New Client Alert — Sylvia Mercedes
- By: Amanda Jain | Date: Jul 24 2023
What you Write:
All things Romantasy!
I was very impressed by Amanda’s philosophy, her approach to working with a hybrid author (like me!), her flexibility, and her knowledge of the business. For every question I asked, she had the right answer . . . and brought to the table things I’d not yet even considered. Talking to her got me very excited, which is just what I was looking for in an agent/agency.
Tell us a bit about your writing process. Where do you write, and how often?
After 20+ published works, my process is a sort of refined chaos. I always write a sloppy, awful, unreadable, but totally energy-packed first draft, which gets me excited about the story. Then I go back through more slowly and make it pretty.
I’m a full-time novelist, so I work 8-6 from my home office . . . but with lots of tea breaks with my handsome “house husband,” and cuddle breaks with my four small children, (two-year-old twins need lots of cuddle time!), five cats, and rescue puppy.
I generally publish 2-3 books a year under my independent brand, FireWyrm Books. So I keep busy!
Where can readers find you on the web and social media?
I’m on Facebook
Sometimes on TikTok
And you can sign up for my newsletter if you like (And get a free short story!)
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.)
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of longhand writing to get my creative juices flowing. My husband likes to buy me fantasy-themed notebooks—so I just finished filling up a “Celestials” notebook and have started scribbling away in a “Mother of Cats” themed one. The first notebook he ever bought me (back ages ago, before we were married) was a gorgeous embossed “Muse of Arts” theme. I love it so much, I still carry it around in my purse (even though I filled it up a long time go!).
A pretty notebook will always inspire me.
What do you love about writing Fantasy Romance?
I love the escapism that Romantasy offers—the faraway places and thrilling magic. But it’s a dramatic genre as well, which creates opportunities to explore themes that really matter to me. I’ve tackled heavy topics such as chronic illness, trauma bonds, and codependence recovery . . . all wrapped up in a beautiful package of magic, fae, dragons, and (always) romance!
Why did you choose the genre you’ve chosen?
I feel like Fantasy Romance chose me. I grew up adoring all things fantasy-themed, but found myself longing for more romance in my reads. Wonderful YA authors like Robin McKinley, Megan Whalen Turner, and Shannon Hale opened my eyes to the possibilities in YA Fantasy . . . but as I got older, it only made sense to let my stories grow up along with me. I love that I can now have all the wonder of fantasy that I once enjoyed as a child, but with characters who resonate with me as a 30-something woman.
What is the hardest part about writing Fantasy Romance?
Sometimes the sheer EPICNESS of the plot gets away from me, and I find myself facing these massive villains and world-ending stakes that I’m not entirely certain how to resolve!
That’s where the sloppy first draft saves the day. I can write a couple of disastrous resolutions before finally landing on the clever solution my heroes can use to save the day.
Do you get inspiration from any TV shows or movies? If so, which ones?
As a former English Lit nerd, I will always be inspired by the classics, whether in book, movie, or (my personal favorite) mini-series form. So basically all the BBC Jane Austen movies! (Colin Firth will forever be my Darcy.)
My husband and I also just binge watched (for the third time) Agents of Shield, which I just love for its found family dynamic and amazing plot twists. We’ve also watched Firefly enough times to quote whole chunks by heart. (“No power in the ‘verse can stop me!”)
If money were no object, what would be your dream writing location?
Honestly, I adore my current office. My husband took some unfinished attic space and turned it into a breathtaking oasis of creativity. (Here’s a TikTok video tour if you want a look!)
What was the most important question you asked when interviewing agents?
For me it was important to have an agent who could think nimbly while working with an independent author—who could see opportunities to diversify my income and really utilize my backlist in exciting new ways. So the most important question I had was, “What is your experience working with independent authors?”
How did you know your book was ready to submit?
My submission for BookEnds is a truly special project . . . I’ve known it since the idea first came to me a year ago. I’ve been cultivating it ever since, but it took a little while before I felt ready to show it to anyone.
However, the enthusiastic feedback I had from both author peers and beta readers gave me the confidence I needed to submit it. Now I’m eager to see what’s next for this particular story!