Since this is my first entry in the Countdown to My Cover Reveal series, I think it’s only fitting that I give you a brief history on the goings-on—yes, Grammar Nerds, this is indeed the plural of going-on; Rory from Gilmore Girls taught me this—with my debut novel, WRONG IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS (WIATRW, for short). It was a slow process—what publication process isn’t?—but here’s the recap of everything that’s happened so far.
Fresh out of college, I secured a job as a Teacher’s Assistant at one of my middle schools. It wasn’t my Plan A or even my Plan B, but I needed a job that had consistent working hours that could not only help me to pay the bills, but also help me maintain a stable writing schedule. And it worked out. I was working in the morning and writing in the evening. Everyone’s happy!
Anyway, during the slow month of September—why does September always seem to drag on?—I wrote the first draft of WIATRW. By the way, this was not a pre-NaNoWriMo Challenge. I literally just sat down and wrote first first draft in twenty days. I know. Crazy, right?
I had a few people read it, got some constructive feedback, and then spent a year-and-a-half polishing it so I could pitch it to agents. So I sent out my queries and waited patiently to hear back. I got turned down by many agents—believe me, it was very disheartening—but eventually, and I opened my email to read that a real-life agent was asking to read my entire manuscript. (*Does happy dance in footie pajamas*) Long story short, in the end, I realized that this agent was “The One,” and I signed with her.
Jill is my agent, and she is AWESOME! For the first few months, we worked on perfecting not only the manuscript, but my proposal as well. And once that was done, we sent it out. We got a few e-book offers, but Jill told me, and I quote, “Wait it out. A better offer is coming. I just know it!” So I did. I waited… And waited… And waited… Until…BAM! I got a call from Jill (in the middle of an assembly at school, which I quietly sneaked away from to answer her call). We had a traditional publication offer from HENRY HOLT & Co.! Unable to contain my excitement, I paced the halls as she recounted the conversation she’d had with them and every detail surrounding the offer they’d made me. For years, I’d awaited this moment, and it both frightened and excited me that my dreams were finally about to come true. Oh, and obviously, I accepted their offer, and from there, things just seemed to take off.
Jessica is my editor and main person-of-contact at Henry Holt & Co. She, like Jill, is AWESOME! And from Day 1, I knew we were going to get along great. There was a lot to get done, but it all started with a crap-ton of revisions and rewrites. *Insert montage of me writing, and writing, and writing some more.* Once that was done, I got a little bit of a break, which is when I began to brainstorm ideas for my next novel. But that break was short-lived, because once they read (and approved of my rewrite), the real work began. And by “real work,” I mean the beast of all beasts in the publishing world: reading over my copy edited manuscript. I’d heard many horror stories about copy edits before—I’m talking entire manuscripts marked-up from beginning to end—but because Jessica was so nice and helpful the entire way through, it didn’t seem that bad.
Yes, it was a long and tedious process, but eventually, I made it out alive, my confidence in my writing skills still intact and everything. During my copy editing process, I found out a few pretty important things: First, the official publication date of my book had been set: July 17, 2018—given that my copy edit revisions and changes are accepted—and second, an ISBN number had officially been attached to WIATRW, to which I responded with: “Publication dates and ISBN numbers mean this is really legit. OH MY GOD! I’M GOING TO BE AN AUTHOR!” There was some happy dancing around the living room—okay, okay, so maybe there was a lot of happy dancing involved—and I may have even cried a little, but they were tears of joy. I mean, who wouldn’t cry when they realize their childhood dream is finally about to come true?
And with that being said, I’ve pretty much brought you up to speed on everything. In case you’re wondering, yes, a cover has been picked out, and that will be revealed to the world on November 17th. More updates to come, but that’s all I have for now. So excited to share my journey with you guys and I can’t wait for you to read Wrong in All the Right Ways when it hits bookstores in July!