Introducing: MarcyKate Connolly

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Hey folks, I’m MarcyKate Connolly, author of MONSTROUS which will be out from HarperCollins Children’s Books in Winter 2015. I grew up in New Hampshire (which was not very exciting), then I went to Hampshire College (yes, that place that doesn’t give grades), where I wrote an opera as the equivalent of a senior thesis. It didn’t take long for me to realize it was rather difficult to get paid for writing music, so I went back to school at Boston University for an MS in Arts Administration with a focus on performing arts organizations. Now I literally know how to run the show.

Of course all that behind the scenes work did not satisfy the itch to create. I started writing novels seriously in 2008. The first few fizzled out but after years of querying, my seventh novel, MONSTROUS, finally got an agent (the delightful Suzie Townsend at New Leaf Literary) who soon after sold MONSTROUS to my equally delightful editor Rosemary Brosnan at HarperCollins Children’s Books.

That’s the short version. There were bumps in the road at every step. Figuring out how to plot a book. Trying to grasp voice. Querying three of those seven novels and picking myself back up to do it again every time until the fourth attempt finally got real traction. 300+ rejections from agents over the course of 3.5 years.

It was enough bumps that I almost didn’t query MONSTROUS. It was a book I wrote for me. It was wonderfully weird and broke a bunch of rules. The first page appeared in my head while I was stuck in traffic on my way to dinner with friends, and I was utterly distracted the entire evening. I could not stop wondering who would say that and what would happen next. As soon as I got home, I plotted out most of the book and wrote down that first page that wouldn’t leave me alone. And oddly enough, that first page hasn’t changed since. I revised the book more times than I could count, until I finally got the nerve to query it (in large part thanks to the very first Writer’s Voice contest and some not-so-gentle shoves from CPs). And, well, let’s just say I’m very, very glad I did. 🙂

Since I don’t have official copy yet, here’s the blurb from PM:

MarcyKate Connolly’s debut novel, MONSTROUS, about a girl recreated from the parts of her broken body, the wings of a raven, the tail of serpent, and a cat’s razor-sharp vision, and given the mission to avenge her own death and stop other girls of the countryside from suffering the same fate, pitched as Frankenstein meets Brothers Grimm.

It’s been a crazy journey, and I can’t wait to share this book with everyone!

MarcyKate Connolly is an author and arts administrator who lives in New England with her husband and pugs and writes weird little books. She’s also a coffee addict, voracious reader, and recurring commuter. She blogs about all those things and more at MarcyKate.com, and can often be found on Twitter. Her debut upper MG/Tween fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children’s Books in Winter 2015.
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