Sunday, January 22, 2012

Interview with Author Jodi Meadows - plus Query Critique!

Today I have the distinct pleasure of interviewing Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate, which releases next week!

Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut.
*A Kippy is a cat.

See the bottom of this post to read more about Incarnate and to learn how to win a query critique from Jodi!

You're very active in the blogging/tweeting world. Any tips for other authors out there?
Sure! Best tip: only do it if it's fun for you. Social media can take a lot of time, and if you're not having fun with it . . . no one else will either. (But don't let it be TOO fun. Remember: your job is to write books.)

Pantser or plotter?
Both. Sort of in the middle. I used to write organically all the way. With INCARNATE, I tried plotting beforehand. This was incredibly useful and I've embraced it for all my projects since. But I still leave room for new and unplanned things, because sometimes they turn out to be everyone's favorite parts. (See: masquerade scene.)

You're represented by Lauren MacLeod; can you tell us how that came about?
I got Lauren the old fashioned way. I admired her agentness on Twitter, queried her, and then sent her manuscripts until she said yes.

What's the first thing you did when you found out (ERIN) INCARNATE was going to be published?
Stunned silence. I have not spoken a word since. (Kidding.)

You used to read submissions for a literary agency; how do you think this has affected your writing and path to publication?
It definitely gave me a perspective few authors get. I understand a lot better why agents and editors say no, even to good projects. (No love.) I understand why they may take on flawed projects. (Intense love.) It also gave me a good idea of just how many people out there are writing books (a surprisingly large number!) and how many of those books are similar to the latest big hit (ditto).

If you had a past life, what do you think you would have been?
When I was a kid, my sister and I used to pretend we were princesses in past lives. These, of course, were princesses that never existed. As children, we weren't so into the idea of research.

What would you like to be incarnated as?
A unicorn! Or a ferret! Or a cat. Or -- no, definitely not a book character. Never mind.

You collected unicorns as a child, right? Any plans to include them in a story?
I did! I was easy to shop for on Christmas and birthdays. And one day they'll make it into a story of mine.

You've said you wanted to be an astronaut (like on Star Trek) when you were little. If you did serve on the Enterprise, where would you like to go first?
If I actually served on the Enterprise, I'm afraid I'd be a red shirt. You know, the character who comes on for that episode and everyone seems to like . . . and dies by act three.

Rapid Fire:
Favorite color?
Favorite mythological creature? Unicorn.
Vanilla or Chocolate? Chocolate.
Kirk or Picard? Picard -- he's who I grew up with.

I just wanted to say thanks to Jodi for stopping by YAtopia! Read more about Incarnate below and find out how you can win a query critique from Jodi!

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.

Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?

Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Jodi Meadows expertly weaves soul-deep romance, fantasy, and danger into an extraordinary tale of new life.


As a former literary agency submissions-reader, Jodi knows a lot about what works in a query. Though she no longer does her fantastic "Query Project" posts on her blog, she is giving away one (private) query critique (up to 400 words) to one lucky commenter!

How to enter: This one's easy. Just make sure you follow YAtopia via GFC or email and leave a comment below saying what you would want to be reincarnated as before 11:59 PM Eastern January 30th. The winner will be chosen by Make sure to leave your email address so we can contact you if you win!

Spreading the word is not required, but greatly appreciated. You know how it is... Karma :-)


  1. That cover is gorgeous! And what an awesome interview :) (I grew up with Picard too! And I'd be a red shirt, ready to die five seconds after I land on a strange planet, lol)

    I think I'd want to be reincarnated as a mountain troll... like on Lord of the Rings! Those things are so ugly, but they don't seem very self-conscious about it, lol. So I can deal with that!

  2. Ooo, awesome interview. I LOVE IT. :D

    I'd like to be reincarnated as a penguin. I mean, before I wanted to be a tiger, but now, I think penguins are cooler, ya know. (bad pun, I know.)

    I follow via GFC! :)

  3. I'd want to be reincarnated as a fairy!!

  4. Thanks so much for stopping by Jodi (and great interview Sarah)!

    I'd want to be reincarnated as a cat, a fluffy one with a family that lavish me with pats. Meow.

  5. Thank you for this interview and the opportunity! I'll be sure to add INCARNATE to my to-read list.

    I'd want to be reincarnated as a guy. Because I think that'd be very interesting. (Especially if I was able to somehow retain my memories as a girl. LOL.)

    My email address is naseoullee(at)

  6. Fun interview! I'd want to be reincarnated as a house cat so I could sleep in the sun all day and then annoy my owners at 5 a.m. Maybe then I could understand what's going through my cats' minds half the time. My e-mail address is sbcrispell(at)

  7. I preordered Incarnate so long ago, I can't believe it's finally coming out! Reincarnation has always been a huge interest of mine and I'm really excited to see what Jodi does with it. :)

    If I was to be reincarnated I'd definitely go with wolf. I'd still have a close family, get freedom unlike anything any human ever gets to feel, and I'd get to howl.

    Whenever I howl now, I get strange looks. I mean, yes, I probably shouldn't be doing it in the grocery store, but come on. Give a guy a break, eh?

    E-mail: ihiatt(at)

  8. I love the cover. This is a book I've been dying to read.

    I want to be reincaranted as a pegasus. I think that would be awesome!

  9. This is a FANTASTIC book and I'm excited to be a part of Jodi's INCARNATE release party (and what a party it'll be)! I loved Jodi's Query Project and was very sad to see it go away (though it's totally understandable) so I'd love to win a query critique from her.
    GFC follower (the one with the cute dog!)

  10. I collected unicorns as a child, too, which has been an endless source of amusement for my husband. I still have a few, but most of them went to nieces during their unicorn phases (well, the unicorn phase is an extension of the horse phase: unicorns are like horses, but EVEN BETTER).

    I would like to be reincarnated as a crow or raven. I'd get the smarts, the family ties, and a pair of wings to take me just about anywhere.

    Thanks, Sarah and Jodi, for the fun interview and chance at a query crit!

  11. I'd wanted to be reincarnated as a fluffy and adorable Golden Retriever. I would lay around all day and let people pet me and eat their shoes. It would be awesome.

    Great contest! Thanks!

  12. apeymay(at)yahoo

    I'd be reincarnated as a turtle. I could travel with my home and all my 'stuff'. I could hide if I needed to, swim when I got too hot, sunbathe when I got too cold, and live for quite awhile, moving slow enough to take in the great things around me.

  13. ryann.kerekes(at)

    Great interview! I would want to be reincarinated as a phoenix.

  14. Hm. reincarnated as, hm. what?
    How about a do-over? Or come back as a man just for kicks, LOL.

    btw, I would love a query crit. What a headache they are.

  15. Love the interview. This was fun to read! My email is ashleydmaker(at)yahoo(dot)com

    I like the idea of reincarnation, but I wouldn't want to be reincarnated as anything. I'm content with just this one life :-)

  16. I'm happy with who I am and feel blessed to have the life I've been given, but I would love to come back and have a shot at being a prima ballerina! nc_hintz(at)yahoo(dot)com

    Thank you! My query desperately needs help! This was a great interview and I want to read the book! christy

  17. I'd want to be reincarnated as a wizard. :) stephanieheart7(at)gmail(dot)com

    Can't wait to read Incarnate!

  18. That cover is so gorgeous. I love those colors. I'd want to be reincarnated as a rainbow. :3

    meagrivers (at) gmail (dot) com

  19. Reincarnate sounds fascinating. It made me think of a book called Memory by Linda Nagata--totally different journey, but it uses the idea of souls being reborn over and over and keeping memories from their past lives. Can't wait to check this out!

    I'd want to be reincarnated as either a bird or an islander. Bird because I would love to fly anywhere I want, feel the sun on my wings and just BE. An islander, because who doesn't want to live on a beautiful island just like in Lost. Wait, um...:)

  20. I would want to be reincarnated as a man in the middle ages because it is my favorite era in history.


  21. I want to be reincarnated as a panda b/c a panda is cute, cute, cute. It gets to be cute all day. It's still Chinese (which I am) and gets to eat bamboo!

    jadedlittlegirlx AT gmail DOT com

  22. would love to win this! I would be reincarnated as a Viking warrior because I am badass!
    scottnyingling at g

  23. I want to be reincarnated as a cyborg. A cool one, though... :D

  24. I'm excited to read this book! It sounds like it has some very interesting world-building. As for what I'd want to be reincarnated as, hmm... I agree with Jodi; I wouldn't want to be a book character. (Writing my own story helped me realize that one!) I guess I'll go with someone from a different country. I'd love the chance to live in Europe or Asia, for example.

    I followed the blog via GFC, and my email is :)

  25. Sounds like a great story. Thanks for the fun interview. I love hearing about new books!

  26. I can't wait for this book!

    If I could be reincarnated as maybe a hummingbird (you get to be cute and fly and eat sweets all day!) or a pampered house cat (you get to be cute and sleep and eat handouts all day!). Those are my two options and I'm sticking to them :)

    angel28140 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  27. that's easy! if I could reincarnate into anything I'd reincarnate into a shapeshifting dragon ;-)

  28. haha. I like Dina's shapeshifting dragon idea.

    INCARNATE sounds so good! I can't wait to get my hands on it! ^_^

    If there was one thing I'd want to be reincarnated as, it'd be a rescue or service dog. Because I'd get to be a dog, but have a job helping people by finding or guiding them. :)

    hannah.h0308 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  29. I'm so looking forward to reading Incarnate! Thanks for the chance to win a query critique!

    I would want to be reincarnated as an animal. Maybe a Komodo Dragon or a dinosaur!

    I'm a GFC follower and my email is komalk.lewis(at)gmail(dot)com

  30. This sounds like a great story, and thanks for the chance to win a critique.

    Can I be reincarnated into a different world? If so, I'd like to be a Jedi :)

    I follow the blog. My email is elizabethmaryparker(at)gmail(dot)com

  31. Awesome interview! So...critique? Pretty please? How about if I make puppy-dog eyes?

    I have been following you already, so good on that.

    And I would like to be reincarnated as a sloth. Why? Just to see how fast the world moves for them. Or if they as bloodthirsty as we believe...

    Email: somescreamingfangirl at gmail dot com. TTYL!

  32. The contest is now closed to entries! Any entries after this comment will not be considered. The winner will be announced soon. Thank you!

  33. "If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"! mawaddainternationalaid