Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Pretty awesome news, yeah? I'm freaking ecstatic!
In case you're new to my blog, or writing, or just curious in general, I'm gonna go ahead and break this all down for ya. You ready? Sweet! Cuz here I go…
Earlier this Spring, I wrote a book. Pretty cool, yeah? I think so. In fact, most days I'm in awe and slightly amazed that I'm continually able to come up with interesting stories and put them to paper in a way that makes a marginal amount of sense.
Back to the book. So, this story I wrote was different from the type I usually write. In fact, it was in a completely different genre. I've always been a paranormal romance girl, and I usually write in what is now being referred to as the "New Adult" age group (college age). This new story had been marinating in the far corner of my brain for a couple of years. I knew I had a young voice (I'd been told by many people in the industry) and I knew I wanted to write a story that featured All Star cheerleaders. Thing was, each time I sat down to start the book, I couldn't make it work. I was never satisfied with the paranormal aspect of the story. Nothing seemed to fit, and none of it felt right.
On top of all that, I was in the middle of writing another adult paranormal romance. The last thing I needed to do was start up another novel. But, as many an author will tell you, sometimes the characters inside your head refuse to be ignored. Sometimes they push—hard.
Around this time, my oldest daughter (a senior at the time, she's since graduated) was taking part in the Every 15 Minutes program at her school. A student liaison between the school, the participants and the police department, she had a hand in almost every aspect of the reenactment. I had in insiders view of the program and what went down, both from my daughter, and my husband who also works at the high school. The program, which is put on every two years, held special significance this year as my daughter's senior class lost one of their own in a tragic alcohol related accident. The awful story of loss combined with the eye-opening, moving re-enactment I witnessed at the school inspired me to write about this prevalent issue plaguing the young adult community.
The story hadn't worked before, because the story inside me wasn't paranormal. It was contemporary, angsty, and completely different than anything I'd written before. It literally poured out of me. I've never written anything so fast, or with such passion and emotion. Two and a half months later, the first draft of Ex Factor was complete.
The first draft was the easy part. Then came revision after revision, honest and sometimes painful critiques by my crit partners, and a lot of what I refer to as "manuscript surgery".
When, at last, I deemed my baby fit for stranger's eyes, I set out with the goal of querying a set number of agents.
The querying did not go well. I got a few requests, but nothing that panned out. Mostly, I received a lot of "nice voice, but not right for my list" type comments.
I whined to my hubby, ate copious amounts of chocolate, and stewed over the fact no one loved my story as much as me. It was great, darn it! And fresh. I'd yet to see a book featuring the type of cheer in my story. A little sad, but still passionate about my characters, I decided to just keep writing and started another story featuring one of the supporting characters in Ex Factor.
By the way, if you've stayed with me this far, you're made of awesome and all kinds of great stuff :)
Shortly before I left for RWA National, I decided to do some research and query one last time. I read up on a particular agent and decided it wouldn't hurt me to try one more time. The worst she could do was say no, right?
I'm quite pleased to confirm that persistence pays off, my friends. The agent, requested a partial, and shortly after reading that, requested the full. Yeah, baby! A few short weeks and a small revision later, I landed myself an agent who loves my story as much as I do. And now…
Wait for it…
Wait for it…
Ex Factor is on submission!
What does this mean exactly? It's so cool! It means my agent is now pitching my story to New York editors. Booyah! I'm so excited I could just pee.
Pee myself, that is. But you know what I mean.
Keep all your parts crossed that an editor will fall in love with Nev and Bodie, and cherish their story as much as I do. Mwah!!!! XOXO