C. M. Surrisi
No problem. No raven left behind, right?
Exactly! So, how'd you get interested in writing for kids?
I was a born mimic. From the first time a picture book was put in my hands I wanted to copy the drawings. As soon as I learned to read, I wanted to write my own stories. In third grade, I filled spiral notebooks with stories of two sisters who solved mysteries of missing crayons and cookies. I see, I read, and I want to make. I particularly dug in to middle grade and identified with the outsider-girls. I do not connect with the term "popular." So, making stories for the rest of us has been my joy. And I love a good pager turner, so mystery is a fun challenge. I love introducing kids to a genre that they can continue to enjoy as an adult.
A well-spun mystery makes for a great read. What subject excites the author in you?
I am one of those people who'd test smack dab in the middle of the left-brain/right-brain function scale. That probably explains why, when I practiced law, I wanted to sing and dance my opening statements in trials. That also translates into wildly diverse interests as a writer. At the moment I am working on two books that will be published in ’22 and ’23. One is a YA non-fiction on a female Viking warrior, and the other is MG fiction on fangirls and influencers. I have written picture books, a MG mystery series, YA non-fiction, and an adult mystery! If there is a rule about having a groove, it's not for me.
I think more trial lawyers should dance and sing! Sounds like the workings of a whole-brain kind of gal! Do tell, how did you find Kelly Dyksterhouse as an agent, and what do you love about working with her?
Kelly and I were in the same MFA class at Vermont College of Fine Arts. We ate too many carbs together at Dewey Hall, laughed in the wine pit, cried on laundry day, and experienced all the joy that is that program. We became great friends and I met her family and watched her children grow up. I know her to be a lovely, principled person, a great mom, and community member. She’s a superb writer and fabulous editor. When she told me she was considering becoming an agent, I immediately knew my work was a good fit for her, and she would be a great addition to the agenting side of the kidlit community. I love that she is committed to transparency, nurturing, and finding great matches. We make a great team!
You've got the inside scoop on all things Kelly, sounds like. Well, thanks again for hopping on over during my blog party. So glad you made it!
Glad to be here.
Watch for her two new books, BONE QUAKE: AWAKENING A FEMALE VIKING WARRIOR from Chicago Review Press in 2022, and THE UNOFFICIAL LOLA BAY FAN CLUB from Putnam in 2023. C. M. is rep'd by Kelly Dyksterhouse of Raven Quill Literary.