The MWW Planning Committee is excited to introduce its newest member–the incomparable Summer Heacock! Although Summer is a relative newbie to MWW, she’s been writing for years, women’s fiction mainly, and her quirky, upbeat, honest blogs and tweets as “Fizzygrrl” have netted her thousands of followers and fans. Summer joined the committee in September. With her, she brings her unique brand of boundless energy, vision, spontaneity, and passion for writing. Please join us in welcoming her into the MWW fold. You can visit her blog at www.fizzygrrl.com and tweet her @fizzygrrl.
MWW: How and when did you hear about MWW? When did you first attend, and what did you take away from it?
SH: I first heard about MWW on Twitter! The source has become a bit of a legend in my mind at this point. I was tipped off either by Dee Romito (@writeforapples) or had seen lit agent Sarah LaPolla (@sarahlapolla) mention it. I’d been in search of a conference to attend and was pretty intimidated by all things publishing at the time, but MWW seemed like a perfect fit.
My first year attending was in 2012, and I took away pretty much everything a person can take away from a conference. I walked in the Alumni Center not knowing a soul and scared to death, and left with so many wonderful new friends, a notebook full of information to make me a better writer, an award for “Best Tweet of the Weekend,” and a fistful of agent requests, one of which turned into an offer of representation that I accepted. So, basically, it was a dang good time.
MWW: What advice would you give new writers as they seek their first publishing credit?
SH: Wear a helmet.
Or, less ominously, buckle up and prepare for all the feelings. Surround yourself with people who will give you real talk and the feedback you need to hear, not just the things you want to hear. It’s just as important to have beta readers who will tell you what sucks as it is to have ones that tell you what’s great.
The downs are pretty gutting. Everything you are goes into your words, so being rejected by agents or editors or whoever sort of feels like standing there naked in front of the world and being handed a form rejection that says, “Thank you for allowing us to you consider your bits, but your boobies just aren’t a good fit for us at this time. Best of luck to you and your junk.”
But the wins? The days when you get the good emails or the happy phone calls? Those days make all those other days totally worth it. Like, flying high off those for ages.
Although, I’d like to think writerly folk are all a bit masochistic, really. Why else would we willingly do this to ourselves, yeah?
MWW: I’ve got to ask about your huge social media following … how did you do it? (Please answer in 140 characters or less.)
SH: I get into really embarrassing situations that I tend to Live Tweet, I try to interact with everyone, and I find ace geeky GIFs. #Blessed
(Side note: I don’t feel like I have a huge following by any means. But I am consistently shocked there are a few thousand people who are entertained enough to keep hanging around, and I appreciate them all very, very much. This is me snugging them all.)
MWW: What writing projects are you working on now?
SH: Okay, this will go down in my personal history as the exact moment I realized I need an official title for this story. (This also might be the moment Jama realizes she’s made a terrible mistake bringing me on board…)
I’m working on a contemporary Women’s Fiction that has been lovingly referred to as “The Vagina Book.” I’ll…I’ll just see myself out now.
MWW: What is your most head-spinning writing fantasy/goal?
SH: Gosh, like the craziest, geekiest dream?
Okay, let’s go back to like ten-year-old Summer for that one. I have always wanted to do two things: write or act. And my biggest, shiniest dream all through adolescence was to see a book I wrote be turned into a movie that I would then star in because “realistic goals.”(Jama, Summer tells me that this sentence is correct. Although I don’t get “because realistic goals,” but maybe it’s just me. Is it clear to you?)
I’m just saying if David Fincher wants to give me a call and discuss “The Vagina Book,” I wouldn’t let his call go to voicemail.
But, in the real world, my biggest goal, truly? I really, really, really just want to see my words on paper. Real, actual paper with words printed on it that I wrote. That’s it. That’s the goal.
I imagine the first time I hold a book of my own I’ll get a paper cut because the universe is freaking hilarious.
MWW: And finally, what does being part of the MWW Planning Committee mean to you?
SH: So very much. I love MWW in ways I can’t properly express without devolving into a squeaking mess of flailing and tears and sounds only dogs can hear. I love these people. I love this place. I love this conference. I was driving my kids to the park when I got the call inviting me to be on the committee, and I legitimately was tearing up and stuttering through my acceptance. I saved the overjoyed ugly crying for the call to my husband when we got to the park. Like a grownup.
I owe a heck of a lot to MWW, and I’ve done my best to help out however I could over the last few years, but now in an official capacity? I’m working my ‘tocks off to do everything I can to give back to this amazing community.
And not to oversell it, but MWW15 is going to be AMAZING. Seriously. Holy biscuits, guys. Hold onto your butts.