New Client Alert — Courtney Donovan
- By: Jenissa Graham | Date: Aug 12 2022
What you Write:
MG Science Fiction & Fantasy
BookEnds is bursting with positive energy, knowledge, and experience. I’m a huge fan of the BookEnds blog and YouTube channel which show the agency’s dedication to their clients, their agents, and creators who are interested in the industry. And on top of all that, Jenissa’s enthusiasm and vision for my project blew me away! I’m so excited to be working with her.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I used to be a vehement pantser! Throw out the map and just start driving—no destination, vibes-only. Over time, however, I’ve learned I actually love outlines. Now I’m somewhere in between. Getting a full sense of the character arc is hugely important to my process, and I also try to nail down the significant story beats. But once I start writing, things can change as inspiration strikes and I learn more about my characters.
As for where and how often I write: any time and place I can. I have a busy work schedule, so I try to set aside time whenever possible. Sometimes that means 20-30 minutes early in the morning or late at night, especially when I’m drafting and trying to hit certain goals. But mostly I set aside time on the weekends and write outside on my patio for as long as my laptop battery will last!
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
I’m not on social media, but you can find me on my website: cadonovan.com.
Do you have any writing rituals? (e.g. burning a candle if you’re having trouble getting started at the computer or writing longhand first if you’re feeling uninspired.)
I love finding a movie soundtrack (or ambience video!) that fits the mood I’m trying to capture. Or if I’m really feeling stuck, sometimes I turn to craft books or writing advice from my favorite authors for inspiration.
What do you love about writing MG Fantasy & Science Fiction?
Creating fun and immersive worlds. I’m always thinking: What’s out there? What’s possible? What if…? And I love exploring these questions in middle grade fiction, which deals with such a broad range of important experiences and themes. It’s a particularly special time for questioning and discovery and hopes and dreams. I want to create stories full of adventure and magic (or science!) that also reveal something new to the reader—no matter how small—about themselves or the world at large.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
Definitely! Meet the Robinsons has been a big influence, and most recently I’ve been inspired by The Owl House and She-Ra and the Princesses of Power.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
I spent a long time on this question. (Probably too long.) About 40% of me would travel all around the world for inspiration, but the other 60% just wants a little spot in the wilderness somewhere. Most likely in the mountains, surrounded by trees and an unobstructed view of the stars at night.
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
When I felt there was nothing more I could do. I revised my manuscript with my wonderful critique group and beta readers. Eventually, I got to the point where I felt it was as strong as I could make it, and I knew I was ready for the next step.
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It’s nice to understand writer’s process. It’s clear by the way she answered that she’s meticulous and quite driven. I really hope, just like we get to see all agents in action on Bookends YouTube channel, we someday get a zoom recording of multiple authors to hear them take James’ investigative questions (with loads of laughter and optimism sprinkled).