I wanted to quickly tell you about my middle-grade book deal!!
I’m over the moon with excitement about this story being released into the world. Where do I begin? There are many stories on the Internet about book deals, and how authors land an agent, so here’s mine.
Almost two years ago, my writing group MGbetareaders, aka Kidliterati wrangled me in, reluctantly for the NaNoWriMo Camp, one July. I think it was in July? And I wrote like a firestorm, scratching down every crazy idea I had into the composition book where my little Sci-Fi, Fantasy, CTRL+ALT+DELETE began to grow.
Then it was chopped, and chopped again, up and down, and zigzag, by the eagle eyes of the beta-readers from my group of Kidlit authors. I could NOT have written this book without them, seriously. We need our readers! I had three beta-readers for each pass through the manuscript and found another reader outside the group. Collect your beta-readers now, reading for as many writers in your genre as you can. I love critiquing others’ work as it really helps hone my craft.
I put the July Nano project aside and wrote another story. Meanwhile, The Unmoving Sky, a contemporary, thriller, was sold to Leap Books last March (YAY!). I pulled out CTRL+ALT+DELETE to use my fresh eyes after tucking it away for a spell. In the meantime, I searched for agents for my MG, SFF and what I found were few agents who represented this genre. And fewer still that I might be a good fit for me and this project—plus, my future projects, which may run the gamut of genres, and audiences. I might have sent out ten agent queries for CTRL+ALT+DELETE, all R’s except for the Pitch on Twitter picked up by a super amazing agent, who held that manuscript until my very last decision—which was to go with GMMG. Plus I had another agent, who didn't respond to his full request. Even after two nudges inquiring if he’d read, or had any interest—just send a damn form rejection if you request a full. I have to say, this might have been my last straw. But sometimes things happen in a round about way. Right? Mysteriously, right?
Because when I read: A line of books for readers ages 7+, our titles are full of adventure, fantasy, and whimsy. Many of our titles will interest boys and reluctant readers in particular, about Tantrum books. (I have a reluctant reader at home.)
I shot off a query fast, and just under the window for agentless submissions. I think it was just under four weeks later, in early June I received a personal email from Georgia McBride, saying she thinks C.A.D. would make a great addition to the Tantrum line. I made some ungodly sound, enough my coworker jumped up to see if I was all right. Surprised to learn it was my “happy” sound. I was SO THRILLED!
But then I had to wait. I contacted agents who still had the ms, one agent loved the story and asked for a revision. She gave such amazing feedback, but because Tantrum also wanted a revision I decided to go with the Tantrum revision. It was a significant revision. I still had to wait before announcing anything and continued to revise/edit in stealth.
All I wanted to do was announce the deal, scream it from the roof. The hard work I put into this story, the work I put into forgotten stories, I wanted an emotional release. Still I had to be a big girl and wait. Edits were sent to my amazing editor at Tantrum, Tara Creel, and it was now time for the announcement. Almost.
Seven moths later, GLITCH is announced in Publishers Weekly.
Every process is as different as each writer. We’re a creative bunch. Create your book goals and try something different, and perhaps a less beaten path. Do I want an agent? You bet I do. Maybe I’ll find one for my Swing Era thriller, but that manuscript still needs much revision. Thank goodness for my beta-readers! Thank goodness, for the inventive creativity that is GMMG, and Month9books, and Tantrum books. I see amazing projects and growth ahead. I’m honored to be among such a talented group authors and editors.
Thank you! Happy 2016 ~ here’s to dreams and to following your heart.