It might be time for me to make the dreaded migration to a self-hosted website, but since it’s been so long since I posted anything here, I thought I’d dust off my dashboard and say hi. Hi. Ain’t these some fun times we’re having?
A lot has happened in my writing life since my last entry nearly two years ago—good, bad, and ugly—but before I share it, I’ll mention that once I switch over to a self-hosted website, I’m not sure followers of this blog will be notified of future posts. I’m not even sure there will be future posts since I might not carry the blog over. I might just stick to a newsletter. So if you’d like to hear about my future book news, feel free to sign up for my newsletter. I’ve only sent one in two years, so that should tell you how often you’ll get one.
Now for my year plus eleven months in review…
There’s a tendency to only share the good things that happen with our writing. Partly that’s because we’re professionals and we don’t want to spread negativity. Partly it’s because saying less can be more in this industry. And partly it’s because we all suffer from impostor syndrome and are hesitant to share anything that might prove it.
But getting from point A to point B in writing is rife with hard work, self-doubt, and rejection, and if we paint nothing but rainbows and butterflies, it does other writers a disservice. But please know that when I share my bad and my ugly, it’s not a reflection on the industry or on anyone else. It’s simply my experience. With the good, I’ve taken the bad, and like the big girl I am, I’ve weathered it.
So, in chronological bullet points for the sake of brevity, here is my year plus eleven months in review:
July 2018: A prominent agent discovered my already published The Bone Curse and reached out to me, first by email and then by phone. She told me she would like to work with me, but since series are hard to sell out of the gate, could I write a thriller unrelated to my series and send it to her?
July 2018 to February 2019: Pinched myself over and over, tethered myself to my keyboard, and wrote a new thriller. Never had I been so productive. Meanwhile, The Bone Curse was doing decent in sales, and I finally started making some money from writing.
February 2019: Sent a query letter to the prominent agent who wanted to work with me. Told her my new manuscript, Fatal Rounds, was finished and had been beta read and edited. Ten days later, received form rejection from her assistant that project wasn’t right for her. Manuscript wasn’t even requested.
February 2019 to May 2019: Spent each day in a writing depression, the anchor of disappointment so heavy on my chest I could barely bring myself to write. I plucked around with book two in my series but couldn’t turn off the neon sign in my head that kept flashing: what’s the point? Meanwhile, I queried Fatal Rounds to several agents. Nothing but crickets and rejections.
May 2019 to July 2019: I bucked up and decided I wasn’t getting any younger. Got a cover designed and submitted Fatal Rounds to the Publishers Weekly BookLife Prize contest, not with any expectation of winning, but to get a blurb for promotional purposes. Then went to ThrillerFest in New York and, last minute, pitched to a handful of agents at PitchFest, feeling like a loser because it was the fourth time I’d done so.
Ten days later I received an offer of representation from more than one agent. 🎉
September 2019 to December 2019: Fatal Rounds advanced to quarter-finals in the PW BookLife contest, then semi-finals, and then got named finalist.
December 2019 to now: A lot of waiting, waiting, waiting. Fatal Rounds has received a few publisher rejections, and we also turned down an offer, but now with COVID-19 acquisitions are down overall, so I’m not sure how things with Fatal Rounds will end. (Hopefully not fatally, snort snort.)
I also finished two other books I’d started earlier, and since one is a cozy mystery and the other is the second in my Benjamin Oris series, my wonderful agent agreed I could go indie with them. She knows I’m ansty to get some work out there, because, you know, have I mentioned I’m not getting any younger? Meanwhile, I’m writing a new manuscript for her.
The first of my new books is The Cruise Ship Lost My Daughter, a humorous cozy mystery I wrote under a pen name and drew from a British Isles cruise I accompanied my mother and stepfather on in 2017 (talk about literary fodder). It survived NetGalley (always a scary place to be) and was published three weeks ago.
The second is book two in my Benjamin Oris series, where a man of science gets caught up in otherworldly situations. It’s called The Bone Hunger and will be released on August 11th.
So there you have it. My year plus eleven months in review. Remember, if you want to hear if my agented book gets picked up by a publisher or of any other publication news, sign up for my newsletter. Hopefully, if I migrate to a self-hosted website, I won’t blow the internet up in the process.
Thank you so much for catching up with me. I’d love to do the same with you. What’s going on in your life, writing or otherwise?