Thanks for all of your questions! Here we go with my super-awesome answers.
Carolina asked: How many revisions did you go through before you got your agent, and how many after?
Well, my whole journey to getting an agent took me 6 posts to do, and it explained a lot of that, so I will try to condense the answer. I did tons of revisions on different books, but the book that actually got me an agent I did a couple of rounds of revisions before sending out to agents (with my CPs). It was a fairly clean draft because I was more careful while I wrote it and didn't have to do as much revising. After I got my agent, I did two rounds of revisions, one was a little bit more involved and one was mostly just line edits (change a word here or there, or move this paragraph around, etc.).
Carolyn asked me to let you all know how the signing went, which I did in my last post!
Christine also wanted to know the same question as Carolina (she loves hearing about other people's journeys). Again, I did a big series of posts about "my path to getting an agent" a couple of months ago. If you haven't checked those out yet and want to know more about my path, that's where to get the low-down.
Janiel asked: How many other projects do you have in the works? How's your heart? The kids? Is YOUR agent going to agent your future works?
I have four projects at different stages, two are done being revised with my agent, one needs more revising and one is my current WIP. My heart is doing so much better, I decided not to use the beta blockers or anything, and so far, so good. I'm very grateful for that, especially after the way my last couple of weeks have gone, ha ha! My kids are doing awesome, Kid A decided to join his K-3 elementary school Christmas choir and has his first practice in the morning. His last soccer game got rained out unfortunately, but he did great this season and loved having SHH (otherwise known as his dad) be his coach. Kid B is too dang smart for his own good. He's really beginning to talk a lot, which is so fun. One of my favorites is when he says "boat." He sticks his lips way out, in a huge pucker, to enunciate the 't.' So cute! And yes, I'm planning on my agent being my agent for a LOOONG time to come (preferably until the end of my career. When I die. Ha ha). I love her and we work together really well. I'm so happy to have her as my champion in this business and as a friend.
Jennie asked: how do you balance it all: mother, wife, blogger, author?
Oh man, it's really hard sometimes. Okay, all the time. My friend Ally and I have often joked about how we don't "have time" to write (as many people, usually people who aren't writers) like to assume (you know the ones who say, "boy I wish I had time to write a book!" ha ha. Yeah. Right.); we have to "steal" the time. I steal time from housework, from sleep, from relaxing or TV, or any number of activities. I try very hard not to steal the time from my kids or my husband, but let's be honest, sometimes they probably get the short end of the Mommy/Wife stick--especially if I'm on a deadline. I just have to cut out anything superfluous, and I have learned to work very quickly in the time I have. Especially now that I work from home at nights, too. (Which unfortunately does cut into my prime writing/reading time.) I try to think about ideas during the day, so when I sit down to write, I'm ready to go.
Sometimes the blogging part is the hardest part for me. Blogging, and reading other's blogs, and commenting can take up SO much time. But it's so wonderful, and the online community is so amazing, that I am determined to make the time for it. Usually late at night, or maybe if my kids are playing and happy I will jump on my laptop and try and hurry to sneak some blog reading in.
Really, it's just hard, but I do my best to juggle it all and make it work.
Elana asked: Your favorite food? Treat? Season? Give me some faves!
Ooh, boy. Food. One of my passions. I ADORE cooking and baking, so you have to be more specific if you want faves for food. As a teen I would have immediately said "steak and mashed potatoes" (which is still a favorite), but now I have categories. Favorite ethnic food: Thai, especially with Mangoes and Sticky Rice for dessert. Favorite restaurant overall: Benihana. Oh man, I'm salivating just thinking about it... Favorite dessert: super tough because I'm a huge dessert junkie. But my number one standby is an amazing brownie sundae. But, as any of my friends or family will tell you, I have a huge list of incredible desserts I make. I just love dessert. I could keep going, but I should stop. My stomach has started to growl.
I really love all the seasons (except the middle and end of winter, when everything's dead and ugly and it's not Christmas anymore so snow, and coats, and boots, and cold aren't fun anymore, and I just want it to warm up again), but to narrow it down, my absolute favorite Holiday Season is Christmas. Hands down. I just love Christmastime.
Colene asked: Your fav book? Movie? Fav guilty pleasure? Fav thing to do when you aren't writing, reading, mom-ing, working?
Oh boy, hard questions. I really love a lot of books. My over-all favorite book as a teenager was THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver. That book really made me want to not just be a writer, but an amazing writer that could do something like she did with that book. My favorite book series of all time is definitely Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling is my hero, and as I've said before, I would die if I could meet her. I love MATCHED, and PARANORMALCY, and THE DARK DIVINE and Julie Berry's books and Shannon Hale's books, and oh dear this could go on and on, so let's stop there. Just know there are many, many, many more. You can friend me on goodreads if you'd like to know more about my tastes.
Same thing with movies. I miss going to the movies all the time like I used to, but there just isn't time. The movies that I've absolutely loved the most this year are INCEPTION (by the way, I know for sure how it ended, if you want to know...!) and AVATAR in IMAX 3D. They were both so incredible. All time favorites would be super hard to narrow down, but a couple that come to mind are THE ULTIMATE GIFT (a smaller movie that was so powerful and beautiful and I love it), I loved all the LOTR movies, especially RETURN OF THE KING. I'm also a sucker for great chick-flicks, some classics are HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN 10 DAYS, ENCHANTED (kind of a kid's movie, but I love it), THE NOTEBOOK, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, THE SCARLET PIMPERNELL, MADE OF HONOR, you get the idea. Can you tell I love books and movies? And that I can't make decisions?
As for a favorite guilty pleasure... hmmm, probably eating all those desserts I mentioned before. And my favorite thing to do besides writing, reading, mom-ing, working? Probably taking a hot bubble bath, except that usually involves reading, so um, sleeping? No, no, I know! Going on a date with my SHH. That doesn't happen nearly enough for my liking. I love going on dates with my guy--just us, no kids, no stresses, just relaxing and being together. Usually eating good food. And indulging in my love of desserts.
Carolina asked: When do you write?
I think I pretty much answered that already. Whenever I can steal the time, but especially at night, or during naptime for SonB (and if SonA is watching a movie or playing happily).
Thank you so much for all of your questions, I hope you enjoyed reading my (sometimes really long) answers!