So, how did this happen? Everyone knows I'm an editor at Spencer Hill Press, but I subbed my book to Kate before she brought me on. I'm excited to publish with SHP because I know how much Kate and our team believes in the books we launch--and it's amazing to be one of our authors!
Time for my book story. (I've always wanted to do this!!)
I started FOLLOW ME THROUGH DARKNESS in 2010, right after I moved to Boston. I was working at a Borders as a barista, and I was putting away new stock when I heard this voice in my head repeating this one line: "There’s never enough time. It moves too quickly, signaling the end of everything. The end is the thing I fear the most." I put things away as quickly as possible, grabbed a handful of napkins, and took my lunch early so I could write. It was a scene--just one and that was all I needed to know I had figure out the story. I didn't have even have names. (I ended up writing like 30k before I got the MCs name, just as a sidenote.)
In 2010, I did NaNoWriMo with that book, which had a title called Silhouettes. (Horrible, I know!) I finished it eventually, revised with Christina, queried seven agents and had five requests. All of them came back like "uh, no," (only nicer!) and one of them gave me fantastic information on how to do approach a revision.
I set out on a quest to fix the book because I believed in Neely (she's the MC) and her story. I tried to walk away, to tell other stories, but I kept coming back. I knew there was something there, but I had to figure out the structure (so hard!) and the stakes. Over the next two years I would revise this book, workshop this book, rewrite this book, rewrite, restart, rewrite. SEVEN revisions.
Christina and Patricia were so insanely helpful in developing my characters, helping with the structure of such a heavy story, and keeping me focused on the story when I complained. (You can follow this tag if you're curious about real-time posts.) They were probably so tired of reading it, of re-thinking things, but they always encouraged me to keep going--them and more people than I can start to list here. I literally finished draft six in February of 2012, right before I subbed to Kate. (Then, of course, I had to revise again.)
I queried--new book, new title--and had some requests, but ultimately, the market was flooded with "dystopian," and even though countless agents loved my novel, it was all a timing issue. (I mean, two years will do that!) So, I shelved it, locked my characters away in a closet, and moved on.
About a month ago, I got an email from Kate saying she wanted to talk about the book. I waited for two agonizing days and then she told me she loved it! It was awesome to hear that from Kate, because I respect her opinion, and obviously, this book is a huge part of my soul. She told me that she wanted me to fix some things (revision #8!!!) and then send it back. So, I did---and she bought it!! I asked Kate if Patricia could work on it too, since she knows this story so well. It's so great that she gets to be hands-on with my book; we work well together and she's going to do amazing things for this series. :)
And well, here we are!!
It has not been an easy journey--they never are--but I've learned so much about writing, patience, good friends, community. There are so many people who encouraged me over the last two years; I'm really excited to share this book with all of you!!!! Woooo!!!
April 2014----here we come!! Me and my book!!!
*runs off to stare at the PM listing some more*