Super fun book news!

HAPPY HAPPY NEWS TIME!

My novel THELMA BEE has found a home!

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(Much like my idols, Peg + Cat – I’m totally freaking out!)

I’m excited to announce that the lovely people at Mighty Media Press will publish THELMA BEE in September 2016. I’m in super-love with the vision that Lauren Kukla and the rest of the Mighty Media crew have for the book and series to follow. I just feel lucky and happy and OMG IT IS HAPPENING!!!

Approximately one bajillion thanks go to wonder-agent Laura Zats of Red Sofa Literary. Also, my husband Ryan who has put up with my checking email every five minutes for months. He’s incredible.

I’m so excited for this new chapter. Thank you, everyone!

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Literary Agents and the Writers’ Crazy

A long, long time ago (2004), in a land far, far away (lower Manhattan), I worked briefly as the assistant to a literary agent.  The job lasted only a few months, as the employment intersected with my flight back to Boston. It was a short, but really interesting bit of employment, and it introduced me to the special crazy of the aspiring writer. My mental trajectory regarding slush (the submissions that writers send to literary agents) went something like this:

“Each one of these packages could be a work of genius, what a honor to be involved in this artist’s process!”

to

“Some of these are pretty good. I mean, once you get to the middle. And they are writers, so of course they’re intense about their work. I get it.”

to

“I don’t think I understand high fantasy. Why is everyone using the word ‘phantasmagoric’? It’s kind of creative that this woman sent in a scrapbook of her cats with her query…right?”

to

“I’m going to start pretending that this is a pizza delivery place if another author calls up to tell me how stupid my boss and I are for not recognizing his genius.”

phone fear

“…I’m sorry, this is Domino’s. Domino’s Pizza. I…I can’t help you with your dreams.”

Back then, there was no Twitter to connect with other professionals and aspiring authors. Also, my boss was very busy and often out of the country. There was no one to confer with about the process and what’s normal. Man, that would have been useful! But now, I follow a number of great agents and marvel at their tweets regarding the strangely divine hubris of some unpublished writers. The proclamations of greatness! The threats! Yikes. It’s half funny, and half terrifying.

Now that I’m on the other side of the equation, being one of those crazed (quietly though, super quiet crazy) aspiring authors sending my work out to different agents, I have nothing but love and gratitude to all those who take the time to read my query. Extra special love for those that make requests, of course, but I don’t take any agent or assistant’s time for granted. It’s hard to sift through all that material, and even sending out a polite “no thank you” is a ton of work when multiplied by 300.

So thank you, assistants. Thank you, agents. And to that lady who sent in a scrap book of her cats along with her story about elves…I hope you found what you were looking for.

PitchMadness

A quick update. I mentioned that my work had been accepted into the Pitch Madness contest a few days ago but didn’t have much more info. It turns out that there were 60 entries chosen spanning three writers’ blogs and a number of literary agents made bids on the submissions they wanted to read.

I’m very happy that a wonderful agent from a wonderful agency has requested that I send her my full manuscript. Best case scenario!

Some really hard working and innovative writers put on these contests once and a while for the benefit of poor unagented folk like myself, and I’m so grateful for all their patience and labor.

If you want to take a look at the bidding wars that occurred (in the style of a poker game), check out Brenda Drake’s Website. Lots of really wonderful submissions and, in this contest, lots of winners.

So, I haven’t heard back from any of the folks who have THELMA yet, but this is just a little more good news. It’s a long road!

 

Put Your Dumb Book Down

It was hard, but I did what everyone says you should do. I finished my book and (revised it four or five times, developed at least seven drafts of a query letter, made a few floundering attempts to submit it to agents out of burning curiosity, got quality feedback from some beta readers who are way smarter than I am) then PUT IT DOWN.

All of those parenthetical things are not supposed to happen until after you’ve PUT YOUR DUMB BOOK DOWN for a month or so, but I really couldn’t help myself. I was too excited. Like, compulsively excited. Therefore, I didn’t do things in the right order.

In actuality, it’s OK. I’m just kind of going about things in a roundabout way. Like a slinky. That’s actually the only satisfying image that pops into my head when I think about this post-writing process.

You see, my initial fantasy was a powerful one. It went like this:

1. Finished rough draft

2. Send casual email query to agent with one or two details of my masterpiece

3. Said agent shows up at my door the next morning. The poor woman has been running down route 2 all night. Her car stalled at Alewife and she had no money for the bus, but dammit, she wasn’t going to let me get away. So she ran in her stocking feet. The poor woman is bleeding but her eyes are wild and she seems to feel no pain. She HAD to represent my novel. That’s why she hopped in her SUV at 10pm and started driving from her Brooklyn apartment the second she finished reading my email. How did she find my address? I don’t know, but it doesn’t matter. We’re together now and no one in this wide world can tear us apart.

In the back of my mind, I was pretty sure about how these events would unfold. Alas, there seems to be a little more to it. But I had to go through the motions and experience countless mornings with literally no one pounding at my door at 6am in order to revise my process.

THELMA has been with the wonderful Ms. Jess Barnett (artist, former roommate, coworker, copy editor) for about a month and I haven’t looked at it in that time. In a few days I will get it back and begin another loop of revisions. I have a few more brilliant readers who are ready to give me some feedback and I also found this…

If you love short lists, you will not love this list. However, if you’re a writer who is really trying to poke and prod your manuscript, screenplay, play, etc. this might be really very useful to you: 40 Questions to Test Your Manuscript .

What. A. Great. List.

SHIFTING GEARS,  My Dark Love premiers tonight at ImprovBoston at 10pm! I’ll be the one wearing black.

MY DARK LOVE INFORMATION!