It’s been a while since I posted, and you all deserve an update. A lot has changed, and yet at the same time, very little has changed. So, here’s what’s going on in my writer world lately.
PICTURE BOOKS and SUBMISSIONS
As you may already know, I’ve written about a dozen picture book manuscripts so far (give or take) that have been sent to my agent. Many of them deal with STEM issues or animals or robots. They pretty much all follow a rhyming scheme, and I’m very proud of them. A couple of them are on submission right now with editors, actually, which is thrilling and yet… also kind of boring? I feel like this is the part of publishing that people don’t really talk about. You always here the stories about authors whose agents put them on sub with editors at publishing houses and then BAM! The book sells within a week! While this is probably the dream of every agent and author in the world, the reality (for me anyways), is that authors should expect to wait. A lot. As soon as I have good news to share, believe me, I’ll share it!
A couple of months ago, I had an idea come to me for a new story. I pitched to to my agent (Marisa), and she liked the premise, so I started writing in my spare time. It actually started out as a picture book idea, but I quickly realized it deserved much more space than a PB could offer. As a result, it morphed into an elementary/ early-middle grade book. I worked on it for several weeks whenever I could, and the story just flowed out of me really well and pretty quickly, all things considered. I finished all 37k words of it about two weeks ago. After getting a couple of other people to read through it and making adjustments based on their feedback, I sent it to Marisa. That was about a week ago, and I know it will take her a while to get around to reading through it. Inevitably, she will give me some great ways to improve the story so that maybe one day it, too, can go on submission. Until then, I’ll keep working away on my other WIP (work in progress), which brings me to…
Ah, here’s the meat. I have been working on the sequel to THE ELECT for LITERALLY four years. Why has it taken me so long? I could give you a list of reasons – parenthood, full-time work, family stuff, life, and generally just… distractions. But I don’t know that those reasons really get to the heart of why it’s taken so long.
There’s a lot of expectation that comes with a sequel. And quite frankly, I’ve – if I’m being honest – have been avoiding those expectations. It really took me a while to actually even figure out where the story was going. I mean, I always knew how it would end, of course, but the road to get there? Not so much. As a result, this book has taken a lot of drafting and outlining and thought, so much so that I got very discouraged and went in to avoidance mode.
The good news is that I finally had a breakthrough a couple of months ago and got the rest of the book outlined (I had stalled out about halfway through the first draft). And now, riding on the heels of finishing my MG book, I’m encouraged and ready to finish this draft. My plan is to have the first draft finished by July, which is 13 days away. I have eight chapters left to write (I think?) and then some adjustments to make before I go back and start fixing major issues. At this point, I just want it written and out of my head. With luck (and a considerable amount of discipline), I will get this draft finished by the time June ends. After that, I’ll send it to some beta readers, who will hopefully help me find holes and issues that need addressing. And once those things are squared away, I’ll get it sent to my publisher, who has a first-look rights to the manuscript. Hopefully, she will like it and then the publishing/editing process will start all over again.
Anyways, that’s what’s been going on in my creative world lately. As I mentioned earlier, the sooner I get any type of update, I’ll share it with you!