“This is going to sound creepy and weird, but when I was younger I did things that freaked people out.”
Those “creepy and weird” things inspired Tabatha Vargo to write her first book, Magic, which landed a spot on inkpop’s November 2009 Top Picks chart. Just several months later, the 27-year-old known as Vargot on inkpop, is back with a second book, On The Plus Side, which at publishing time of this blog post is in the number-five Top Picks slot for February 2010 … and she’s working on two more books.
Here, the South Carolina writer talks about what might be her sixth sense, tricks for becoming a top Trendsetter, and what it’s like to be “super woman.”
inkpop: Magic has been in your head for 13 years and is about a character named Mage McPherson, who has always known that she has “secret abilities.” What is it about the story that’s stayed with you?
Vargot: When I was younger, I would sing a random song that I hadn’t heard in ages right before it played on the radio. I would tell someone to answer the phone before it actually rang—just things that I couldn’t really explain, but that probably had more to do with coincidence than anything else.
My grandmother used to tell me I was different—that I was able to do little things that others weren’t capable of. I don’t think she actually thought this, but tell a young girl with an imagination as large as mine something like that and she is going to run with it. I would lay in bed at night thinking of scenarios: “What if there was this girl who could do this or see that? What if every time she cried it rained, or every time she was extremely happy it was really sunny and bright outside?”
The whole thing just kind of grew over the years. As a teenager, I was nothing like the teens on inkpop—there was no way that I would have been able to finish writing an entire novel. Once I married and had my daughter, I starting reading and writing every time I got a quiet moment. I’d rush home from a night out with the family anytime a really cool idea for Magic would pop into my head. It became my obsession.
You’re balancing marriage, parenthood, going to school full time, working part time, and being an active inkpopper. What’s it like to be super woman?
I love everything about my life! Sometimes it’s difficult balancing everything, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I didn’t go as far in school as I would have liked when I was younger, and I’m making up for it now. The part-time job is so that I don’t go crazy.
inkpop has become my guilty pleasure. Reading books used to be my mommy time—now inkpop has taken the place of the books on my bookshelf. I find myself waiting until the entire house is asleep and then sneaking onto inkpop to find something to read. There is seriously so much talent and it’s gotten to the point where there are better things to read on inkpop than what I have at home. I rarely get adequate sleep because of this.
What’s happened since your experience as a November Top Picks author, and what are your goals for Magic?
A lot has happened. I’ve been working on all the changes that the editors at HarperCollins have suggested [in the Editorial Board review]. I’ve had some agents request a full manuscript for Magic, and I’m currently keeping my fingers crossed for one in particular. Believe it or not, I’ve even given an autograph to a random stranger at a New Moon premier, which I find almost comical!
I’m super surprised by the reaction to The Magic Trilogy and On The Plus Side. I hope to have one or both done, completely edited, and published in the near future.
What’s next for you? What are your ultimate goals in life?
I hope to finish up school in the next few semesters and party like a rockstar when I get my associates degree—it’s kind of a big deal for me, a personal goal that I meant to reach. My daughter starts pre-k in August, so I plan to bawl my eyes on that day. I’d like to be a really hip young author; I will try with all my might to get Magic and On The Plus Side published. I could go on and on about my ultimate goals, but the reality of it is, as long as my family and I are happy, I’ve reached my goal.
What’s your inkpop experience been like, and what’s your advice to inkpoppers about improving their Trendsetter rank?
It’s been an insane rollercoaster ride. One minute you’re up, then the next minute you’re down. What a rush! I’ve loved every minute of it. Some unreal things have happened to me on inkpop. Magic was voted best work on inkpop, and I was voted most influential person [in the first inkpop Inkies Awards]. I floated on cloud nine for a week after that.
To improve your inkpop Trendsetter ranking, you have to love inkpop and love to read. I sign on every day and read something new. If I feel like I would rush to the nearest book store and buy what I’m reading, I add it! I’ve just been lucky to find a few great projects before everyone else. While historical romance is my all-time favorite, as long as there is some kind of romance involved I can read anything.
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