Now this is the story all about how
My life got turned flipped, turned upside down…
Yep, that’s how I feel. Like my life has been completely flipped, and I’m in some alternate universe in some sci-fi movie that I don’t understand because it’s above my head like The Matrix Revolutions.
But, my critique partners assure me I’m still in this universe, and this is just my life. I’m not convinced, but I’m going to go with it for now because it’s kind of cool here.
The story behind how I was offered a three-book deal with William Morrow Impulse/Harper Collins is a little long. (Aren’t these stories always long?) I can’t give every detail but I’ll share what I can.
I started DO THE MATH in the beginning of January 2013. I had the idea of this girl, sitting in her college library, zoning out as her tutor rambled on. Said tutor dumped her and the next tutor assigned to her happened to be her boyfriend’s roommate — a sexy nerd with a pompadour who saw her the way no one else really did. And then things got complicated.
And so Kat and Alec were born. They weaseled their way into my heart and soul, but were placed on the back burner when I had the audacity (in Kat’s words) to have a baby. I took six weeks off to care for my little one and then got back in the saddle to finish DO THE MATH.
I participated in Write On Con as I was finishing up my manuscript (then titled SWITCHING NUMBERS). I received a lot of positive comments from other writers on my query and first five pages. I met my amazing critique partners. After a major, CP-suggested rewrite, I entered the query trenches with a smile and optimism.
Fast forward past several Twitter pitch contests to October. Some really cool things happened. I was offered a publishing contract for DTM and I was elated (really, this was a wonderful pub and a wonderful editor and I was honored). I had a couple outstanding queries, so I sent updates about the offer. Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency responded. She hadn’t been able to get to my query/pages in her queue. She said she’d take a look to see if she could help me out.
The next day, I had an email in my inbox from Marisa. And it was amazing. Beautiful. I read it with tears in my eyes because she saw in my story what I saw. She said it was relatable and authentic and clever and that she couldn’t put it down. And I’m going to quote this one line from her email because that’s what sent me over the edge into Ugly Oprah Cry – “So I’m 1% critic and 99% fan. That makes me 100% sure that I would love to represent this book and work with you to grow your career.”
I spoke to her on the phone and knew pretty much right away she was for me. Her enthusiasm was off the charts and she loved my ideas for the series and future WIPs. I held off saying yes until I spoke to another interested agent. That agent was super lovely as well, but Marisa and I just clicked.
So I accepted her offer — with relish (I’m channeling Rizzo) — the next day. 🙂
More stuff happened. Some edits. And then one day in December, I sat in Starbucks getting some writing done with the intention of doing some shopping later. And email pinged into my inbox from Marisa – “Can you call me to chat?”
I called her. I heard three-book print offer with Harper Collins and editor Amanda Bergeron, and I think my brain shut down. I left my laptop open and unguarded (don’t tell my husband) on the table along with my wallet and walked outside in 30 degree weather with no coat to hear her better. My mind raced and my heart beat out of my chest as she told me things I never thought I’d hear in my life (even though I so wanted to hear them).
It wasn’t until I walked back inside 15 minutes later that I realized I couldn’t feel my hands. Or my nose. And I was shaking. But my heart was full and beating hot because I WAS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED.
We accepted the offer sometime later, and I spoke to Amanda on the phone. She was gracious. And lovely. And excited to work with me. WITH ME. HOW IS THAT MY LIFE EVEN? And she sent me a box of books with a note on her stationary I plan to frame. I might even dip the box in silver like some people used to do with baby shoes (does anyone still do that?).
Then I spent my weekend reading Cora Carmack’s books and unable to believe I had anything in common with the person who brought me sweet Cade “Golden Boy” Winston.
So. This is my life. Somehow. A dream come true. And now I’m going to channel Khal Drogo and tell you I’ll kill the man who wakes me.
I can’t wait for you all to meet Kat and Alec and Max and the rest of the gang.
So many people supported me in this journey. My family and friends were there every step of the way, especially my husband. Every hero I write has qualities of my husband because he’s that amazing. And the story of how we met is an NA book waiting to happen.
I hesitate to even throw out names because so many people were so supportive of me (and continue to be). But as far as other writers? Natalie Blitt and Amy Pine who I met through WOC. As well as Jen Meils, Lucas Hargis and Stina Lindenblatt (who gave me that final shove I needed to submit to that first interested publisher). There were others as well and every one of you played a part in this journey.
So, next is Kat and Alec, and then two more books and I hope you don’t get sick of me because I got tons of other characters begging to be heard. 🙂
Thanks for reading and for the support. It means the world. <3
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