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Whitney's "Frequently Asked Questions"
 

1. Should I read your books  in a certain order?

It depends on what you are reading.  Always the Bridesmaid, Here Comes the Bride and First Comes Love are a series.  They don't have to be read in order -- they'll still be fun on their own-- but you'll probably appreciate the adventures of Cate Padgett more if you start with Always the Bridesmaid and end with First Comes Love.  My books for teens (Party Games and Love Off Limits) are not a series and can be read in any order.  Though I've had a ton of requests for a sequel, Roommates is also a stand alone and is not linked with any other books.

2. How do I get published?

This question could be answered in an entire book, and luckily there are many devoted to this topic. Every aspiring author should purchase an updated version of Writerís Market (the book), and an updated version of Guide to Literary Agents. Theyíre massive, but offer plenty of great advice on getting published, submitting to agents and finding the right agent and publisher for you.
When you have thoroughly completed your book and are ready to submit to agents consider your book a product. Who is your consumer? Why will an audience be drawn to your book? Make sure you include this in your tight and compelling cover letter, and absolutely make sure your manuscript is polished.

3. Iím thinking about writing a book. Any advice?

If writing is something you really enjoy doing, why not? Iíve never needed much encouragement and have always felt most comfortable safely tucked behind my computer, creating characters, and sorting out all their problems. Iíve also never been the ďclock in, clock outĒ type of person so I knew writing professionally would fit my lifestyle. However, I always wrote for myself. Getting published is very difficult, so if youíre writing a book for the money and not because you simply love to write you may want to think twice.
Donít quit your job. You donít have to devote every waking minute to writing a book. Start by writing a page a day and within a year youíll have a novel. Again, the competition in the
publishing world is stiff so donít count on a book to financially support you. I wrote two other books before Always the Bridesmaid. I even landed a well-known agent for one. Neither books have seen the bookstores.
Classes can help, but I really think the best education for writing is reading. Study what other authors do. Sometimes the worst books can be the best learning tools. The most skilled authors can be the greatest teachers. Ask what the author is doing that makes his or her writing so great? What tools do they use to make something hilarious? Intense? Heart-wrenching? What are they failing to do when the book is so bad that youíd prefer to read the ingredients on the back of a frozen entree?

4. I wrote a book. Will you read it?

Itís always a great idea to seek guidance from someone with editorial expertise. With that in mind, authors and editors are two different breeds, and youíd benefit more from sending your work to a professional editor. Even now, I still like to have an honest and critical set of eyes read my material before I show my manuscript to my agent and editor. Authors often get too close to their work to be able to critically dissect it. There are lots of people who are so brilliant at giving feedback and helping authors get published they do it for a living. I recommend Mike Sirota: www.mikesirota.com. Heís provided much guidance for me as well as several other published authors over the years, and never fails to give me excellent advice.

5. Were you on Jeopardy?

No, but to my great delight, I was one of the answers that Alex Trebek read off!  Read about my little moment of glory by clicking here.