Archive for August, 2012

(Roman Holiday’s THE LONG WAY HOME, my anthem and TRACKED’s theme song, btw.)

This past week has been amazing, and I’ve been heartened by all the well wishes about TRACKED, but something’s been gnawing at me.

I didn’t do this alone.

I wrote a book, sure. I set out on a journey, but all along the way, there were people who picked me up when I fell down or got insufferably weary or couldn’t see my way through. There were people who carried me.

  • My husband, Chris, who always, always encouraged my crazy dream and put strong arms around me, protecting me from the relentless monster of self-doubt. When I thought about giving up, he bought me a Macbook and Scrivener. When I vowed to quit, the week before I sold, he told me I couldn’t, no way, no how.
  • My incredible agent Sara Crowe, who is tireless and responsive and so capable and kind. She is my champion, a true rock star agent who believed in me even when I couldn’t.
  • My editor Heather Alexander, the fiercely cool Penguin who saw something in Phee, my Han Solo girl, and took a chance on her.
  • My best friends Caron and Rosemary and Candy and Sally and Alex and Kate and Amber, and everyone at DFW Workshop who read book after book and who were never too busy to encourage or spur me on.
  • My family, who didn’t laugh when I said I wanted to be a writer, especially my father, who’s been with me the whole way, vicariously chasing the dream, getting just as choked up as his sentimental daughter.
  • My writing friends, online and off, who have been comrades in arms–Kendra and Bryan and Erin and April and Claire and Jamie and PJ and Janet and Julie and Lindsay and the Austin Girls and the Houston Horde and the DC Mafia so many, many more. If you’re reading this, the odds are good that you belong on this list, too. I haven’t forgotten that.
  • My first agent, Mary, who taught me so much, when I was just an embryo writer, still trying to find my voice.
  • Lastly, the infamous, mercurial Mr. Happenstance, who taught me that a good deal of luck–finding the right person at the right time–can make all the difference.

Thank you. Thank you for kicking me in the butt and inspiring me with your brilliance and saying kind things and tweeting me up. I can’t tell you enough how grateful and lucky that makes me feel. You’ve allowed me to be ridiculous and maudlin and silly, and now I get to celebrate and give you presents! So stay tuned, people of awesome, because I am already cooking up a MONSTER GIVEAWAY with lots of insanely rad prizes–a menagerie of carefully curated ‘must haves’ I know you’ll wantsssss, PRECIOUSSSSSS.

Until then, tell me. I’d love to hear about the people who carry YOU.

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Guys.

GUYS. I AM HAVING AN UGLY CRY ABOUT POSTING THIS AND I AM STILL IN SHOCK AND I CAN’T STOP SHOUTING IN RANDOM CAPS-LOCKY WAY BECAUSE…

My agent sold my debut. Our first book deal. 

(C’mon. I know you want to sing along with me.)

I can’t believe this is happening. And if you are my twitter friend, or my IRL friend, or my I-haven’t-met-you-yet friend, you may or may not know how daunting and scary and wonderful my writing journey has been so far. Whatever the case, thank you for sharing this moment with me. I love you for it. I would hug you very tightly right now, if you were here. I would ugly cry on your shoulder, and you would get impatient and tell me to stop being so maudlin and so silly, and I would listen to you. But just for a minute. Then I would start acting like a sentimental nincompoop again because…

One of my childhood dreams is coming true. I WRITE BOOKS AND SOMEONE BELIEVES IN THEM AND SOMEONE WANTS TO PUT THEM OUT INTO THE WORLD. I AM A PENGUIN.

I am so incredibly happy and lucky to be able to write that. I have so many people to thank (My family! My fabulous agent, Sara! My dream editor, Heather!). I have presents to give. I have (not very) gory details to share. But that is another post, one I’ll be writing soon. For now, thank you for reading this and being my any kind of friend. It means a lot to me.

TODAY

TOMORROW

Writing friends, I just gave up. Completely surrendered.

Again.

And you know what? It felt great. I’ll probably do it again tomorrow. And the next day, too.

I see the confusion on your face. Surrender?? Gave up on what???

Stuff I have no control over. Factors outside my influence. The immoveable metric ton of tricksy particulars I keep trying to shoulder. Pesky things like:

–the economy

–market and genre trends

–shifting state of the publishing industry

–today’s seven figure deal for the latest self-published/YA/fanfic/erotica/BDSM/OCD/PTSD/STFU phenom

–three day auctions

–past failures

–past revisions

–past mistakes
–present learning curve

–rejection

–silence

–editorial taste

–editorial lists

–acquisitions meetings

–editorial boards

–the submission process

–submission response times

–NYC weather

–THE SPEED OF LIGHT

Maybe your list is different. Maybe you’re querying agents or staring at your debut’s book cover or sobbing over your last royalty statement. But I bet you have a list. Take a good hard look at it, and ask yourself if you’re like me, a writer who needs to put her hands up and say…

I am not psychic. I am not a special snowflake. I am not superman, yet I am not immune to kryptonite. I am just a girl, sitting in a red chair, typing some words. I am just trying to tell a story, the best way that I can. I can control the words. I can’t control the rest. The rest will not cripple or paralyze or smother the joy I find in words. Yesterday and today and tomorrow.  Amen.

Surrender is sweet. I highly recommend it. 🙂