2018: Life Changing Moments in a Shower Cap
2017 set the bar so hellishly low that any following year would look fabulous in comparison. 2017 had: many depressive episodes, leaving my first agent, my book not selling, and a literal fire burning my home town. I mean, this is just the personal stuff. I’m not touching the political dumpster fire because, damn, things would look even worse.
So yeah, 2017 was kind of a low point. (Not my lowest, but not great.)
Not only was 2018 oodles better by comparison, but because some amazing things happened. 2018 included: signing with my fantastic agent, going out on sub, writing two (yes, two!) new books, and *drumroll* I sold my debut to a Big 5 Publisher. I AM GOING TO BE A PUBLISHED AUTHOR! I’ve cried an ocean of happy tears over this news since mid-October when I got The Call.
You know, that dreamed of moment when your agent will ring you up and tell you your book sold. While I’ve fantasized about this moment so many times, I was only right about one thing: I cried. A lot. When Jennie called me to deliver the news, I’d just gotten out of the shower and was wearing a shower cap. After hearing something along the lines of “you have an offer!” I maintained my chill for, roughly, three seconds before dissolving into tears and melting onto the floor. Once I came to my senses, I ripped the shower cap from my head because no way was I experiencing this pivotal moment in my career while wearing a floral-printed shower cap. But I did, and it was pretty great.
Maybe one day I’ll do a more in-depth post on my submission experience, but to recap, we went on sub in April, my subs were pulled in July when LGC closed, and we went out again on September 19th. My book sold one month to the day later on October 19th. We didn’t accept the offer until a week later, and I ended up with a two book deal! BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN (new title TBD) will release in summer/fall of 2020, and the tentatively titled THE HONEY VEIN (my beekeeping book!) will release in 2021, both from Simon Pulse! What is real life because I’m clearly living in a dream.
While I’ve worked extremely hard, so much of publishing comes down to luck. The right time, the right editor, the right book. My first book didn’t sell, and I’m extraordinarily lucky that my second one did. Luck and hard work, but largely, luck. Maddening and evasive luck.
This year obviously wasn’t all highs. My agency shut down due to fraud (still wtf-ing over this almost six months later) and there was a solid two-month period where I was so effing afraid I wouldn’t get my career back on track. I’ve struggled with my mental health and continued to go to CBT therapy. I wasn’t accepted into a writing program that I *really* wanted to get into. I’ve had health struggles, family problems—you name it. But this year . . . I really grew into myself as a person. Before the book deal, I was already really damn happy with my life. Which I think is super important because you can’t hinge your happiness on your writing milestones. There will always be disappointments and setbacks. Telling yourself “I’ll be happy when BLANK happens” only sets you up for failure. The book deals were the icing on an already very fulfilling year, and in roughly ten days, I’ll get to say that my debut comes out next year! Bring it on, 2019. I’m ready.
Both of my books (wow that’s weird to type) are now up on Goodreads! If you feel so inclined, you can add them to your TBR! BIGMOUTH STRIKES AGAIN is about Caroline “Chuck” Wilson who goes to illegal lengths to save her family’s legacy, an ancient bowling alley. The Highlights: #ownvoices mental health subplot focusing on the bipolar spectrum, an unlikable female protagonist who hustles men with her superior bowling skills, a lush San Francisco setting, puns, and a super-swoony romance aka the best friends-to-enemies-to friends again-to lovers trope of my dreams. You can add BIGMOUTH here!
My second book, THE HONEY VEIN, to release in 2021, follows Josie Hazeldine, a headstrong fourth-generation beekeeper, and her family’s feud with another local beekeeping family. The Highlights: #ownvoices exploration of anxiety, a teen who doesn’t go to college/want to leave her hometown, small town feels, forbidden lovers romance aka my non-tragic Montagues and Capulets romance, friendship breakups, and HONEY BEES. You can add THV here!
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