Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From First Draft to Book Deal

Two days ago, I was allowed to officially break my silence on the most amazing news ever. I've signed a book deal with Curiosity Quills Press for my YA Steampunk Fantasy novel, HOUR OF MISCHIEF. It is slated to be released in Fall of 2015 and I couldn't be happier. But the road to publishing is a long journey. And the only way to properly illustrate that journey is with Disney gifs. And as an extra challenge I only used one from each movie. So with that, I present to you, my journey from first draft to book deal.

When I began writing HOUR OF MISCHIEF I was in the trenches with my first ever novel. But that book wasn't getting any requests so, at the time, I was feeling something like this:

I'm seventeen and I haven't been published. Its all over for me! *dramatic sob*

To distract myself from the black pits of despair, I decided I had to start working on something entirely new. So I pulled out a short story from the previous summer that I had been wanting to turn into a novel.

And when I started writing, I was surprised how easily the words came.

Feeling the words
Of course there were also days like this...

Kill me
But by the end of the month I had completed a first draft that made me proud.


So of course I locked it away in a folder for two months and din't allow myself to read it. Until, on that fateful day in December...


Funny how two months can change your perspective on your writing. I looked at most of my words like...


And the world building was especially hard. It took me ages to figure out how to make it work.


But finally I had edited it to the best of my ability. So off it went into the querying trenches again. Unsurprisingly I was feeling a bit like...


I also submitted to a bunch of contests to get my stuff out there. I didn't expect anything, especially after what happened with my first book. But then, a surprise! Partial requests started rolling in.

Partial requests are kind of like fairy dust
And then, partial requests actually turned into full requests!


It was one amazing thing after another. And then one day, against all odds, I woke up to an email from one of the agents who had my query. She wanted to schedule a call. THE call. Unsurprisingly I was like

SQUEEEEEEEEEEE!

And I danced around the room with my friends.

Just not this gracefully
I finally accepted representation from that first agent who scheduled a call, Laura Zats. And we set to work immediately on preparing my book for submission. She was very good about pointing out other plot holes in my work that I needed to paste together.

And she was usually right.
But finally, when the manuscript was in top form, we started sending it out on submission. To publishers. Oh god, oh god, oh god.


Another waiting game began, this one even more tense than the last.

Keep cool, keep cool, keep cool
There is so much waiting in the publishing industry. So of course I distracted myself with other things. And then one day my agent called me again. She said we had an offer.

Uhhhh... what?
She had to say it about three times before I finally got it. But once I did I was like


Of course it was still super secret until it was official, so I couldn't say anything to anyone.


Which was terrible because I was bursting with the news.

So much waiting in the publishing world
When I finally got the okay, I broke my silence two days ago with a cry of pure happiness. 

There's the obligatory Frozen clip. You thought I'd skip it, didn't you :P
Everyone was super supportive and congratulatory. And even now, I still feel like I'm flying.


This has been quite the journey. I've imagined getting to this point for so long and I met my fair share of rejection and disappointment along the way. The journey still isn't over, but I am officially going to see my books in print some day. And that is a victory that will stick with me for a long time.

Thank you so much for everyone's well wishes and congratulations. And if you're still in the trenches, keep working at it! Your own Disney gif success story could be just around the corner.

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