It’s always exciting when an author’s debut book gets published. Yesterday, Katie M. Stout’s first book, HELLO, I LOVE YOU (St. Martin’s Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books), came out. It’s doubly exciting because I remember getting the query for Katie’s manuscript and now it’s a book! I asked Katie about her life in the slushpile and if she has any advice for authors who are trying to find an agent!

Was this the first manuscript you queried? Or had you done it before?
I queried another book to like 5 agents before this one, but I had no idea what I was doing and immediately stopped. I don’t really count that time, so Imma say this was my first. Forget you ever read that first sentence. *works Jedi magic*

Was there anything that surprised you about the path to publication? Anything that wasn’t what you expected?
Just how long it takes a book to be born after it’s been acquired by a publisher. Like, who knew publishing professionals actually have lives outside of work and aren’t at their desks 24 hours a day like little elves?

What was the most difficult period (from writing to getting hard copies) in the publishing process?
The submission process was the hardest for me. When I was querying, I was still in control, but being on sub is totally different. It freaked me out that I had to let somebody else be the boss of my manuscript, no matter how much I liked and trusted her.

Do you have any advice for people currently sending their work to agents?
Find a hobby that takes up a lot of time. No, seriously. You’ll need something to keep your brain busy while you’re twiddling your thumbs waiting for responses. Now’s a good time to start learning underwater basket weaving like you’ve always wanted to.

And finally, how’s it feel to hold the book in your hands?
Basically, it’s


And when people buy it, I feel like they’re saying