I hope you’re having a great weekend so far. You may have guessed by the flying pig over there (and the title to this blog post) that I have a book deal!! The manuscript of my heart, TEACH ME TO FORGET, is going to be published! I’m thrilled to say I will be joining the awesome group of talented authors at Merit Press! I’m also SO SO excited to work with the amazing editor-in-chief there, Jacquelyn Mitchard, as well.
For those of you who don’t know what TMTF is about, here’s a quick blurb.
Ellery’s bought the gun, made arrangements for her funeral, and even picked the day. A Wednesday. Everything has fallen in to place.
Now all she has to do is die.
When her plans go awry and the gun she was going to kill herself with breaks, she does the one thing she has control over–return it and get a new one. After tormenting the crusty customer service associate by trying to return the gun with the wrong receipt, Ellery gets caught by the security guard who also happens to be someone she knows–the annoyingly perfect Colter Sawyer from her English class.
Colter quickly uncovers her secret and is determined to change her mind. After confessing his guilt over his brother’s suicide, he promises not to tell her secret. Ellery tries to fight her attraction to him as the shadows of her past cling tight around her, but when she’s faced with another tragedy, she must decide whether her love for one boy is more important than a lifetime of pain.
My journey to this book deal is kinda long so rather than tell you about it, I’m going to show you through Disney GIFs because that’s more fun ;o)
I started to write my first book in 2007 after reading Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series (LOVED it). I had no idea what I was doing and to say I was a noob was an understatement.
I discovered Nathan Bransford’s blog and started to learn more about publishing.
There was so much out there I felt like I was entering a new hidden world.
I joined twitter, participated in NaNoWriMo, and made some great friends.
I queried my first book.
Then I got “the call.”
And it finally happened. I had an agent…
Then a friend suggested I write something from my heart.
Something I cared about.
I wrote TEACH ME TO FORGET in a week. It was crappy, full of plot holes,
and mostly dialogue, but I left my heart on those pages.
During this time, my agent decided to change career paths…
Which allowed me to find my dream agent–Christa Heschke.
Then the work really began.
I revised, and revised, and edited, and worked to get my MS in shape.
Then we went on submission.
Then one day another call came. I had a book deal!!
So now it’s time to say goodbye to my book and give her to you.
I’m SO proud to share Ellery’s story with you. It’s been a long journey but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
My list of thanks is long. But I will keep it as short as possible.
Christa: for believing in me, never giving up, and for your mad skills. Hannah and Ron: for unending support and love. Brenda: for being the best bestie I could ever have, and for being there unconditionally. Carol: for being my soul sister. Melanie: for being a great friend and for the good times! Dahlia: for giving me the idea to write about something I care about and for your continued support. Marieke: for your critical eye, encouragement, and friendship. Kaitlin: for friendship, coffee dates, and fun times. YA Misfits: for being so much fun and a great support system. All The Write Notes: for nourishing my musical creativity and providing a fun outlet to share it. Jamie and Brooklyn: for being my first CP’s ever, and for believing in me in the very (very) beginning. Jude: for making me believe I may have a shot at publishing. My twitter friends: for providing an amusing, supportive, and encouraging outlet for my thoughts, fears, and pretty much anything I can think of. I love you all <33
Until the pigs fly again. Rock on!
Speak up:23 comments
| TAGS:book deal, Disney, Merit Press, Teach Me To Forget
I hope you’re having a good week so far ;o)
I’m bringing out the flying pigs again. Why? Well, it’s been a running joke that every time something good happens to me it must mean that pigs are flying somewhere. I know it’s quite humblebrag of me to say that. I know I must be doing something right to have good things happen, but believe me when I say I am truly humbled and often surprised when they do. So thus here come the flying piggies. I like how there’s a cow in it too, that makes me laugh. It’s like he’s kind of looking at us and saying, “seriously, if one more damn pig flies near me I’m gonna hurt someone.” Do it. Look at his eyes.
Anyhoo. Back to the news. As you may have guessed by my not so subtle [insert agent name here] title, I have an agent. YAY! *dances*. If you recall I wrote a rather emotional yet optimistic post about the woes of being in-between and talked about not having an agent. I kind of threw it all out there. And you know what? It felt GREAT. You can read it here if you feel so inclined.
It was not an easy journey to my wonderful new agent. When my previous agent made some tough decisions and changed career directions (I love her. Always will. No blame game over here) I was taken down a few pegs. Querying again was… strange. I hadn’t done it in a year, so it was an adjustment. It’s kind of amazing what comes back to you though.
I sent out a first round and got some requests and nice comments. I was at about 20 when I was getting the feeling it just wasn’t going to happen with this MS. When someone *cough Brenda Drake* told me not to stop querying. I know, quitting after 20 is lame, but I have another MS that is more commercial that I thought stood a better chance, so I was just going to wait. Well, since Brenda is right almost all the time, I sent out another batch. In this batch, I got more requests and good responses and garnered two offers.
This is the part where I *SQUEE*, right? I mean it’s not a bad problem to have, right? Two agents love your book. But it was harrowing, you guys. Making a decision even between two agents was incredibly difficult. Trust me, writing the email to the other agent to say I passed was the hardest email I’ve ever written. They were both great and made it really hard to decide, but after talking to my new agent and discussing my other manuscripts (I have like five more) and hearing how enthusiastic she was about those too? I was sold. She’s as sweet as can be and we have a lot in common. I can tell we’ll work great together.
The list of peeps to thank is a mile long, so I’ll try to keep it short, but I’ll start with Brenda Drake, my bestie who is my alpha everything. Carolina Valdez Miller, my other bestie who constantly inspires me to be a better person. Dahlia Adler and Marieke Nijkamp, my wonderful CPs who have been there to talk me off ledges and keep me sane. I have to thank Melanie Hoo Swiftney and Rachel who helped me with my query, KT Hanna, all the YA Misfits! All my peeps from All The Write Notes and The Kindness Project and of course all my friends on twitter, you know who you are ;o) Louise Fury for her friendship and guidance. Judith Engracia for taking a chance on me! And my awesome husband who always puts up with me staying up late and makes dinner while I nap and is pretty much my everything. Man, I’m sure I forgot people, but this blog post is already seriously long.
Since I love seeing query stats and most people do as well. Here are my stats for the second time on the query-go-round.
Queries Sent: 27
No Response: 3
Partial Requests: 1
Full Requests: 12
Hope you have a great week! Stay warm ;o)
Speak up:27 comments
I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer!! Mine just got a lot better (understatement of the year)!!
At first, I couldn’t find a pic of a flying pig (apparently they don’t exist, Ha) so my lovely friend Leigh Ann sent me this one, it’s all legit ‘n stuff, so… we cool.
SO. Yeah. This blog post is kind of hard to write, which is weird. Honestly, I’ve met SO many awesome friends, tweeps, bloggers, agents, editors, writers, authors, animals (wanted to see if you were still reading) who have enriched my life and made it possible for me to write a blog post of this nature.
I’m THRILLED to announce (if you haven’t already guessed) that I have an agent!! SHE is amazing. Okay, okay, I’ll tell you who. It’s JUDITH ENGRACIA from the AWESOME Liza Dawson Associates. I’m SO excited to work with her!!
GUYS. Jude is the best. Here’s our little story…
I sent her a query for my NaNo 2010 MS (yes, that’s 2010. I revised/rewrote the crap out of it)… and I get a response back from her saying she was speechless and to send my MS right away. I sent it to her. A week later I get an email from her saying she started my MS and should be done in a couple hours and would I like to talk. UM WHAT? I mean, she said she wasn’t even done with it. So, naturally I thought she couldn’t possibly offer. BUT. She did. After she finished it, of course. She started the conversation by telling me my MS is a mash-up of Equilibrium, Minority Report and Shutter Island. I loved her instantly. We make an awesome team. She’s so personable, sweet, patient. She’s enthusiastic about my writing and loves my ideas for my other WIP’s. I wanted to say YES, I wanted to scream it from the rafters (I don’t have any rafters) BUT. I did have some fulls out that I had to follow-up on. Which I did, and I think I actually made sort of friends with one of the agents that rejected me. Who knew?
So, my journey to agentdom isn’t that interesting, but since people loves stats, I’ll post them ;o)
Queries sent: 32
Requests from queries: 10
Requests from Miss Snark’s Baker’s Dozen/Writer’s Voice contests: 7
Ninja agent (found me on twitter): 1
I have a list a mile-long of people I could thank for
putting up with my crap helping me along the way, whether it was with encouragement, beta reading, talking me off a ledge, or just being there. Here we go. I know I will inevitably forget someone.
First, Brenda Drake. She’s my Alpha everything and one of my best friends. We meet in NaNo 2010 and have pretty much been inseparable since. LOVE her. Next, Carolina Valdez Miller. She’s one of my favorite writer besties, soul sisters, whatever you want to call it. I love her. She’s been there for me and she’s awesome beyond words. I have to thank the AWESOME Melanie Hoo who is an AMAZING friend and SO much fun to hang with (oh, the memories) The next group are also my writer besties, CP’s, overall SUPERB individuals: Cecily White, Leigh Ann Kopens, Adrien-Luc Sanders, Kristen Yard, Jamie Grey, MarikeN, Dahlia AF, @INukeYou, @ifollowthenight, Cait Peterson, Chessie Zappia, Megan Whitmer, LK Gardner Griffie, Jamie DeBree and Brooklyn Ann. Also, a shout out to my new agent sister, KT Hanna. I’m SO excited to be a part of #TeamJude ;o)
AND Of course, All my bloggy and twitter pals!! YOU (that’s right, I’m talking to you) are amazing and I LOVE you!! I HAVE to give a shout out to the wonderful Louise Fury who is always there for support and she sends me some seriously AMAZING MS’s. I’m not going anywhere, you’re stuck with me ;o)
Last but certainly not least #clicheoftheday My wonderful husband who braves lonely nights while I write and who is incredibly supportive of my choices. AND my sister, who was one of my first readers. I know she’ll always be there to read every crappy version of every story I write and still tell me she loves it.
DUDE. That’s a seriously long post. Sorry for that. Thank you for being here and for reading my incredibly sporadic blog posts. I’m so glad to have the best mosh pit on the internet!!!