This week's question: What are your comp titles? In writing a query letter or seeking an agent, how would you describe your work to them by likening it to other books?
Nancy Drew meets Hoot by Carl Hiassen, meets The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch.
Nancy Drew because I think if you have a young girl solving mysteries, you have to give props to her. I remember feeling so bummed out when I learned there was no Carolyn Keene, but instead a series of ghostwriters. Though in retrospect it does make sense considering the formulaic, canned writing style. Still, ND made me think a mystery was ALWAYS just around the corner, and I LOVED that feeling. It continues to inspire me.
Hoot because it involves kids solving a mystery with some environmental elements. Though I can't pretend my characters are anywhere near the BIG, brassy, kooky characters that populate a Hiassen book.
The Highest Tide does not include a traditional mystery, but it is about a kid who loves nature who is trying to figure out who he is.
Take all three, stir them up a little, add something unique that could only come from me, set it in the sun to dry, and you should have some approximation of The Extraordinary Life of the Insect Collector.
A young girl who is trying to figure out her place in the world, who loves observing nature, and gets thrust into a mystery she feels she has to solve.
Check out the other responses at the YA Highway site.
Read Jess' interview of me for the Before They Were Published series here.