Oh what changes a year can bring.
- At the start of the year I am an aspiring author, following some crazy idea I had to try and get published.
- Got picked (by random number generator) for Miss Snark's First Victim Secret Agent contest
- Met two incredible writers in said contest who would change my life: Ms. Tatum Flynn and Ms. Lori Goldstein. I couldn't have done this year without you, ladies.
- Was praised by peers and the Secret Agent but ultimately, no further pages requested of the YA fantasy I was querying at the time.
- I switched projects. Had a YA cyberthriller sitting around unfinished; decided I'd better finish the thing. Polished it up. Sent it to CPs.
- Tatum emails me at 3 AM to say she hasn't stopped reading yet, then again later that morning saying she had to wake up and finish it before she left the house. I cried reading her emails.
- Similar praise from Lori, during saner hours ;)
- I lost my grandmother. She knew I was writing a book, and my grandpa (who passed four years ago) had always wanted to be an author, but never seriously pursued it. I wish I could tell them where I am now.
- Began querying my cyberthriller project to little success. Agents who had just the query requested pages. Agents with pages rejected the project. After the praise from my CPs, frustration sets in.
- Entered a critique contest for my 35-word pitch and first page. Judge says pitch is good, says protagonist is completely unlikable and unrelatable.
- Much chocolate binging is had as I vent about 250 words being too short to judge anything
- Perspective change. I face the fact that it's not just a jaded, vindictive judge out to crush the dreams of every aspiring writer in existence. My first chapter isn't working.
- I rewrite it and send it to my CPs.
- CPs say, "Eh. It's okay, it's different." I rewrite it again.
- CPs say, "Better, but not sure that's the one." I rewrite it again.
- I meet an amazingly kind and giving writer, Chelsea Bobulski, on Twitter. Our mutual love of Tomb Raider, Buffy, and peanut butter fudge brings us together. I send her yet another version of my first chapter, which is then characterized as AMAZEBALLS with much other capslocked praise and again, I'm crying over my email at how mind-blowingly awesome the writing community is.
- Not actually sure what happens this month. Summer things. Possibly a lot of rocking in corners saying I never want to write a first chapter ever again please don't make me.
- I enter my cyberthriller's shiny new chapter into two contests: Like A Virgin and Xmas In July.
- I win finalist places in both contests.
- I get multiple offers of rep from three excited and impressive literary agents.
- I accept Brianne Johnson's offer. I want to send her cake, but I refrain.
- Begin floating on clouds.
- Bri sends me an editorial letter. I make the changes to my manuscript.
- Bri approves the changes.
- My little cyberthriller goes out on submission to 13 houses, including all the Big Six.
- My grandpa on my mother's side passes unexpectedly. Another person I had so hoped to share the good news with if my book sold. Will have to trust he knows anyway, even if I can't be the one to tell him.
- Submission silence.
- I start working on a new idea for a YA horror.
- OFFER. Oh my GOSH a real offer from an editor at a Big Six house!!!
- Realization that my little dream is going to be a reality. I will have a book. On a shelf. I will be able to hold it in my hands and smell the pages and sleep with it under my pillow.
- I decide it would be okay to write first chapters again, no matter how many tries it takes to get them right.
- The deal is finalized. There's a PM announcement. I have a Goodreads page. I'm still not sure it's sunk in yet.
- I want to send my editor cake, but again I refrain. Next year.
- PITCH WARS. I'm on the other side of a contest. I meet hundreds of fabulous new writers, and from this choose three shiny mentees - Alison Green Myers, Julie Dao, and Jerilyn Patternson, who I'm hoping can be writing similar blog posts by this time next year.
- I think about December 2012, when I had no CPs, no agent, no editor. And yet, 2013 was about to be a very, very good year.
Thank you to everyone who took a chance on me, who believed in my work, who kept me going when I swore there was no light at the end of the tunnel. I am truly blessed.
So, 2014. Let's see what surprises you have in store.