I’m sorry I haven’t been posting much lately. I’ve been so tied up with day job work and family things that I’ve barely had to time to think, much less blog, and on top of that, I got into Pitch Wars in August! That was one of my biggest goals for this year, and I was selected by the lovely and amazing Laurie Elizabeth Flynn, who wrote Firsts.
I entered Pitch Wars in 2015 with a different manuscript and a lot less experience in the publishing world. It was the first manuscript I’d completed since (maybe) grad school if I’m generous with the term “completed,” but I had been working on it for two years. I thought it was good – edgy, sharp – and I thought it was the story I was supposed to write. It had been with me since high school, and I loved my characters, so that meant it had to be the story that was going to get me an agent and published and begin my career, right? Wrong!
While I still love last year’s submission, Fall to Pieces isn’t a bad book, it isn’t my best work. I didn’t push the boundaries and explore like I have with my manuscript that got me into Pitch Wars. I attacked my latest manuscript with a passion, and it made me uncomfortable in ways that FTP never did. Yeah, FTP is gritty and dark, but I’m proud of my newest manuscript in every way possible.
Formerly titled Still Breathing, my tentative title is The Wreckage of Us. As with everything in publishing, that’s subject to change at any time. Once upon a time, it started out as a contemporary friendship story, and it has blossomed into an LGBTQ contemporary with paranormal elements that explores mental illness, disability, friendship, loss, and accepting yourself. Even though half the time I’m kicking myself and wondering why in the world Laurie decided to spend two months working with me on a book that I can barely find a genre to describe, I’m so proud of what I’ve accomplished.
In two weeks the agent round arrives, and we get to put our pitches and first 250 words in front of agents who can choose to request more. I’ve been talking with friends about the fact that it’s a public selection process, and while it’s daunting to consider that some of us might not get any requests, I’m to the point (today at least) that whatever happens happens. I’ve done the best I know how to do with my revisions, and I wrote the best book I could.
I’m so excited about this manuscript. I never honestly thought I’d get into Pitch Wars, but here I am. When the announcement went up in August, I was having dinner with a writer friend that I haven’t seen in years. I completely overlooked my name, but I saw several of my friends’ names and I was excited for them. I told Sarah that I didn’t get in, and about that time, I started getting emails, texts, and DMs. Sooooooo, I looked again. I still couldn’t believe it. Sometimes, almost two months later, I still feel like it’s a dream, even after two full edits of my manuscript, writing a pitch, and changing the title. It’s funny how things happen.
I’ll try to post more regularly from now on. Hopefully things are settling down a little as far as all of my big deadlines hitting all at once. I’ve got some fun posts lined up that I’m working on, so check back soon!