Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Whole Nine Yards

Nine might just be my lucky number. September is quickly approaching, the ninth month of the year, and with it arrives my favorite season. Fall festivals, gorgeous foliage and pumpkin spice lattes are just around the corner, and I’m already unpacking my coziest sweaters.

Coincidentally today, the twenty-ninth of August, the publication deal for my debut novel was announced in Publishers Marketplace! My best friend sent me a text at exactly 9:00 this morning (I kid you not; I triple checked…) to let me know the news was out!

Children's: Young Adult
A. Lynden Rolland's OF BREAKABLE THINGS, in which a seventeen-year-old, who after her death joins a seemingly benign and secret spirit community, is hunted by dark forces that believe her to be the incarnation of a notorious prophet who helped destroy them ages ago, to
Georgia McBride of Month9Books, in a nice deal, for publication in 2014, by Rachael Dugas of Talcott Notch Literary Services (World English).

I screamed so loudly my one-year-old began to cry, and my four-year-old told me to go sit in time-out... 

Finally!!! I have been sitting on this news for months, and actually now that I think about it, Georgia McBride of Month9Books first proposed the deal to my agent in June, exactly nine months after we began the submission process.

I’m having a hard time grasping the reality of the situation. The reality being that this is my dream come true. My book will be sitting on a shelf at my local bookstore, new and glossy, just waiting for some drama-hungry teenager (or adult) to pick it up and take it home! Throughout the painfully long process of writing a book, editing a book, pitching to agents, getting rejected by agents, signing with an agency, submitting to publishers, and getting rejected by publishers… even during the moments of triumph, I never allowed myself to drift all the way up to cloud nine. Being there amidst the clouds would only mean I'd have further to fall, and I have certainly fallen a few (dozen) times. But last Friday, following a conference call with some amazing people and incredible writers, I began to believe that maybe it was finally time to let myself go, to float upward and revel in the moment. I will actually get the opportunity to work with the innovative and talented staff of Month9Books. Unbelievable.

To Georgia McBride, (Rachel Bateman, Brittany Howard,) and of course Rachael Dugas, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You’ve given me optimism and self-worth. I'm in awe of you.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

...Cat's out of the bag

                I never liked the expression, so naturally it was the first title to pop into my head. I’ve never known a cat who would allow someone to put it into a bag without a fight, and even if it did, it certainly wouldn’t be quiet about its plight afterward. So how could a cat in a bag be an appropriate expression for a secret? Apparently, it means something blatantly obvious is finally out in the open. Swinging, hissing, and scratching…

                I’ve tweeted about it, but I know few friends in my everyday life who actually belong to twitter. (Besides my husband who stalks pro athletes and Michigan State recruits…) At the request of my agent, I created a website, but I never linked it to my other media. I’ve been working tirelessly for years on several projects, but I usually work between the hours of 8pm and 2am. Sometimes I work in public, but I’d lie about freelance editing gigs. If someone really wanted to know what I was up to, it wouldn’t take a sleuth to figure it out. Writing and I have had a love-hate relationship for as long as I can remember, but I certainly haven’t written well. In fact, the first manuscript I ever wrote was during the summer between my first and second year of teaching…and it was awful. Absolutely cringe worthy. I began my second manuscript after my first son was born, and I fell in love with the story. When I finished the first draft, I thought with some editing it might actually be good enough to submit to agents. A great deal of editing… it was nearly 800 pages in length. It’s no wonder writing has given me wrinkles.

                But several years later… one husband… two children… and one brave agent later… this love-hate relationship has taken a turn for the better. I can proudly wear these bags under my eyes as battle scars from a war worth fighting. Hopefully, I will be able to share some exciting news with you soon, but for now take it easy on me. An introverted part of me never imagined my stories and ideas would be made public. I’m terrified to be in such a vulnerable situation – more terrified than if someone unleashed a rampant cat on me. One that’s been stuck in a bag for several years.

                I suppose the expression is fitting.

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