Fans of the blog might remember today’s featured writer from her appearance on Glass Cases back in October 2009. Weronika Janczuk has since turned 18 and just completed a major revision of the novel she had given us a glimpse of before, Where the Doves Fly. Also back in October, Weronika expressed interest in attending a “NYC-based university,” a goal she can now cross off her list, as she plans to attend NYU next fall, where she intends to “double-major in English and Journalism with a focus on creative writing and real-life application (publishing).” Whoa.
Weronika queried a middle grade spy novel when she was only twelve years old. “But, of course, the darn thing wasn’t ready for the world,” she admits. Over the next six years, Weronika has had a few poems and essays published in various magazines, e-zines, and anthologies, and is now, obviously, focusing on her novel. She also writes on her blog, Weronika Janczuk: Writer & Intern. On writing: “I love to write and I love the possibility of exploring worlds and other people, so despite the hurdles that continue to arise I’ll always write.”
Among her influences are Kate DiCamillo, Laurie Halse Anderson, M.T. Anderson, and J.K. Rowling. She also gives me an opportunity to correct a mistake I made yesterday about a writer, who also happened to be one of Steph Bowe’s influences, Sara Henry. (I had accidentally referred to Sara as Australian yesterday. In fact, she is not!) Sara, along with Weronika’s other “real-life” mentors, YA novelist, Swati Avasthi, and writer, Ina V. Steinman, offered Weronika sage advice that has stayed with her, including how to apply screenwriting basics to make her novel work.
Weronika is currently looking for an agent for Where the Doves Fly and is in the process of outlining two previously written novels, one fantasy, the other contemporary YA. Where the Doves Fly is a literary, historical novel about “artistic struggle, the relationship between fathers and daughters, and obligations to both family and country.” She estimates that she’s 20% finished with a rewrite of her fifth draft, but can’t wait to start pitching it to agents: “I think I will pitch it as something similar to THE LOVELY BONES – an adult book with YA crossover potential.”
So after she accomplishes her dreams of becoming a published writer and graduating from college, Weronika hopes to turn her current internship at a literary agency into a career. “I’ve come to realize that I love this world of books and writing and quirky/witty/awesome people,” Weronika says of her “overarching plan” to eventually open her own agency. “It’d be awesome to do all of that within ten years,” she adds.