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 I met some wonderful writers, both published and unpublished.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: ugh.
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 these:
IF EDITORS LIKED MY BOOK, THEY WOULD'VE READ IT AND REPLIED IMMEDIATELY.
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 manuscript.
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 write.
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 everything.
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.
My website - http://stephaniediazbooks.com.
And you can add EXTRACTION on Goodreads - http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16210411-extraction