I’m Getting Published!

That was a pretty thrilling sentence to write, so I’ll write it again. I’m getting published! I got a book deal! HOW. Do they know what they’ve done? Are they sure about this? You know what, we’re not going to introduce doubt into this miracle. We’re just going to roll with it. Welcome to the inside of my brain for the past two months.

My agent and I went out on submission this past January. At six months, I wrote about being on submission, when things still felt relatively hopeful. Editors passed on the manuscript, but they said nice, sweet things about the story and the characters, which served to be quite motivating while trying to write a second novel. Devon, my agent, did a 3-tiered approach to submission: Group A, then Group B, then Group C. Group A either passed on the novel, or didn’t respond. I did some revising based on editorial feedback from the first group, and we submitted to Group B in June. 

And then we hit the eight month mark. 

I heard dreadful stories from other authors out on sub; the closer you crept to the year mark on submission, the bleaker the odds. If no one’s nibbled by that time, the conversations drift toward the next project, and the current one is shelved. I knew logically that this did not mean my current novel would never see the light of day, but I started to feel pinpricks of panic regardless. This one means a lot to me. I would be devastated if we had to shelve it for now. And we weren’t getting any feedback from editors, not like we did earlier in the year; everyone was swamped and backlogged.

While the radio silence continued, I got hit with BPPV for the first time over the summer. I had vertigo so bad that I spent half of July bedridden, struggling to work, every head tilt making the room spin violently. I developed nystagmus, where my eyes would beat irregularly because my brain was getting so many mixed, confusing signals from my right inner ear. My vision suffered to the point where I couldn’t drive or stare at a computer screen for long. I’d forget what I was saying mid-sentence because my brain was mush. It took weeks of physical therapy for things to return back to normal; I couldn’t start exercising or doing things normally again until September. Morale was low, let me tell you. 

At the end of August, in the midst of all that, my agent messaged me. An editor from Alcove Press was really interested in chatting with me about the book. I clung to that sliver of hope like a lifeline, both for the future of my book and to lift me out of the funk the vertigo put me in. We were still finalizing a time to chat with the editor when Devon turned around and emailed me right back.

We had an offer. Alcove Press wanted to publish my novel.

I went into that first meeting with editor Melissa Rechter giddy with hope, holding my breath because although they made an offer, both Devon and I wanted to be sure that Melissa shared our vision of the book, particularly when it came to revisions. I should have known not to worry: we share a name, after all. Melissas, in general, are good folk, but perhaps I’m biased. This Melissa was lovely during our first call, and I knew right away that she understood what I was trying to do with this book. We were on the same wavelength. By the time our conversation came to a close, I knew she was the right person to bring my novel into the world.

book deal announcement with melissa barons photo

Negotiating the contract took…awhile. My agent did a fantastic job reading through it, providing her feedback, suggesting changes, answering all of my questions, and keeping me in the loop the entire time.

So here we are. Contract signed; announcement made. My book, Twice in a Lifetime, comes out next fall.

What a wild handful of sentences. I’ve only ever wanted to write books. I started writing in middle school, trying on different genres for size, seeing what fit me, what I liked. I wrote a mystery thriller when I was 14; I wrote fantasy fanfic when I was 17. I wrote unfinished dramas and horror novels in my 20s, finished the first in a fantasy series with a childhood friend, and cowrote a comedy horror with a longtime internet penpal. And then this time travel contemporary romance came into my life in 2018, the hook so strong that the first draft of the novel poured out of me in under six months. Writing books to bring people joy has felt like my life’s driving purpose, and the opportunity to do it has arrived.

I’m so grateful. To Devon, my agent, to Melissa, my editor, to my mom for fostering her young daughter’s love of reading and storytelling. Now, the work the continues. We have some revisions to do next month, line edits after the new year. I can’t wait to see this novel’s final form.

And I can’t wait for you all to read it.  

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