*This post was written on March 14, 2010 and originally appeared on my old blog
Back in October, I was wandering around the Internet clicking on random things, when I found myself on Craigslist checking out the “Writing/Editing” jobs. I found an ad for a new literary production company looking for YA writers. The ad was funny and unique … and clearly written by someone with a mastery of the English language, so I wasn’t too freaked out about submitting for it. Though I have NO publishing history whatsoever … I figured it couldn’t hurt. I wrote a query letter and sent them the first ten pages of Preppies, Yuppies, and Movie Stars.
And then I promptly forgot about it.
Close to three weeks later, SURPRISE!, I got an email saying they liked my pages. Not only liked them, but thought they were funny and thought my voice had potential. They wanted to send me some character sketches and a synopsis for a couple chapters that I would write, sort of like an audition.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving. I’m standing in the kitchen with my family, stuffed full of turkey and wine, when the promised pages finally arrive … I spent the next two weeks frantically writing, editing, brainstorming, writing, editing … rinse, repeat.
I sent it to them in early December, and just before Christmas I heard back. They liked it! Well, they liked it with some edits. If you go back and look at my entries, you’ll see that they wanted me to write in first person instead of third, and asked me to take a pass at the first chapter using their suggestions.
So I did. Cue more frantic writing and editing. I finished and sent it off in early January.
Fast forward to the end of January. I had just come home from a derby scrimmage, and found an email from the company. They wanted to call me and have a chat. I started screaming and dancing around my living room.
And that’s when I got the call from Lauren Oliver, author of Before I Fall. Not only did they love my sample, but they wanted to sign me and attach me to the project.
I’m not sure what Laura heard on the other end of the phone … probably lots of giggling and me saying “oh my gosh” and “wow” and “yay!” (Laura, please note that my writing is way better than the words I produced when reacting to this awesome news!)
I’ve been holding this news in since January 24th, as contracts got drawn up and things got finalized with the company. And now, with contracts in hand, I can finally announce to the world …
I GOT SIGNED!
Paper Lantern Lit is a new literary production company run by Lauren Oliver, super awesome YA author, and Lexa Hillyer, super awesome YA editor (formerly with Razorbill). They are the greatest team and oh so supportive, and I’m so excited to be working with them. I really think they’re going to push me to be the best writer I can be, and I can’t think of a better situation for my first book.
So what happens now? The chapters I already wrote will get rewritten and polished, with a couple more added, until the whole package is ready to go out to editors as a proposal. From there, the hope is to get a contract with a publishing company, at which point I’ll write the rest of the book and dance around my house giggling until its publication.
For those that are wondering about a literary production company, check out Paper Lantern Lit’s FAQ page (their new website goes up this week or next, at which point that link probably won’t work anymore). The number one thing to know is that while the idea for the book was conceived by the company, I am the sole writer of the project. My name will be on the cover of the book. I am an author-for-hire. And I’ll still be working on my own stuff and sending it out for publication. Which is why I’m still moving forward with the new book while I work on the book for Paper Lantern.
So there’s my news! If you’re wondering what I’m doing to celebrate … right now I’m busy telling every corner of the Internet that OMG I GOT SIGNED WOW I’M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED! And then maybe something special for dinner … but for now, real life grinds on and I have to go to my day job tomorrow.
But maybe I’ll actually achieve my goal of writing full-time by 2011!