Deep Thoughts With My Pal Brodi

You may have heard me talk about my friend Brodi. Brodi's on the left.

Brodi's second from left.

Brodi's on the left.

From these pictures,  you might think that Brodi's biggest talent is looking exactly the same in every photo taken of her.  But on her talent scale, this barely even registers.  Brodi is an ace tennis player, a musical genius, an uber-blogger to whom I will forever aspire, and... a soon-to-be-published author!  Publisher's Weekly put it best: To the Underworld and Back Again Agent Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich closed a three-book deal with Kristin Daly at Balzer + Bray, selling North American rights in a pre-empt for a YA paranormal romance by debut author Brodi Ashton. The first book in the deal, The Ever'neath, is partially based on the Greek myth of Persephone: a 17-year-old who's been banished to the underworld escapes to her former earthly existence with her family and boyfriend. The catch is that she only has six months in the real world before being sent back to Hades, this time forever. Book one is tentatively scheduled for winter 2012.

To any non-writers who still bother reading my blog (aka my parents), this is a HUGE deal!  Selling a trilogy (in a pre-empt, no less) is nothing short of amazing!  Knowing that soon Brodi's interview requests would come rolling in, I decided to get in where I fit in and start mind-probing her ASAP.

ME: Since you'll be getting this question a lot, I want to prep you by asking what inspired you to write this book?  How did the idea come to you?

BOMBTASTIC BRODI (who has mistaken this for Bombastic Brodi on more than one occasion):  The Persephone myth has been in my noggin since birth really. I had a mom who, instead of reading me Goodnight Moon, would put me to bed each night by telling me tales of the Greek Myths. It was sort of annoying when I grew up, and didn't know anything about pop culture. People would be all, "Madonna rocks!" and I'd be all, "So does Persephone! And do you know Aphrodite? What a head-case!"  It didn't necessarily win me any friends. Anyway, I love writing about teens, for teens, so it totally made sense to combine the two.

ME: What was your path to becoming a published author?

BB: Rocky, bumpy, full of potholes, a lot of rejection, a lot of tears, and a lot of self-doubt. So, it was really great! After I finished writing my first book, my sister-in-law challenged me to start querying, and we'd race to see who could hit 100 rejections first. I'm pleased to say, I won that battle. Totally hit 100 rejections. But I also got my first agent!

... who later couldn't sell my first book. But I didn't quit- I wrote another book!!!

... that my agent didn't really like. We parted ways, and I really thought that was probably going to be the end of my writing career. But I took that second book, and started toward the 100 rejection challenge again, and along the way I got an offer from an agent. A few actually. Okay, 9. So that helped with the self-esteem issues. I'm so lucky my agent Michael Bourret chose to work with me! We revised a few times, and then he sent the manuscript out in September. Two days later, we had an offer. I still can't believe it.

ME: I know you're part of a fantastic writing group, the SIX.  What's next for the SIX?

BB: The SIX is the the best writing group ever, and I'm so lucky to be a part of it! Someday we're going to plan a writing conference on a cruise ship. Everyone's invited!

ME:  Frankly, BB, I expected a more interesting answer.

BB:  I know, it's lame.  I promise to give a better one soon.

ME:  Involving our SIX-sponsored yard sale?

BB:  I told you already, that's not happening!

ME:  But people will want random tchotchkes that once belonged to burgeoning star Brodi Ashton!  Give the people what they want!...