From Sub to Pub 1

Thursday, March 24, 2011

As I said in a previous post, I didn’t set out to write Altered. I wasn’t even aware I was writing it until it was halfway done. I think the story was partially inspired by Jason Bourne, because I love that movie, and that boy, something fierce. And I wanted to tell the story from the girl’s perspective. What if you knew someone like Jason Bourne? No memories, but a total badass? And what if you loved that boy so much you’d do anything for him?

Much of Altered’s conflict came after the characters. I wasn’t really sure for most of the book what I was doing, but that IS how I work. I just wing it! Thankfully, that’s what revisions are for---cleaning up the wing.

The first draft was finished in about six or seven weeks, and then I spent the next month revising using feedback from critiques.

And this is where the fun stuff begins.

I posted the Altered query letter on Verla Kay’s message board hoping for some feedback. And what I got was much better. I use two different emails, one for family and writer friends and one for submissions. I received an email in my unofficial inbox with the subject ALTERED from a name I didn’t immediately recognize.

The email was from an agent who saw my query letter on the blueboard and was interested in taking a peek at the beginning pages. To say that I hyperventilated would be an inadequate description of what really happened.

It was more like I flailed and grinned and eeked and messed up a lot of work at the day job because I couldn’t focus.

An agent contacted me!! It’s supposed to be the other way around!

I rewrote the first chapter that day. And I’m so glad I did.

After sending the requested material to that agent, I knew it was time to start the submission process. I’d been sitting on Altered for what seemed like forever (but was more like a week or so) afraid to send it into the world. Afraid that it wasn’t The One. That it would fail like every other book I’d written and submitted.

But it didn’t.

I sent out nine queries over the next few days. I got three partial requests and two full requests. All three partials turned into fulls. I received two rejections and immediately sent out two more queries. One of those turned into a full.

By the end of that same week, Joanna had offered representation. Almost immediately I felt like she was the perfect agent for me and I was right. :)

To be continued!

7 comments on "From Sub to Pub 1"
  1. Ya know, after all this time following your LJ, I don't think I've ever known the 'full story' behind Altered so this is really neat to read! I love that you never set out to write it in the first place :)

  2. That's really nice to hear. :) As much as I LOVE reading other writers' journeys, I still think...does anyone really care how it happened for me? :D I'm going to do a few more posts over the next couple of days. There's definitely more to the journey than just this!

  3. Oh don't feel that way! I absolutely adore reading about other writers and their journeys, and I love how they're always a little bit different from everyone else. (: So I can vouch for one person who does care how it happened for you!

    And for a nice lift you up for the day: I found you via an article about you on the site i09.

    And hon, I can totally see the appeal of Jason Bourne. Total bad ass. (:

  4. Thanks Nina! I appreciate the comment, for sure. :D It's cool making contact with people outside of my familiar circle. So I'm glad you found me through the io9 post!

    And Jason Bourne... *sigh* That boy can karate chop me any day.

  5. Everyone has a different journey and all are interesting! :) Congratulations!!!

    "It was more like I flailed and grinned and eeked and messed up a lot of work at the day job because I couldn’t focus..."
    ^ I can so relate to THIS.

  6. Ha! That's probably pretty true for most writers. You work soooo long and sooo hard that when something finally happens, it doesn't even feel real.

  7. So exciting!! I love path to publication stories, as you know. This is SO exciting to read!!! Yay & congrats to you!