Okay, so you may have seen my Facebook post last week about a new book deal. It went something like this: So I sold two YA novels to Jolly Fish Press! RIFT will be out in the fall next year, and MEND in the Spring of 2017. #booknews #JFP #timetravel #RiftWalkersseries
You can read the entire press release here.
Yes, I'm super-excited about it. I can't wait to see the awesome cover JFP will make, and hold the book in my hands. That's all awesome.
But really, you want to know which emotion was the most prevalent when I signed the contract? Relief. I think I probably wept.
See, this book has A Story, as most do. And this Story was HARD. And I wanted to quit about a million times, and no one ever gets to read That Story. I'll make it brief.
So I started writing this YA time travel novel at the end of 2011. I must've been certifiably insane. Because who writes a time travel novel? Oh, yes, someone who enjoys torture. Apparently, that's me.
I had an agent, and she liked the premise. So we revised. And revised. And revised. We gave the shiny new manuscript to my editor at Simon & Schuster.
And they said no.
I broke up with that agent, and decided a few months later to query using RIFT. Success! I got another agent with the manuscript. She wanted revisions. Times two.
Once those were done, we went out on submission. Lots of bites. Lots of rejections. Some close calls.
I didn't quite know what "it" was in the book that didn't work for people. There had to be something, though, you know?
I broke up with Agent #2, and sat on RIFT. I thought it was a good book. Both of my agents thought so too. So I decided to submit to smaller houses myself. And I got an offer. I wasn't super-satisfied with the house, so I kept it in my back pocket while I continued to explore.
At this time, I was unagented and writing in another genre. I'd self-published some of my work -- I still do. But a time travel novel? No way I was self-pubbing that. I really wanted to have a clever, savvy editor for it, because again, I felt like it was missing something.
I had my finger on the pulse of all the query contests, the Pitch Wars, etc. I had created a dedicated column in my Tweetdeck just for #MSWL.
And that's when I saw this tweet:
And I thought, I have a time travel novel. Could be a good fit. So I went to Jolly Fish Press's website, and I liked what I saw. I should! They're right here in Utah, and I've sat on panels with the owner, Christopher! I don't know why I didn't think to submit to them.
But based on that #MSWL tweet and my research, I did. A few days later, they requested the full manuscript.
And just a few days after that, I got this tweet:
It took about another month to get the official offer, and bit more time to get things going from there. By the time I signed the contract, I just wanted the heck off this RIFT Rollercoaster. So many ups and downs and yeah. The tears. They were of relief that I didn't have to keep riding.
And now you'll get to read RIFT next fall! And now I have to write ANOTHER FREAKING TIME TRAVEL NOVEL. What was I thinking? Ha! Thankfully, I started on MEND during NaNo in 2013, so I have about 55,000 words. They might all need to be deleted and rewritten, but whatever.
And that's The Story. I know I'm not the only one on this crazy writing, querying, submitting, publishing roller coaster. How's your journey going?