I'm really glad to come back from my short blogging break in a big way. I've always wondered what it would be like to be on submission and I'm sure others have too. Here's your chance for an inside look. Thanks so much, Stephanie, for sharing. You bet I've added EXTRACTION to my Goodread's lists.
A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend an
author event in San Diego called “YA in the Sun.” I met some wonderful writers,
both published and unpublished. A common question people asked me that day was:
What are you? Reader or writer? My response was: I'm an agented writer on
submission. I received lots of (sarcastic) replies of: OH MAN, fun times. And:
I heard stories from people who were on sub for months and
months, and were even still on sub. I heard stories of lightning-fast submissions.
These were all stories I'd heard before, but let me tell you, it's scarier when
you've already been on sub for an excruciatingly long month, and writers are
telling you they've been on sub for nine months with zero offers. Or that they
had their first offer in a couple days. It leads you to horrible thoughts like
IF EDITORS LIKED MY BOOK, THEY WOULD'VE READ IT AND REPLIED
NO ONE IS EVER GOING TO OFFER. I AM NEVER, EVER, EVER GOING
TO BE PUBLISHED.
That day at YA in the Sun, I had actually already received
the news from my agent that we had interest from two editors. Except, that
didn't make me feel much better. It scared the crap out of me. “Interest” does
not necessarily lead to an offer. The whole process of editors acquiring a
manuscript has multiple steps:
1. They have to like the pitch enough to read the
2. They have to fall in love with said manuscript (and
believe that people will buy it).
3. Other people in their office have to read it and fall in
love with it (and believe that people will buy it).
4. The entire team has to put forth an actual offer.
At any point along the way, that “interest” could turn into
absolutely nothing. So, that day at YA in the Sun, I wasn't bouncing on my
feet. I was terrified. And I remained terrified for the next two weeks, until
on the lovely morning of Tuesday, November 19, I received an email from my
agent (because the phones were out of commission in her office) that we had an
ACTUAL OFFER from St. Martin's, an imprint of Macmillan. An offer for a
three-book deal, which meant I'd be able to write the sequels I'd been dying to
I was literally about to walk out the door to drive to
school when I received the email. I didn't want to be late for class, so I
quickly responded with something like AHHHH and arranged with Alison to call
her as soon as I got to campus.
The thirty-minute car ride consisted of me smiling giddily
and singing loudly. I got to school, called Alison, and we talked the offer
over. When I hung up with her, I called my mom right away. Then I had to attend
college classes and pretend like everything was normal. I didn't tell anyone
about the offer that day except for my parents because I was afraid of jinxing
The next day, we accepted the offer, and I spilled the news
to some of my closer friends and critique partners. I couldn't concentrate on
anything else for the next couple days. I basically died of happiness when
Publisher's Marketplace announced the deal.
I've wanted to be a published author since I was seven. Not
just like, “Oh, hey, it might be cool to get published someday,” but more like,
“THIS IS MY GREATEST DREAM.” I sent out my first query letter at thirteen. It
took me six whole years and hundreds of query letters before I signed with an
agent. Yes, I know nineteen was a pretty young age for that, but six years is
still a long time. And it was really more like twelve.
In a little less than two years (assuming all goes well in
editorial land *crosses fingers*), my novel EXTRACTION will be on shelves. I'm
not sure I've ever been more excited for anything, or more terrified. People
will actually be able to READ it and carry it with them in their purses and
spill food on it and tell their friends about it. Maybe they won't pick it up.
Or maybe they'll read it and hate it.
But you know, even if one person reads it and loves it, that
will make me smile. EXTRACTION is a story that fell into my head one night when
I wondered what life would be like if the moon were poisonous. I wanted it to
be something thought-provoking and possibly heart-wrenching, and I hope I've
accomplished that. I hope you'll give it a chance.
Of course, I have to finish making it shiny first. I should
really stop writing this guest post, as it is allowing me to procrastinate.
To stay up-to-date on my journey to publication, you can
follow me on:
Twitter - @StephanieEDiaz.