Friday, July 3, 2015

Getting the Submission Call with Kelly Siskind

It's Friday! That means it's time for some inspiration! Prepare to dance. Take it away, Kelly...

THIS IS NOT A TEST. Seriously. I have a book deal. Scratch that, a four-book deal. I’ve pinched myself. I’ve dunked my face in ice water. I’ve smacked my head against a brick wall. Bruised and battered, and pretty darn cold, I’ve come to the realization that I’m not dreaming. This is in fact my life.
Be assured, this has not been a quick journey. It began three and a half years ago when I put pen to paper, or finger to keyboard, and wrote THE BIG HOT MESS THAT SHALL NOT BE NAMED. That fine piece of literature is hidden in a dark corner to be revisited at a later date. Then book two happened. Then three.
*insert rejection here*
There were lots of NOs during this time. No, I didn’t connect with the characters. No, this book isn’t for me. No, this doesn’t fit my current wish list.
No. No. No.
I made toilet paper from the sheets and decorated my house.

Like most authors and creative types, I grew thick hide. I took each rejection and siphoned what I could from the comments and reworked my manuscript. I tightened up my prose. I shellacked and glazed that sucker until it shined, then I doused it in sparkles. Sparkles help everything.

Determined to make it the best I could, I entered it into Pitch Wars the summer of 2014. Brighton Walsh, writer extraordinaire and all-around awesome gal, chose me from her slush. Like the goddess she is, she worked tirelessly with me to tighten up my manuscript. Scenes needed to be reorganized, content moved. Basically, I Frankensteined the crap out of it.

Then came the agent round. My legs bounced with excitement as I watched my entry on the computer. I clicked refresh a bunch. Then a bunch more. Then a few more times…and only a few requests trickled in. Not going to lie, it hurt. I suffered a moment of defeat and made out with a chocolate bar under my duvet. Then I got back up and queried as many agents as I could. My agent offer came two months later, and I signed with Stacey Donaghy of the Donaghy Literary Group . She’s been my champion ever since. Tireless. Fierce. She deserves all the things and then some. Four months and two offers later, my writing has found a home. I danced. A lot.

I chose not to video the moment due to excessive flailing.
My debut novel, CHASING CRAZY, will be released by Hachette’s Forever Yours in February 2016. And that’s not all. They’ve also signed me for my contemporary romance series, THE SNOWFLAKE EFFECT, all three books to be released in succession, beginning spring 2016.

The moral of the story is, when you get rejection, learn from it, make toilet paper art, work harder, and don’t give up. Dreams really do come true, but a lot of chocolate needs to be eaten along the way.


A small-town girl at heart, Kelly Siskind moved from the city to open a cheese shop with her husband in Northern Ontario. When she’s not neck deep in cheese or out hiking, you can find her, notepad in hand, scribbling down one of the many plot bunnies bouncing around in her head. She laughs at her own jokes and has been known to eat her feelings—Gummy Bears heal all. She’s also an incurable romantic, devouring romance novels into the wee hours of the morning.
Her debut novel, CHASING CRAZY, will be published in February 2016 by Hachette’s Forever Yours.


  1. Such a great story, Kelly! I remember your MS from PitchWars, and I'm so glad it and your others have found a home!

  2. Congrats, Kelly! And yay for Ontario (we Canadian writers have to stick together!) -Sorry if this posts twice - having technical difficulties