New Client Alert — Melanie Wick Singer
- By: Ramona Pina | Date: Jun 13 2022
Melanie Wick Singer
What you Write:
Naomi Davis and Ramona Pina
BookEnds radiates a warmth that is unparalleled. The agents feel personable and approachable, and also exude the know-how to back up their stellar reputation. I admire the agency’s transparency, commitment to authors, collaborative spirit, and contributions to the kidlit community. I can’t imagine a better partnership!
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
I usually write on the couch, with a laptop and a cat on my lap. I try to write daily, or at the very least participate in a writing- related activity (classes, critiques, etc.) Once in awhile, I randomly draft a PB or jot down ideas in the notes section of my phone. But the danger of 3 a.m. PB ideas is that they are generally nonsensical. Like my last one, which read “Idea: Fe 50.” If anyone wants to make this idea into a picture book, that little gem is yours!
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
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.)
If I am feeling uninspired, I step away to read, read, read, take a class, or offer to critique other manuscripts just to keep the juices flowing. I keep in touch regularly with my critique partners so we might talk shop for a bit, which usually gets me in writing mode. Or I look back at old manuscripts of mine that I really loved to try to ignite that sense of passion. And if all of that doesn’t work, I take a break and watch a few minutes of a trashy show with a bowl of mint icecream. There’s something about a good brain freeze that does wonders for the soul.
What do you love about writing PBs?
I love the challenge of choosing every word. It is such a fascinating process to take all these ideas swirling in your mind, put words to them, try to order the words in some sort of way that makes sense, and then carefully assess each one in order to create something beautiful; something that resembles those ideas in your mind/heart. I am also so excited to partner with an illustrator who will put their own spin on these words and bring our vision to life.
What is the hardest part about writing PBs?
I think one of the hardest things is when you have a PB draft that just doesn’t quite work, and you’re not sure why. It can be challenging in a PB because you don’t have a ton of words to explain yourself, so everything needs to click- and quickly on the page. I have found that space from the manuscript and helpful critique partners are the best for this (and I am so lucky to have the greatest CPs on the planet. And no, they did not make me say this). The flip side is that when it does finally click: Bliss.
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Oh, this is lovely to imagine. I’m big into nature, so I would say a little cottage overlooking the mountains … with a hot chocolate bar and a hot tub for the occasional dip under the stars
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?
I wanted to know if they were editorial. While I appreciate support and encouragement, I love some tough love. I want the best possible chance at publication, and I wanted someone(s) that would tell me the truth, and help me whip that manuscript into shape. I’m so grateful that Naomi and Ramona are both very supportive and editorial, and I feel like my work is in the best possible hands.
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
I definitely made the mistake of submitting a couple things too early. I think for me, once it had been through a handful of critique partners and they no longer had any major concerns (just little edits/ideas), I felt more confident. And getting some space from the manuscripts is important here too. If it has been through drafts and critiques and revisions, I give it a couple weeks. If after that I read it and still love it… I get this feeling like my whole body is sighing. And when that happens… it’s ready.