Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What's Fresh with Sara Hantz's The Second Virginity of Suzy Green

Suzy Green used to be one of the coolest nonconformist "almost—Goth" party girls in Australia. That was before her older sister Rosie died and her family moved to a new town. Not even her best friend would recognize her now. Gone are the Doc Martens and the attitude. All she wants is to be like Rosie—perfect. The new Suzy Green makes straight As, hangs with the in—crowd at her new school, and dates the hottest guy around. And since all her new friends belong to a virginity club, she joins, too. So what if she's not technically qualified? Nobody in town knows . . . until Ryan, Suzy's ex, turns up.

As the past and present collide, Suzy struggles to find her own place in a world without her sister.

Hello, Sara, good to have you here to chat! Could you please tell us a little about your writing background and how you made your first sale?

Sara: I spent many years in academia, so before writing fiction I wrote text books, academic papers and reports. About four years ago I decided to try writing fiction, and I realized this was what I wanted to do full time. I wish I’d done it sooner!

I started off writing chick-lit and hen-lit, then in November 2005 I decided to try a teen-lit. After writing 3 chapters I did what you’re not meant to do and started to send it to agents, to test the water. Ooops!!! That’ll teach me. The story seemed to hit the right nerve because straight away five agents asked for the full manuscript and six for partials. I sent the partials and said to those requesting the full that it still needed some tweaking (aka writing) and I’d send when ready. In only a few days one of the agents had read the partial and asked for the full.

I managed to finish the full by January and send to all those who requested it….. most of them asked for it by email which was an added bonus….. 10 days later the agent I mentioned above phoned and offered representation. I said yes pretty much straight away. By February I’d done some revisions for my agent and she sent it out to lots of publishers. Andrew, the editor from Flux, phoned asking if I’d be prepared to do some revisions. I said yes (obviously!!!) and he sent me a very detailed letter. I did them. He was happy and then asked me to do some more, saying if they were ok he’d take it to the Acquisitions Committee. He took it to the Committee and they offered me a contract. The title changed to The Second Virginity of Suzy Green.

Readers and writers often like to get a behind the scenes peek of an author's writing routine. It would be great if you could please share your typical writing day schedule.

Sara: I follow the ‘little and often’ principle. I always have my current manuscript open on the PC and dip in and out of it all day long. I have a very short attention span and find myself getting distracted by other things, yet some how I manage to produce the work – I suspect there are fairies at the bottom of the garden who come out at night and do some for me.

Now why does that short attention trait sound familar to me?? *wink* Please tell us about your novel, The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, and what we can expect from your characters.

Sara: The Second Virginity of Suzy Green, released by Flux on September 1st 2007, is about a troubled teen who moves to a different town to make a fresh start. She even joins the virginity club, despite not technically qualifying. But that’s ok, because nobody in town knows the truth… until her ex shows up.

Can't wait to read it, Sara! What's up next? Do you have another project in the works? If so, please tell us about it.

Sara: My agent is currently selling my book about a kick boxing champion who acts as a stunt girl for a rebellious teen movie star.

Thank you again, Sara, for sharing with us. I wish you the best with your debut. Would you like to close with a writing tip?

Sara: Writers get rejected all the time, so when you receive one hang on in there. Very often rejections don’t mean you have no talent, just that your manuscript isn’t right for them at that particular time. I believe there’s an element of luck involved in all sales. Take The Second Virginity of Suzy Green as an example. It landed on the editor’s desk just as he was thinking about broadening their offering to include books set overseas. Right place, right time!

Sara Hantz started writing when she ran out of degrees to study and decided it was much more fun to make things up than to comment on dry academics. Born in England, she moved to New Zealand a few years ago. The Second Virginity of Suzy Green is Sara's first novel. Visit her website, www.SaraHantz.com

4 fresh comments:

TinaFerraro said...

Sara, I'm of the "little and often" writing style, as well!

As you know, I pre-ordered your book, and am now waiting for it to arrive...

And I wanted to add (for all our readers) that both Kelly and I are featured on Sara's Blog Party today, so please, zip over to www.sarahantz.com/blog and say hello!

Kelly Parra said...

I'm eager to check out Suzy Green, too, Tina!!

Christina Phillips said...

Great interview, Sara and Kelly! And congrats again, Sara!

Kelly Parra said...

Hi Christina, thanks for stopping by!!