Learn more about WriteOut, a writing camp for teens founded by Ally.

Did having books published with a regional press help you land your current agent/publisher?

The short answer is nope. Not at all, in fact. It was kind of a non-issue, actually. Didn’t hurt, didn’t help.

The long answer is yes, absolutely. Because, when I sent that first manuscript to my first publisher back in 2004, they thought enough of it to ask for a revise and resubmit. And that changed everything for me. It gave me the chance to learn how to write. It gave me the encouragement I needed to put writing higher on the priority list. I owe a great deal of gratitude to them, especially to the wonderful Lisa Mangum, who was the acquisitions editor at the time and who was the one who saw promise in that original manuscript and said, “It’s not there yet, but there’s something good here.”