I have a book deal!

on January 23, 2016

I am excited to announce I received a book deal! I accepted a three-book deal with Hachette/Grand Central Publishing’s Romance imprint Forever Yours line. The expected release schedule for the first book is in the Summer/Fall of 2016!

Here is the Publishers Marketplace announcement.image1

After three years of pursuing writing, I can say I have a contract! I owe a great thanks to my awesome agent Marisa Corvisiero at the Corvisiero Literary Agency.

This past July, when I went to Romance Writers of America’s (RWA) national conference in New York, I was a nervous wreck. This wasn’t my first conference, but my second so I knew what to expect as a participant.  My anxiety came from having a completed and polished manuscript to pitch. The goal of the previous year’s conference was to get my feet wet, learn about the industry, and meet other authors.

This year, I had two appointments scheduled and I hoped to snag a few more the day of the pitches. As a pro member of RWA, I was able to schedule interviews with one agent and one editor.  I picked Marisa Corvisiero as my agent and a mid-sized publisher for my editor/publisher.

As I walked into the pitch waiting room for my two o’clock appointment with Marisa, nervous energy buzzed all around. I was relieved that I wasn’t the only one on pins and needles. I saw a few familiar faces, who cheered me on and many other authors who I’d never met. There was no feeling of competition; it was more a sisterhood/brotherhood of anxiety. To steady my disquiet, a few seasoned authors coached me, by making jokes and helping me practice my pitch. Fifteen minutes in their presence had my confidence up and ready to pitch.

However, the calm was short lived. As soon as the coordinators called our time, my trepidation peaked. I stood in line, said a quick prayer, and went for my interview.  I walked up to Marisa and introduced myself. I couldn’t help the surprise I felt when I discovered how nice and normal she was. In my mind, I had created this image of an agent as someone intimidating and scary. A bit like a kid seeing the principle with a ruler for the first time.

We spent most of our time in an informal manner, chatting and discussing my book and future projects. When the attendant announced the end of our time, I knew if Marisa agreed to represent me, I had the perfect agent.

I left the meeting excited and as crazy as I am, picked up two more pitch appointments from the available appointments. I have to say I rocked all of them. J It took that first interview to give me the mojo for the rest.

A few drinks after the stress of pitch appointments.

A few drinks after the stress of pitch appointments. With fellow authors Mia Hopkins and Ruth Vincent.

Once the conference was over, I went back to my life as mom, wife, and PTO goddess.  I continued to write and hope someone from the conference wanted to represent me or publish my book. Well a month later I received my first offer and a month after that I received my second. Both deals were great but my gut said to wait. I decided to follow up with Marisa and in a week and a half, I became one of her new clients! Then a few weeks later, she brought me a deal with Forever Yours and the rest was history.

Now in the middle of January, I am putting the finishing touches (i.e., edits) on book two of the series and have a release schedule for the book series. I cannot wait to see what this year brings me. One additional thing I am excited about for 2016 is that I can enjoy a writer’s conference without the worry of pitching.

 

 

NaNoWriMo 2015

on November 11, 2015

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When I participated in my first National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2012, I never thought it would lead to the start of a writing career. I was an avid reader and loved to make up stories for my kids, but the concept of starting a career in writing was a foreign to me.  Yes, once upon a teenage dream, I did want to write novels but I placed that idea on hold for a career that paid the bills.

Lo and behold my sweet husband, one morning at the beginning of September, he stopped while reading an article in the Wall Street Journal and said, “There is this thing called NaNoWriMo. I think you should participate. You love to read and you said you used to think about writing. Why don’t you go for it.”

I looked up from the middle of my crazy, get my children dressed for school, fed, and out the door routine with a blank stare.

After he explained what it was, an online community of support to write a 50,000 word book in one month, I still wasn’t convinced.  How was I going to write while managing two young children and the millions of other things I had to complete?

Nevertheless, the little seed was planted and after a few days of mulling over the suggestion, I thought. Why not?

During the course of any spare time (usually after my heathens were in bed for the night), I researched how to plan a novel. (Yes, I am a plotter, not a panster.) I sketched a general outline of my fantasy novel and then spent the remainder of the month filling in plot points.

November 1 rolled around and I was ready to start. The only problem was I made the big error that the NaNoWriMo site says not to do, REVISE.  I was supposed to keep writing even with errors and just get it on paper. That didn’t work out for me.  That first day, I wrote barely three paragraphs because they didn’t sound right. Frustrated I gave up and went to conquer the role I was good at: mother, wife, PTO goddess.

I didn’t give up though. I sat down again the next day and tried to tackle the task, but this time just writing until I couldn’t write anymore. By the end of the day, I had written four thousand words. I continued this momentum until I had reached my goal a few days before Thanksgiving.

To celebrate, my husband and I signed a contract to build a new house.

After all the holiday festivities, I returned to my “completed manuscript” for edits and the rest was history.

NOT.

I spent the next year taking classes, editing, and submitting with no bites, as well as, coordinating the building of my family’s new home, an hour away from where we lived.

At the moment when I thought I’d give up on this dream of writing (Early Spring of 2014 to be exact), my sweet partner in life said, “You know they do another NaNo in April. Why don’t you try again?”  This time I didn’t question him and agreed to write something new, something completely different from the first. Well, except for the heat, I love heat! I went through my planning phase and by April 1st I was ready to start again.

Now a year and a half later, I am doing the whole cycle again, but this time I am writing the second book in the series and possibly announcing a new contract soon!

The moral of this story is don’t give up.  Keep trying. You never know where it might lead.

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Rejection – A simple part of a writer’s life

on September 1, 2015

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Every aspiring author understands rejection is part of the process. However, two rejection letters within days of each other can place a big damper on one’s spirits. Many successful authors say they collected binders of rejection letters before their big break.  This proves my journey isn’t over, in fact, it is just beginning. Nevertheless, the process of pushing myself out into the universe is nerve racking.

Sometimes the hardest part is taking the first step by sending your manuscript out. Other times it is continuing when one agent or editor says your story doesn’t connect with her and the market is too saturated.  The worst is when you get no feedback whatsoever.

Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward.” And that is exactly what I plan to do. Writing is the cathartic release of my creative juices. So many stories float around in my head and cry out for me to put pen to paper or in my case – fingers to keyboard.

Allowing rejection to shape my future in writing is not only a disservice to myself but to the future audience of my stories. Moreover, it is a fun way to escape the world of wife, mother, and PTO goddess.

 

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