Friday, February 26, 2016

YA Success Story: An Interview with Author Patrick Flores-Scott

At the back of your novel Jumped In, your bio says you live in Seattle. What brought you to Ann Arbor? 
My wife got a job at the University of Michigan in the Rackham Graduate School, and I went from being a public school teacher to being a stay-at-home dad to our two toddlers. 

Tell us about your book and your journey to publication. 
I started writing in 2005. I got my agent in 2009. The book sold in 2011 and came out in the summer of 2013. It was a long process. My agent believed in me as a writer, but he wasn't sure about my draft. He decided to just send it out to a couple editors at a time. When the rejections came in, we'd look at the feedback and he'd say, "Whattaya think?" I'd tell him what I thought I should work on next and then I'd go do rewrites. It was a slow, but positive way of dealing with rejections. When Christy Ottaviano bought the book, it was way better than it had been after that first round of rejections. 

How did you get your agent? 
When I thought my draft was ready, I went to the library in search of a book that looked and felt like Jumped In. I thought, "If an agent liked this, they might be into my book." I picked up S.A. Harazin's Blood Brothers, and found out that her agent was Steven Chudney. I sent him a query letter and pages of the novel. He liked it. It happened really fast and I consider myself extremely lucky. 

What has been surprising or challenging about your experience? 
I think the most challenging thing has been how long everything takes. In terms of surprises, I'd say just selling the book and the smoothness of the editorial process and the fact that the final product has been pretty well received... a series of happy surprises.

What's next for you?
I just had a short story published in the MacMillan collection, I See Reality, Twelve Short Stories About Real Life. And my second novel, (tentatively titled) American Road Trip, which I started in 2009 (!), is finally scheduled to be released January of 2017. 

Patrick is a stay-at-home dad and early morning writer. His short story, The Good Brother, appears in I See Reality (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and his second YA novel (Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Books) is scheduled for a 2017 release.

Patrick kept his answers short at my request, but here's a little more: he was a theater major in college, his debut YA novel Jumped In is full of poetry, and when he says he's an early morning writer, he means he sets his alarm for 4:30am!

Jumped In was named to the 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, a Walden Award finalist, a Washington Book Award winner, an NCSS/CBC Notable Book for the Social Studies, and a Bank Street College Best Books of 2014. Learn more at:

Coming up on the Mitten blog: On the Scene in 2016 - support for debut picture book authors and illustrators, take-aways from the SCBWI New York conference, and another round of Hugs and Hurrahs. To be included, please send your good news to Patti Richards at by March 20th.

Have a great weekend!


  1. Welcome to the great state of Michigan, Patrick! And congratulations on your successes. Christy O. presented at our recent fall conference on Mackinac Island and after that, we all wanted to work with her. Kudos!

    1. Thanks for the warm welcome, Carrie! Yeah, Christy is the best.

  2. Congratulations Patrick! Thank you for sharing such an inspiring story. Looking forward to learning more about your books!

  3. Congrats on American Road Trip. January 2017 is right around the corner!

  4. Welcome to Ann Arbor! It is the greatest city on earth! :)

  5. Congrats on your success, Patrick. Hope you'll consider coming to the monthly SCBWI shop talk meetings at the Ann Arbor District Library when you can. We have a good group writers that come, and it'd be great to meet you.

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  7. Patrick, it's nice to get the back story on your success. Congrats on your new novel coming out next year! I agree with your surprise on the slowness of the process--it continues to surprise me I have to say.

    1. Looks like the pace just picked up,Lindsey... Can't wait to read your book. Can't wait to read it to my boys!

  8. Yay, Patrick! Looking forward to reading your next one, too.