Good morning, Misfiteers!
Today, I wanted to talk about something I've seen very little about: what happens AFTER your book releases and you're a published author and total strangers have read your book. It just so happens that I have some NEWS this week that makes this post extra-relevant for me!
*disclaimer 1: This post was supposed to be a vlog, but my kids weren't having that and after my 25th attempt at recording something, I'm writing it out instead*
*disclaimer 2: Every publishing path is different & every post-pub path is different*
In November 2010, I sent my first query for my first serious manuscript. From that moment, I had a clear goal in mind: get published. I trudged through the query trenches, finding comrades in arms, writing, rewriting, and re-rewriting several manuscripts before landing a publishing contract with Bloomsbury Spark in July 2013. THE ART OF FALLING released six months ago and it's been amazing to have my book - this thing that I made up - out in the world.
I did it. I'm a published author. I met that goal I set when I sent that first (terrible, awful, unfit for human eyes) query. So what now?
In all reality, not that much is different. Getting published isn't some magic spell that erased all my writerly insecurity. I still think every draft I finish is garbage and dread wasting my critique partners' time with my drivel. I still feel conflicted about the time, money and energy writing takes from my family. I still feel awkward when I'm introduced as a writer - like I'm still a fraud and someone will find out that I'm not actually all that special or famous because I wrote a book.
Most of all, I've learned that my goal is actually just one step in what I hope to be a long writing career. Life After Publishing for me has been completing one LAP in a life-long race. As soon as I finished writing FALLING, I started my next book because I knew I wanted to do it again. When I finished that book and sent it to my CPs, I started another. That one is now with CPs and the one I started right after FALLING? That's the news part of this post:
My second Oceanside High book, THE TRICK TO LANDING, has been acquired by my awesome editor, Meredith Rich, at Bloomsbury Spark!
Excuse me while I squeal with glee.
Ok. Enough of that. So. Life after publishing? Keep writing. Keep perfecting your craft. Keep finding new stories. Keep pushing yourself, just like you did when you first started writing.
What's that? You want to hear about LANDING? I can't just announce a book without talking about it? Ok, fine. Here's my query:
After a gnarly wipeout in competition, a DUI, and move halfway down the California coast dashed her hopes for a spot in this year’s X Games, 16-year-old vert skateboarder Summer O’Neill is left with one last shot at redemption. But her fresh start is even harder than getting back on the half pipe: hours of community service, a party girl reputation she can’t shake, and life with a mother she hardly knows keep Summer scrambling for stability.
The very last thing Summer is looking for is a boyfriend, at least until she meets Sebastian Vega. Steady, unassuming, and self-assured, he’s everything she’s not. Before long, she’s sneaking out for midnight sandcastle building excursions and trading in her art class for private photography lessons with Bastian.
But Summer’s past won’t stay behind her and Bastian has problems of his own – including a bleeding disorder that stains every aspect his life. While he pushes against the limitations of his hemophilia, she is bound by the rules of her probation. When the ramifications of her past crimes collide with his frustration, it may be more than their budding relationship can bear. With the next X Games qualifier rapidly approaching, Summer has to own up to her mistakes and move on if she wants to soar again. If she can’t, she’ll lose more than her second chance. She’ll lose her future—with skating, and with Bastian.
I love this story more than I thought possible when I started it. I'd just finished a really solid draft of FALLING and I couldn't imagine any character moving me like Bria did. I was very, very wrong. This book took a tremendous toll on me. It was hard to write in every single way. But now that it's written? It's the first thing I've ever written that has made me cry. I cannot wait to dive into edits with Meredith. Her input on FALLING made it a million times better and I know she'll do the same with LANDING!
Stay tuned for more details, like a release date. In the meantime, my playlist is here and my Pinterest inspiration board is here.