Wednesday, September 5, 2012


You guys! We have a bit of a treat for y'all today--an interview with IlIma Todd!

IllIma was a finalist in the last contest we hosted and afterward, contacted us. She's landed an agent, y'all! And some of that comes from entering our contest! :) So here's a bit from her.

Tell us a little about yourself?
I'm a mom to four kids and wife to one hot babe. I homeschool during the day and write late at night to alternative music thanks to a lot of Diet Coke. I love to read anything YA, especially if there's kissing involved and am hopelessly dependent on my amazing critique group for keeping me sane. They are my best friends in the whole world. I'm a Firefly/Battle Star Galactica fan nerd who loves to eat avocados.
How long have you been writing?
I made a new years resolution in January 2010 to write a novel, just something I've always wanted to do--a bucket list item. Once I started, I realized I could never stop. It was just too much fun! So that would make just over 2 1/2 years of living this wild and crazy life as a writer.
What genres do you focus on?
I'm sticking with YA sci-fi and fantasy for now. I've written an MG and a YA contemporary, but my heart lives in speculative fiction for teens.
How many manuscripts have you written?
REMAKE is number 4. And I've started a 5th, but it's kind of on the back burner while I'm refocusing on REMAKE again.
How long have you been querying?
I queried my first book in January for a few months with a handful of requests but no offers. I queried REMAKE for about 2 1/2  months this summer before getting an offer
 What agent did you accept an offer from?
Jennifer Skutelsky of Veritas Literary.
Tell us how you found this agent:
I'm super proud to say it was from a cold query, so for all you writers in the query trenches, it really does work! Also, I received an offer from another agent as a result of an online contest, eerily similar to the ones here on Writerly Rejects. Hint. Hint. ;) So those work too. I know the search for an agent is super stressful, but don't give up!
 Our two standard questions:  What piece of advice do you wish you were given when you started writing?
Learn how to write. After a year and a half of writing what I though was brilliant literature, I attended my first writers conference and realized I had no idea what I was doing. After that, I found some critique partners, read a ton of writing craft books, stalked the internet for writerly blogs, and continued to write write write. And that would be my advice to everyone now no matter what stage you're at, don't stop writing!
 Favorite desert:
Anything that combines chocolate and peanut butter. And ice-cream. Chocolate and peanut butter ice-cream...mmm.
 Where on the web (blog, facebook, twitter) can you be found?
I tweet at @ilimaktodd. My blog is


  1. This is way awesome! I started writing again in 2010 too, so I totally feel how this whole thing went down. And it makes me all the more happier for Illima. Congrats on landing an agent!

  2. Yay for Ilima! She is one of the most wonderful and giving of people. And to top it all off, she's a fantastic writer. As one of her CPs, I know the truth--she's largely the one who keeps us all sane! So proud of you, Ilima!!

  3. Thanks TC and Kathryn! And thanks to the Rejects for having me!

  4. Congrats, Ilima. I've seen this story floating around on the interwebs in contests and such. It's such a great premise. I'm so glad it found a home.

  5. Congratulations, Illima! It's always great to hear about a writer who lands an agent through a cold query :)
    I'll be keeping an eye out for REMAKE. Good luck with publishing house submissions!

  6. It took me a while to learn how to write also. I think over the past 6 months, I've learned so much. Hopefully that'll all seep into the intial writing so I don't have to do so much editing.

  7. Ilima Todd is one amazing writer girl. So glad you interviewed her. Before my 1st writing conference I thought I knew how to write too:) And avocados, I LOVE those things.