so in some ways, we could think about that as – well, giving up on that book.
So how do you, for yourself, decide what giving up means to you? What’s the difference is between giving up on a particular project or path and like giving up on this bigger dream that you have?
Janae Marks: I think it’s perfectly okay to give up on something like a manuscript that you feel isn’t working, a story idea that you tried out and you didn’t even get to the end — you just feel like it’s not jiving. I think it’s fine to do that. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Sometimes, you do need to take a break and try something new. Sometimes it’s “trying something new” as in trying a new book.
And sometimes it might be taking a break entirely from writing — knowing that you still have this dream, but you just want to take a break because it’s causing too much stress to be worrying about the success part of it. I think the hardest part when you’re trying to get published. It’s easier when you’re just writing the book — before you’re at the point of researching agents and things. But when you’re actually starting to research agents, it’s really hard not to tie in your idea of success with what you’re doing, with your creative work.
If you can learn to separate it, to get back into the joy of writing — if you’re having a hard time — get back into the joy of writing, and let go of the expectations of what success is. I think that’ll help you to keep going. If you just need a break, I think that’s perfectly fine.
If you just want to break from traditional publishing, you could. There are other avenues to get your writing out there. You could self-publish, you could put your stories on Wattpad — there are other ways you could share your writing without having to worry about these gatekeepers, who are preventing you from reaching a certain goal.
I even know an author — she’s published multiple books – who was just really honest a couple weeks ago on Instagram about how she’s taking a real break from writing. Because she’s realized over the past year or so that the joy has gone away. And that she used to get a creative spark out of it, and that she’s discovered that other things are giving her a creative spark. She just decided to do some other stuff for fun, and let go of writing for now. I don’t think that means she’s giving up on her author career entirely, I think she’s just taking a break. And at some point, when she’s excited about writing again, she’ll go back to it. Or not. Maybe she’ll just be like “I did that, I accomplished those goals of publishing books, and I’ll go do something different.”
I think, it’s a matter of, are you happy? I think most of us go into this because like we love it. And if it’s no longer bringing you that joy, you don’t have to do it. There are a lot of easier ways to make money! There are a lot of easier ways to make a living, that don’t require all of this stress. So, yeah, if you don’t love it anymore, then I think it’s perfectly okay to decide that you just want to give up. But really, it’s quitting for the good.
There was a podcast episode I listened to — I can’t remember exactly what show — where they were talking about the benefits of quitting. How quitting can do so many great things for you. Quitting something that’s causing you stress or quitting something that’s really making you unhappy. So, I think, if you’re getting to that point with writing, then it’s perfectly fine to quit or take a break.
Amy Parks: I love that idea of monitoring what’s bringing you joy.
Janae Marks: Yeah, like the whole like Marie Kondo thing – “does it spark joy?”
Amy Parks: Yeah, yeah.
Janae Marks: It’s not going to, at all times. Because writing is hard. There are those moments when you’re just trying to finish a revision and you hate it. But the joy comes from having accomplished it, and you know you have this finished product that you’re proud of. If, overall, every aspect of it is really just not exciting you — then yeah, I think quitting is perfectly acceptable.
Amy Parks: And mayb,e as people are making decisions about whether to keep querying or to go into self-publishing — thinking “well, what would bring me joy?”
Janae Marks: With querying, it’s so hard. Sometimes you know after three queries that it’s time to put a book down. And sometimes you need to get all the way up to a hundred before it’s like, “I think you just have to take a step back.” It’s a very hard thing to figure out. Just checking in with yourself along the way and saying “is it going to cause me too much stress to keep querying this book instead of maybe just working on something new?” Because I’m getting the same kind of feedback and I’m not really interested in revising it again.
Those kinds of things might tell you, maybe you’re better off moving on. Because at the end of the day, a lot of your trunked manuscripts could definitely come back later. If you get an agent, you could always submit one of those older manuscripts, down the line. Again, no writing is ever wasted. And even if it does stay in the drawer, at least you learned something from it.
Amy Parks: Things are going really well for you right now in your career as a writer. Are there still moments, even after the book deal, where you have this giving up feeling? Maybe not walking away from writing, but that kind of discouragement?
Janae Marks: I haven’t had really low moments, but I’ve definitely felt like the pressure is on. If I’m getting all these good feedbacks on my first book, I feel this immense pressure for the second book. It’s stress, moreso than wanting to give up. But, like I said earlier, there was that one author who just kind of decided that she wasn’t happy anymore. So I feel like that feeling does get away. And a lot of authors just get caught up in the business side of it. There’s so much that’s out of your control that makes up whether or not you can continue on with this career. Not all second books get purchased by your publisher. Sometimes your publisher doesn’t even support your debut. Then you have low sales and it wasn’t even entirely your fault.
Or, what if you don’t get along with your agent anymore? And you’re trying to make that tough decision about whether or not to leave them? Or – this is another one that I keep hearing — if you have low sales on your first book. Sometimes it’s really hard to get another publisher to take a risk on you. That would be a risk for them. A lot of times, there are things that make you want to give up because it’s just so hard. All you want to do is just write more books — and you made it with that first book. But then it’s still really hard to keep going with the next one. It’s sometimes out of your control because it’s the gatekeepers. Those feelings definitely still happen.
In order to try to get through it, try to find that community, talking to other authors. At least you’ll feel not alone, because they’re all going through it. And also, try to find a way to find the joy of writing again. Find a story that you are just excited about again. Try to focus more on that than on the business side.
But it’s hard. Most people want this to be a career, so it can be hard not to feel like giving up if the publishing industry is making it tough for you to publish more books. So far, I feel like I’m early enough in the process that I haven’t gotten there yet. I am aware that these feelings exist.
There’s actually another podcast, if anybody listening is really into podcasts now, there’s another new podcast that Dhonielle Clayton and Zoraida Cordova just started and I’m going to forget the name.
Amy Parks: Deadline City.
Janae Marks: Oh yes, Deadline City! The most recent episode as of this recording was about this concept of what happens when — after you get the book deal — they called it “the land of disappointment”. It was basically, you get the book deal, but that doesn’t mean that everything’s easy from then on. So it is really hard. But I think knowing that’s how it is, for some people, and just having that community — I’m definitely a big proponent of finding your people in this industry, that you talk to. So that you can understand that it’s not you, it’s tough for everybody. And hopefully that will keep you wanting to keep going and not give up.
Amy Parks: And maybe — early on — knowing that you never get to a point where all this goes away.
Janae Marks: As a debut, knowing that it doesn’t automatically get easy is really good knowledge to have. You go into it now with real expectations. You’re like, “it’s not just automatically going to be sunshine and rainbows now that I have a book deal.” And that’s good. You have more realistic expectations. You go into it, you’re not going to start thinking that everything amazing is going to happen from now on.
I think it’s good to have this knowledge. I think that’s what’s so great about all these conferences –including WriteOnCon — because you’re getting this real behind the scenes knowledge from experts. From people who’ve been through it — all these authors. I feel like this is good.
Amy Parks: This was so great. We are about out of time, though.
Do you want to tell listeners where they can find you on social media?
Thank you so much for having me, this was really great!
Amy Parks: Everyone out there, thank you so much for joining us today! For all of you listening, if you want to continue this discussion you can do so in the comments of the podcast page.
Enjoy the rest of the conference!
Janae Marks has an MFA in Creative Writing with a concentration in Writing for Children from The New School. She grew up in the suburbs of New York City, and now lives in Connecticut with her husband and daughter. From the Desk of Zoe Washington is her debut novel.