Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Deal!

It's done! With some trepidation but mostly excitement, I've signed my first book contract!

The details are thus:

I've been in a writers group (bless them!) for a little over a year now. I've focused on writing a distopian, human-rights oriented, science-fiction novel during that time.

One of the group members (bless her!) has already been published with a local company called Cedar Fort. Back in October, she forwarded an email she received from Cedar Fort about a Christmas short story competition.

Cedar Fort had already chosen a cover author, and those who were lucky would see their short story included in a compilation.

The competition rules were broad---write a story, fiction or non-fiction, 2,000 to 20,000 words. That was it.

I ignored the email.

(Having Googled the words "Christmas Sparkle," this image seemed the most conducive to how I felt about writing a Christmas short story. I don't really do Christmas. I'm Scroogey like that.)

That night (true story!) I had a very vivid dream and woke in a jolt, sitting up and speaking the words that became the title of my Christmas story.

I have a lot of weird dreams, but the timing of this one was impeccable.

So I decided to enter the competition after all.

The story was due on November 1st, so naturally I waited until November 1st to write it. 8PM to 4AM has never tic-tocked away so quickly. In the wee hours of November 2nd, I submitted my manuscript and went to bed.

Calling it a "first draft" would be putting it mildly.

The competition winners were to be notified on January 16th, Civil Rights Day.

I was not notified.

Ah. But it was a holiday! Maybe no one was notified.

Almost a week later, I was feeling rather jilted that my story hadn't even been worth a rejection letter when an email from Cedar Fort popped up on my phone.

It was Friday. I like Friday. My first thought was, "Why did they have to send it on Friday and ruin my weekend?"


As a related aside, we're in full band-aid mode at our house right now. I buy a box of band-aids with every trip to the store.

Bridgette is covered in band-aids at all times, and so are most of her toys. She's convinced this relieves her pain, even if her pain is from hunger, having tangles brushed from her hair, etc.

At some point she takes on the look of the living-dead, sodden band-aids hanging limply off her limbs. It's gross, so I pull them off. "No, mom! It hurts!"

We chat about being brave before I rip them quickly from her skin.

And she usually cries. Or at least she "cries," whatever crying in quotes means to you. She's fine once she's distracted.

Back to the book.

I opted to rip the proverbial band-aid off my tender ego and open the email. I'd "cry" then find someone/something to distract me.

Aaaaand . . . !

I was not the winner. Alas, alack, and all alliterations.

The email was lengthy for a rejection. The acquisition manager continued. "We think you should change the story here, here, here, here, everywhere!" She gave lots of specifics.

I wondered if she had suggested improvements to prove she had actually read it, despite it having been technically submitted after deadline. Sort of a... "See? We read it, ergo, we know that we don't want your story. P.S. Here are some ways you could be a better author."

Which was nice, in my mind, but not necessary. A simple rejection would do.

But then! (But then!) She wrote, "If you are willing to make these additions, we're happy to offer you a publishing contract. The book will be released in October 2012 with the rest of our Christmas titles."


That was unexpected.

And so it is. I only just signed today because of reasons I don't need to elucidate. But the truth is that I'm really excited.

As a small-ish publishing company willing to take on first time authors, Cedar Fort doesn't have the marketing clout of larger publishers. I am therefore required to hock my own wares, so to speak.

I'm hocking! I'm hocking!

Which is ironic for a writer because that refers to a tarsal joint or small cut of leg meat.

Let me try again.

I'm hawking! I'm hawking!

That's better.

So, come October, I would appreciate it if you readers (all five of you!) would please buy my book.

It's called The Window Builder.


Jeff Johnson said...

Yippee Kel! I'm so excited for you to be a published author. I know you will have lots of books get published. You are super cute too.

Aria said...

Kelly, you'll have to let me know where I can buy it if it's not available at the big chains. Just send me a link! I am so excited for you!!

Tammy and Alvin said...

What? Buy a copy? You mean I'm not getting a free, autographed copy under my tree?

That is absolutely, amazingly, awesome! I'm so glad I talked to you on your birthday and had an inkling that you were up to this so I wasn't completely floored by your news. I am so excited to tell my children and the world that my college roommate is famous!!!

Lore said...

Congratulations! You know I already have my order in for multiple copies - 2012's Christmas gifts for friends and aquaintances. However, I do want at least one of those copies to be personally signed by the author, and that copy will be the one I keep for myself.

Anonymous said...

WHOOOOP! Go Kel! I am so happy for you, how exciting. We will be in line for autographs too, also, an as well. :)


Tiffany W. said...

Congrats!! That is so exciting! I can't wait to read it.

Dale Hoose said...

Put me down for a copy.

Alisha said...

I would definitely pay to read your writing! That is awesome!!! Way to go!

Anonymous said...



Smith Family said...

How awesome are you?!!!!! That is sooo exciting! And I loved what you wrote in your latest post about Bridgette's dear friend. Know that you are an inspiration as well!

Apple Pie said...

Congratulations! You are so talented. I'm excited for you!
Lisa Schiffman