Publishing is usually slow. I mean, things happen at a glacial pace. It was true before the pandemic, but it’s even more so now. You’re lucky if you hear back something either way. And often, crickets is the response.
I started a new project in the fall of 2021. Once the kiddies went back to school in September, a wild idea took over me. I called it THE THING because I was too afraid to say the title out loud.
But this post isn’t about that book.
In early 2021 I finished my second children’s novel. I loved this book, a middle-grade supernatural historical fantasy. And I adored my main character, a poor little rich girl who survives Titanic and crashes her own funeral in 1912 New York City.
My agent at the time did not share my enthusiasm for this book and we parted ways soon after. But I’m a Capricorn. I loved this book to bits.
In October 2021, I pitched my book in a Twitter pitch party and got a like from a good, reputable, indie publisher. I didn’t get too excited because this publisher had passed on an earlier novel of mine and I’ve learned to keep my expectations low. I sent off the requested pages and promptly forget all about as I was too busy with THE THING.
From Thanksgiving on, I kid you now, we are sick. I mean, the whole family. Probably the only one who was spared was Luna, our French Bulldog. Croup, bronchitis, sinus infection, tummy troubles, cold, respiratory virus, possible pneumonia–about the only things we didn’t have was Covid and gout. I’m sick off and on but hey, that’s life.
Then in early December, the publisher from the pitch party asked to read for the entire manuscript. Now to some of you, this piecemeal approach may seem counter intuitive–why not ask for the entire document up front–but this is publishing. Some want five pages, twenty, or fifty. You learn to roll with it and have all these files prepared. Again, I sent the material off, and being as sick as I was, I didn’t give it a second thought.
Until New Year’s Day 2022. I wake up to an e-mail from the publisher asking if we could have a Zoom meeting to discuss the book. Once I get over my shock, I tell myself that must mean good news, right? I mean, no one sets up a Zoom meeting to tell an author to their face that they’re passing unless they’re sadistic and cruel.
My sinus infection still lingering, we have our Zoom meeting. Like a dope, I can’t figure out how to use the camera on my new desktop computer, but I suppose I didn’t make a complete fool of myself. Because I’m over the moon to say that VIOLET YORKE, GILDED GIRL: GHOSTS IN THE CLOSET will be published by Darkstroke Books in 2022. A New Year’s resolution finally come true. I can think of no better way to start 2022 (other than not being sick).
I say it all the time, but for a writer, it’s true.
Never give up.
Never say die.
Keep a box of tissues handy.
And for my next Zoom meeting, I damn well knew how to use the camera.