Images from lisamcmann.com
It's been awhile since I've written, so I thought it would be fun to do a #FridayReads post.
For the past several months, I've been reading through Lisa McMann's amazing UNWANTEDS series AND the UNWANTEDS QUESTS series.
You guys, I cannot recommend these books enough. If you are a fan of MG fantasy/adventure, promise me you'll check out the first Unwanteds book like... yesterday! Great for ages 10+ (even 8+ for kids who can tackle a full-length novel).
These books have everything.
Adventure, friendship, first-crushes, love and loss, super fun magic, talking stone statues, whimsy, courage, and... did I mention adventure?
Trust me-- you won't be disappointed! And with 7 books in each series (total of 14 book!) you'll get to spend time in these books for a good long while. :)
200+ rejected queries from agents
Signed with my agent - 2020
Book Deal - 2020
I signed with my agent in early 2020 (one the absolute best moments of my life!). By the end of February, we were ready to submit my book to editors. I was fully of hope (and dread) as I stepped into the world of Going on Submission (that is, my book was sent to a handful of editors who work for book publishers).
And then, two weeks later, the world shut down.
With COVID-19 officially reaching the United States, it felt as if everyone's world collectively turned upside-down. Needless to say, my submission--along with the rest of the publishing industry--was put on hold. While we did hear back from a few editors over the next few months, it was mostly radio silence. (To pass the time, I wrote my next book!)
In the summer of 2020, my agent and I decided to rework my manuscript based on editorial feedback. I worked with the fabulous Kate Sullivan (New Leaf Literary & Media's in-house editor) through revisions then we sent my book back out on submissions in the fall.
And that's when the Fates came together and birthed a miracle.
I fully believe that finding success as a writer comes down to 3 things:
1. hard work
And after 10 years of pursuing a career as a writer, luck was finally in my corner.
It just so happened that in the fall of 2020 editor extraordinaire, Liesa Abrams, was making a career change. After maintaining an immensely successful book list at Simon & Schuster, Liesa started a new journey at Random House--specifically to launch a new imprint: Labyrinth Road. During this transition, my agent decided to send Liesa my book to see if it was a good fit for the new imprint.
I've been a fan of Liesa's from afar for years. I knew she was the editor for the Keeper of the Lost Cities series (my favorite book series EVER!) and she has a reputation in the publishing world as a phenomenal editor.
So I could not believe when I got the call from my agent that Liesa LIKED MY BOOK! The next day, I was on the phone with Liesa to talk about the book and I instantly connected to her ideas/thoughts. Then came the OFFER OF PUBLICATION. I couldn't believe it--I was getting emails from Random House!
Fast forward to today. Liesa and I have worked through several rounds of revisions on my manuscript and I am still in complete awe that I get to work with her. She is kind and brilliant and my characters are so much better off because of her suggestions and feedback.
So... what's next?
My book will be published next year (date TBD) and I could not be more excited!
Stay tuned for more details :)