Welcome to the second installment of my “path to published.” If you missed part one, you can find it here. I talk about brainstorming, drafting for a full year, collaborating with others, querying too soon, and one Big Bad Temptation.
To summarize, I started drafting in November 2013, and we pick up here in fall 2015, right after I turned down an offer from a new indie publisher.
5. Repeat steps 2 (revising) and 3 (querying) FOREVER
After not signing that first publishing contract, I didn’t give up! I continued revising my manuscript and strategically sending it out to agents. My writing style evolved and strengthened (I think) and my story got sharper. At one point, th...
Having released my debut novel a little over a month ago, the question I’ve been receiving most often (besides, what’s your book about?) is, how did you do it?!
Below I share an overview of this four-year process from drafting through publication. Every journey to publication is different, and since I’ve been inspired by so many pub stories along the way, maybe this will inspire someone else who doesn’t think it’s possible.
1) Brainstorming, drafting and revising in stolen moments
In November of 2013 my love of reading Young Adult fiction finally tipped me over the edge to try writing it. Besides some tales I wrote when I was about 12 years old, I hadn’t written...
As another year ends, I join many of you in reflecting on the year passed and scheming about the year ahead. 2017 was a doozy of a year in so many ways, but I’ve found a lot to be extremely thankful for. I think it helps to focus on the positive, so I made lists, of course!
My top three creative accomplishments of the year:
3) Started and finished a first draft of a manuscript that I love—my sister story!
2) Directed two plays that I was super proud of. Stories that I was honored to tell, with fantastic collaborators.
I like all the books I read (and write!) to have at least a little romance. I love romance! I like my romance on the side of an epic adventure, or a little edgy, or funny. I don’t usually like my romance super-sentimental, sugary sweet. But there’s one time of year when I crave all the gooey, lovey-dovey stories … Christmas!
Specifically, I like holiday romance novels—the equivalent of the Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel. I only watch movies like that once a year, and I want to read all the wholesome romance this time of year, too. But only if it has wintry, holiday themes.
Like what, you ask? Towns called Christmas. Or towns that have over-the-top holiday fes...
Tuesday November 28, 2017 is #GivingTuesday! This is a global day of giving, always the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.
Small Business Saturday.
There are SO many worthy charities to choose from for your holiday giving. If you want to support writers, storytelling, educational programs, and literacy, here are just a few literary nonprofits to consider—with a snapshot of what they’re about, in their own words!
We Need Diverse Books
About: We Need Diverse Books™ is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and a grassroots organization of children’s book lovers that advocates essential changes in the publishing industry to produce and promote literature t...
I’m creatively full this month, and feeling like the luckiest girl around. While querying my YA adventure retelling (which was selected for Query Kombat, made it to the agent round, and got four requests including two *wild cards!* So grateful!), I’m working on two new creative projects. Working on new things is the best way to handle the waiting of querying, am I right?!
I’m finding some fascinating (to me) connections between preparing to direct a play and outlining/drafting new novel. The play is STONES IN HIS POCKETS by Marie Jones, an Irish dark comedy which will go up at Keegan Theatre in September & October 2017. The new novel is a YA fantasy, working title S...
I wrote this piece for my job with Fairfax Library Foundation, and I'm sharing it here because I think board service is important! Fairfax Library Foundation is looking to expand our Board of Directors at the Foundation. Here are the four main reasons professionals should consider board service (and with the library in particular!):
1. Maximize Your Impact in Your Community
The mission of Fairfax Library Foundation is to enhance Fairfax County Public Library. The county only contributes less than 1 cent per tax dollar to the 23-branch library system, but the library provides essential services to our community. The Library is the great equalizer in society—a place wher...
I love writing fiction, but I’ve only been telling stories this way for a few years. I’ve been telling stories as a theatre director for 15 years! I direct professional theatre productions once or twice a year, and I just finished directing Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. With this last project, more than ever before, I took away some lessons from directing that I’ll apply to my writing.
In directing, I dissect and interpret an established work (in this case, the best of the best: The Bard) with a team of actors. When I write, I put down a story word by word. But it’s all storytelling, and I find there’s a lot to steal when crossing disciplines.
It’s been a rough year. I don’t think many will argue about that. But even during this rough year—especially during this rough year—I am thankful for all things creative. I am thankful I can turn to creativity and the arts, and I’m thankful for my own good year of creativity.
(And I don’t say “good” meaning any recognized, measurable unit of success. I mean that I enjoyed the creativity of others and experienced personal creativity growth… and I’m thankful for it.)
1) I am thankful for stories
Whether it’s a book (I’ve read 72 so far this year!), a play, a painting—I love stories. I have a fiction addiction! I get to experience things I would never get to in my ever...