Tuesday, April 1, 2014

You Never Know. No, Really. You Don't: My Pub Story

Today is the day, peeps! The day I get to tell you all that my baby, my beloved novel, LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE, is going to be published by Simon Pulse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



To say I'm ecstatic is an understatement. Being a published author has been my lifelong goal - I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb looking for a good book and a quiet corner to curl up in with it. It might explain why I screamed so much as an infant. My point: I have waited a LONG time for this, and I am so thrilled that my book found a home with a publisher and an editor who love it as much as I do.

My story is not exactly typical. I found my agent, or maybe it's more accurate to say we found each other, in 2012 when I entered LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE in Brenda Drake's Pitch Madness contest. Naturally, there was much happy dancing.




You can read the interview about it here.

LYM went on sub not long after. And if you think waiting to hear back on a query is torture, let me just tell you that time literally STOPS MOVING when you're waiting to hear whether or not your book is going to become a real book. And a couple of times, it seemed like it just might happen. There were a handful of editors who had nothing but complimentary things to say about the manuscript, but in the end, it didn't pan out.

Talk about heartbreak. I don't even think I need to elaborate.



Fast forward to almost two years later. I had put LAST YEAR'S MISTAKE on the shelf, put it out of my mind, and powered ahead on some new projects. I was literally in the process of putting the finishing touches on my newest when I got an email from John titled An Interesting Email On A Snowy Valentine's Day.

It was interesting, all right.

Sara Sargent, one of the editors who'd read and loved LYM when it was on sub, had emailed him to say she'd been re-reading it on her morning commute and remembering how much she'd enjoyed it, and would he like to re-sub it to her in new position at Simon Pulse?

My reaction was basically this:


She'd remembered my manuscript. Remembered it, and was still thinking about it. And wanted to publish it.

I can't even.

So, LYM came off the shelf for sub resurrection. My intestines went into immediate knots. This was the story of my heart, and I'd long since put it out of my mind. Sure, the occasional wistful memory still crept in every now and again, but for the most part, I'd accepted that LYM would not be my publishing debut, and had even allowed myself to get excited about my other manuscripts instead. Now it was back on the table, and every person I wrung my hands and fretted in front of kept telling me the same thing: don't think about it.

And of course, when you're not supposed to think about something, we all know what happens:





IT IS THE ONLY THING YOU THINK ABOUT.

And for 34 long, agonizing, ENDLESS days, it was all I thought about. No amount of house cleaning or child rearing or new projects helped. I drove myself crazy until I reached a point where I thought, okay, it's been way too long. I guess the answer is no. Again. 

Then I got an email from John asking if I had time for a quick phone call, because he had some news to share. And....

I missed it.




I missed the email because my son had kept me up all night, and when he went down for his afternoon nap, I crashed like a ton of bricks. That's right, I SLEPT THROUGH THE MOST IMPORTANT EMAIL EVER.

Luckily John is persistent, and followed up with a phone call a little while later. AND I SLEPT THROUGH THAT, TOO.

I almost died of a heart attack when I wandered into my kitchen, bleary-eyed and messy-haired and looked at my phone. I wanted to smack myself.


But then I called him back, and finally, FINALLY, I had the news I'd been dying for since, oh, second grade: The folks at Simon Pulse loved LYM as much as Sara did, and they wanted to publish it.

Despite the fact that I was incapable of forming coherent sentences, I wanted to hug John. He's lucky that he didn't deliver the news in person, or it probably would've looked something like this:




In summer 2015, my book will be a real book. My dream will come true. Then, in 2016, it will come true again when my second book is published. That's right. A 2-book deal.



Living proof that you just never know.

No, really. You don't.

Join me in some more happy dancing, won't you?

THROW YOUR HANDS IN THE AIR!
MY MOM HAS A BOOK DEAL!!!





38 comments:

  1. CONGRATULATIONS! I just saw the news in Children's Bookshelf and came over here to congratulate you -- and here, I have the whole story! Yay! Good for you! Lots of hugs!

    ReplyDelete
  2. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH I LOVE YOU AND AM SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love your story, loved your post, loved your pictures. And I'm TOTALLY dancing with you right now!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. LOL, this is hilarious. HUGE CONGRATS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. IT'S GOING TO BE A BOOOOOOOOOOK! IT'S GOING TO BE A REAL BOOOOOOOK! :D *dances around* I AM SO FREAKING HAPPY FOR YOU! <333333333

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fantastic news, fantastic story, and fantastic blog post! WOOHOO!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. So beautiful! I want to get a call just like that one day. :) I agree with you so hard about being on submission and time stopping and all that. It's been hard on me too--I wrote another book and got a book deal for THAT one (but it was nonfiction--just kind of something I do when I'm not doing fiction, and I wasn't expecting it to sell first). Still holding out for the fiction. I can't wait to fill a blog post with GIFs, LOL! Congratulations SO MUCH to you, and that's so amazing to hear that the editor remembered your book! You must have felt like crapping jellybeans!!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. CONGRATULATIONS, GINA! What a wonderful book deal story - so happy for you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this! Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
  10. WHOOOOOHOOOO! Congrats!!! What an awesome story!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awesome! I'm so excited for you! Congrats! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Congratulations! That's fantabulous news!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations!! What a great story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. Congratulations!!! this is an epic post with all the gifs!! I can't wait to read your book in 2015!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Congratulations. What an inspiring The Call tale!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Congratulations that's amazing!! I can't wait to read your book :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. CONGRATS AGAIN, Gina - Sara is terrific and so lucky to have you!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  18. LYM LYM LYM LYM I cannot wait for this amazing beautiful book to be a BOOK. I am so, so, happy for you and Sarah and John and Simon Pulse. <3

    ReplyDelete
  19. Congrats! So happy for you and can't wait to read it with the rest of the world. Woo hoo!

    ReplyDelete
  20. WOOT!!! I love a good Shelved to Shelf comeback story!! <33

    ReplyDelete
  21. THIS MAKES ME THE HAPPIEST! So excited for you <3

    ReplyDelete
  22. I am SO SO happy for you! Congrats. Simon Pulse is a great place to be.

    ReplyDelete
  23. WOOOT! So freaking happy for you Gina!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Congratulations to you, Gina!!! You'll have to let your editor know that your post will turn her into a cult hero as a champion of aspiring writers everywhere!!! I think it's rewarding for writers at every level to remember that our books *do* stick with people and are remembered long afterward. I'm so happy for you and can't wait to read Last Year's Mistake!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Congrats, Gina! I'm so, so happy for you! Wow, it took a long time but at least it was worth it in the end! Can't wait to see your book on shelves! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Congratulations! I'm so glad the book of your heart has found a great place in the world! Can't wait to see it on shelves!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow Gina! I had no idea that you were a writer, you quiet little mouse you! Many, many congratulations. People have no idea how hard it is to get your work published. Ray Bradbury papered his walls with rejection letters before he finally got one of his short stories published.... so good for you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Best story ever!! Congratulations again! Woo Hoo!!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I've been following you on Twitter for a while now (I think I found you through a Pitch Madness at some point). Anyway, it is always amazing to see people go through this journey and I am so very happy for you! Congrats! Your story made me teary with happiness!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What an awesome story. And the GIFs make it even better. :)

    ReplyDelete
  31. Congrats! That's so awesome!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Great story, it sounds so much like my road to my first contract. Though I doubt I'll have as many awesome GIFs on my upcoming blog post as you do, but the dancing in my head totally looks like all the above. Congrats to you! :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. You've given me a reason to believe and keep trying! Congratulations a thousand times! How exciting. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  34. omg, I'm so late to the game here but CONGRATULATIONS!!! I hope you're still bathing in the after-book deal glow! So happy for you!

    ReplyDelete
  35. How could that NOT be your Deja Vu selection. I mean....really?!? CONGRATULATIONS....way late...but that's what this Deja Vu thing is all about.

    Thank you for re-sharing it with us. :)

    ReplyDelete