“I think YA is the coolest genre out there. And that’s not just because it’s what I write, but because it’s TRUE! The teenage years are wild and crazy and unpredictable. As a teen, everything is the end of the world if it doesn’t go right, and if it does, it’s the best day of your life,” says Cummings, a 20-something YA specialist from the Lone Star State.
“I have a wonderful agent and supportive family of writers surrounding me! TEEN SHIVER is a group of YA authors living in Texas! We have some big names, and I still feel all fan-girly when we hang out!”
Cummings has a right to be with her Texas writing posse, having penned The Murder Complex in a mere two weeks and snagging agent Louise Fury shortly thereafter with the story. The Murder Complex revolves around two teens who must struggle to survive in a world where the government creates and controls pre-determined murders to keep the population down and save resources for future generations.
“I met Louise at a conference in Dallas back in February. She was hilarious and awesome, a total spitfire, and I knew I wanted an agent like her. I just didn’t think I’d ever actually get HER. I literally said ‘hey’ for a few seconds. Everyone was crowding around her to talk (and gush about their novels) and so I decided to just talk to her on Twitter some about having curly hair in humid Dallas. Then I queried her in May, and a week later, we signed! It was a crazy yay-fest for about a month.”
Cummings’ support system, which includes her agent, is part of a network of people who uphold the writing dreams she dreamt of as the child of a father who also wrote.
“I used to write little animal stories about life on the farm. They were cheesy and probably poorly written, but it gave me my start and a passion!”
Cummings’ passion to write literally became her life two years ago, when she came down with chronic fatigue. The illness makes her exhausted all of the time and has affected her ability to do the other things she loves such as sports and running.
“Because of my health, I have the blessing of writing full-time! It’s awesome, but HARD. I get tempted by the books on my shelves. I get tempted by the TV. I get tempted by having the opportunity to nap all day. I’m working on a number of projects, because The Murder Complex is on submission, so I figure ‘why not get all my wild ideas on paper while I have the free time?’
Indeed, Cummings peppers her agent with new ideas in a steady stream, and while The Murder Complex is not her first novel, it is one that culminated after writing other stories that made it as far as the dresser drawer.
“It was a learning experience,” said Cummings.