Today I’m interviewing Katie Mills from her blog Creepy Query Girl. Katie’s posts are full of voice. Whether she’s blogging about her own writing journey, interviewing authors, or posing interesting questions to evoke discussion among her very devoted followers, her voice and personality are distinct and entertaining. She’s collected over twenty blogging awards in the time that she’s been blogging since April 2010 with her first post "Oh yes she did..." Katie lives in France with her husband and her three girls.
The title of your blog cracks me up. Can you tell us a bit about your blog’s concept and what inspired you to start blogging?
When I started querying my very first book, I started with the old fashioned method–Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and sending out hard copies to British agents. But the more I researched, the more avenues I discovered: things like querytracker.net, online contests and writing conferences. And most of this information was found through blogs. Writer blogs, author blogs, agent blogs, editor blogs… First, I fell in love with the community. Then, I decided I needed to be a part of it. But I didn’t want to force it. The blogs I loved most featured people being who they are and doing what they do. At the time, I was diving into the query pool head-first and writing and querying were taking up a lot of my daylight hours. I spent tons of time researching agents, sending queries and stalking my inbox. I’ve never been one of those girls you see on tv who scream and cry and faint when celebs are near– I’m not much of a ‘fangirl’. But agents had become this big, reverent phenomenon in my mind that made me get all squealy from the slightest interaction. I started to feel, well…creepy :) So, the name of my blog just kind of fell into place. ‘The Agent’ has since lost a lot of its all-powerfulness in my eyes (thank God) but I think it happens to a lot of new writers when they first start querying.
With over a thousand followers, you have clearly built a strong lit community surrounding your blog. While I have my own opinions (strong, engaging voice and Friday Morning Follower’s Bloffee which I’m now addicted to like caffeine), what do you think has drawn people in and kept people coming back?
Thanks so much! I think what draws people in, at least in the beginning, is the platform. I’ve had a lot of new followers tell me they were intrigued by my blog name and liked the way my blog was set up. But I think if you want to draw people in, you have to be out there. You can’t just post every other day and sit back and expect others to visit and comment. Even the big-time publishing industry blogs lose hits if they stop interacting with the community. I try to visit and comment a little bit every day, even if it’s just hitting a few of my regulars. My facebook writing account consists of mostly blogging friends so I try and keep updated through that, too. I’m able to do more on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays so those are the days I post and comment most.
I think what keeps people coming back is content. My blog has a theme (querying, writing, publishing industry and all that comes with it) and I try and stick to it. Most of the time :) I also try and remain very ‘real’. I don’t sugar coat how hard this process is. I do often put a comedic spin on things because that’s just who I am. When I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, I usually cry first and laugh later while sharing the laughter with my followers if I can. Aspiring to be a published author can be so frustrating and there are so many ways to be brought down. But there’s also something empowering in never giving up, putting yourself back out there and trying harder and I try to remind myself (and my readers) of this whenever I can.
How does blogging affect your writing?
Blogging keeps me writing. It’s as simple as that. Throughout the ups and downs, rejection and writer’s block– the blog keeps me on my toes and pokes at my creativity all the time. Keeping updated about the industry, interacting with aspiring or published authors, making supportive friends, betas and crit partners, learning about the craft- all of it has kept me in the game. Without blogging, I don’t know if I’d still be here. So yeah, pretty important :)
What lessons have you learned from blogging? Good or bad?
Sometimes it’s good to take your muse by surprise. All of my posts are written on the fly and the improvisation keeps me on my toes.
You give what you get. A blog is one in a million and you get out of it what you put into it and into the community as a whole.
What is one of your favorite blogs? What makes it one of your favorites?
Oh God. I have so many favorites. Maybe this happens for everyone, but when I first started blogging, I was lucky to fall into a fabulous group of new bloggers, most of which have made pretty big names for themselves around the blogosphere. We all kind of ‘grew up’ together blog-wise. If you go back to some of my earliest posts and then see who commented today, you’ll see a few of the same people. It’s amazing some of the bonds we’ve formed. There are too many favorites to name but I do have a ‘posse’ list on my side bar that features the blogs I interact with most.
Can you talk a little bit about a current project you are either promoting or working on and where you are in the process?
Oh dear. I wasn’t planning on talking about my current WIP for awhile because I feel like a crazy person for writing it. But basically this project poses the question of whether a person is born with talent or it’s nurtured into them. My sixteen-year-old protagonist accidently discovers that everyone in her life are actors playing a part. Armed only with a mysterious list of names and places, she runs away from home in hopes of discovering the truth about where she came from. Her search eventually brings her to Hollywood where she and her newfound allies suspect a big-time talent agency has been cloning well-known icons from the 1950’s and planting them in different locations around the United States in an experiment to see if their talent develops. I’m about 30k into it and I hope to have finished the first draft before summer’s end.
Thanks so much for having me Kimberly! Loved your questions!
Good luck with your WIP Katie! That's something I would absolutely pick up off the shelf to read. I hope I'm able to!
Stop by her blog, check her out, and keep your eye out for Friday Morning Follower's Bloffee!