Saturday, June 18, 2011

Oh My Gosh, You Guys! Guess What???

I’m getting published! For real, for real! As of Thursday, I can finally say that. Do you know what it’s like to keep exciting news to yourself for nearly a year? Let me tell you. It’s hard.

Ten months ago I was contacted by an editor at HarperCollins Publishing about my book, Sweet Evil (titled Angel Prophecy at the time). The editor had read my manuscript after making it to the top five on inkpop.com, a website run by HarperCollins, geared toward readers and writers of Young Adult Literature.

When I was contacted, nobody told me not to say anything. My first instinct was to sprint to the inkpop forums and cyber-scream, “OhMyGoshYouGuys!GuessWhat???” but something told me I better not. Possibly the fact that there was no contract offered at that point…and how embarrassing would that have been? I told a couple of very close writer friends who’d beta read my story at several stages, and I knew I could trust them with my secret. When the offer did come, it came with the request to keep quiet until they decided on an opportune time to announce, and I respected that. But in the meantime, something funny happened. I met Leigh Fallon.

I was invited by Kelley Vitollo to start a group blog, our own YAtopia. While brainstorming other possible contributors, we knew Sharon Johnston and Leigh Fallon were active on their own personal blogs, and they both agreed to join. We did the cursory get-to-know you questions, and I noticed Leigh’s statements about her status in the publication process were very vague. We knew she’d had an agent for some time, and she claimed to have “promising prospects,” *wink, wink*, which was exactly what I was telling people. I knew from buzz on inkpop, and an offhand comment from my editor, that there was an inkpop book acquisitioned before mine. So, naturally, I became suspicious and put on my hound dog nose to snoop.

After some back and forth emails, without ever mentioning inkpop or HarperCollins, Leigh Fallon and I totally figured one another out! We were like giddy school girls at that point. Finally, we weren’t alone! We had someone who could truly understand how it felt to be in that silent debut author place. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but agents and editors simply don’t have time to coddle new authors and give us constant updates and reassurances. Leigh came along at the exact time when I really needed a big sister to hold my hand and walk with me. Because, as strange as it might sound, achieving such a far-fetched dream is a scary place to be. And earning publication through a non-traditional means makes it even more frightening.
I had not expected my insecurities as a writer to increase after getting a contract. There are so many things I didn’t anticipate about the publishing world. Maybe someday I’ll expand, but for now I just want to thank Leigh for graciously answering countless questions, making me laugh, and being a strong sounding board these past six months. I would say it was a crazy coincidence that she and I met through this blog while we were both under a gag-order, but after so many “coincidences” in my life, I’ve stopped believing in them. J

(My apologies if I don't respond to your comments until late in the day. I'm traveling from Texas to Virginia today.)

29 comments:

  1. Congratulations, what wonderful news and how great that you and Leigh found each other just at he time you needed each other.

    You have a book that a publisher believes in so much that they are going to spend time and money on it. That is nothing less than the real thing!

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  2. Congrats, Wendy! Honestly, I'm not at all surprised that you're the other one they picked (and it would be awesome if there were actually more...). I remember reading your book months ago and being really impressed with the writing. I'm not a fan of paranormal, so normally I wouldn't have picked anything with content like yours, but I just couldn't not pick it when your writing was that good. (and yes, that is a compliment, in a weird way...)

    So when do we get to see the cover? And do either you or Leigh know why HC made you keep the news quiet for so long? I can't wait for all the future excitement, ARCs, cover reveals, release dates... All the best, Wendy.

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  3. YAY for the both of you!
    I can't wait to see the cover for Sweet Evil. I'm blogging about it as soon as I see it. I'm so happy because the publishers kept rejecting my friends MS because they claimed that the Angel/ Demon trend was over. And you proved that it was totally untrue. I know I said this before but congratulations! Kaidan is on my top 5 favorite YA males, and it'll be so much fun to gush about him with people outside of inkpop. And then we can start coming up with actors who'll play the characters if you sell the movie rights. *excited* :D

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  4. Thank you Sarah, Elanor, and Ezmirelda! You guys made my day. I'm about to head for the airport.
    I cannot wait to see the cover and find out the release date - eeek! :) It's crazy, exciting madness!

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  5. Congratulations - its good to have a friend you can share the best secrets in life with.
    Jen

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  6. Congratulations, Wendy! I can't wait to read your book and see the cover! :-) Safe travels, by the way.

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  7. That's awesome! Congrats!!! I can't wait to hear more details! :)

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  8. Great job, Wendy (in getting the contract AND keeping the secret for so long!). I've wondered if authors have found success through sites like inkpop, so thanks for sharing your story!
    erica

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  9. Such a great story!!!! Couldn't be happier for you and Leigh!!! :D

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  10. VIRGINIA
    THAT'S WHERE I AM

    But with that aside, I am so excited for you! You know I am. I can't imagine having to hold something like that in for almost an entire year. I would probably explode.

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  11. Congratulations! :)
    That's so cool that you and Leigh both met and around the time when you were both not really suppose to say anything.
    And I'm so happy for you that you're getting published. That's just awesome, to you and Leigh both.

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  12. aw, BIG congrats to you!! So exciting!! :)

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  13. Thank you guys! I'm finally home after an hour delay and three hour packed flight. Whew! What a week! :) It's nice to come home to your sweet comments.

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  14. YOU'RE AMAZING, WENDY!! You totally deserve this.

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  15. Thank you, Chanelle! So sweet. :)

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  16. It's a funny old world, isn't it? I'm so glad we stumbled across each others secret, it's been fun!

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  17. AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!! so happy for you!

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  18. Steven - thanks! :)

    Leigh...wow, no more whispering, tee-hee.

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  19. LOVE it. You know how much I love you and your book. Can't wait to hold SWEET EVIL in my hands. Such an amazing book.

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  20. Kelley V! I don't know what I would have done without your multiple critiques and support. Love ya babe. :)

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  21. That's such a great story! Congratulations!

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  22. I appreciate it so much, Ghenet and Christa!!

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  23. When I read your HC feedback on Inkpop I couldn't believe they hadn't picked you up. I'm so happy for you! Now I can't wait to see it hit the shelves. It heralds a new way to reach publication.

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  24. Oh Wendy! You know how excited we are all for you, right? We'll have to have a big blog celebration when everybody's books come out!

    And that's so funny about you and Leigh figuring each other out!

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  25. Congratulations!!!!!!!! I am so excited for you! I can't wait to read your book! We'll have a blog party!

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