Friday, August 22, 2014

News, the Good Kind

So this thing happened over the summer.
Summer is for making pumpkins.

I saw a contest being held on the Aussie Owned and Read site. It looked pretty cool. Pitch your novel directly to editors from small presses.

I was ecstatic, except, I knew from reading Dahlia, that you HAVE to choose which way you’re pitching a book: agents OR editors. My current query bait was having a pretty good run, so I wasn’t ready to jump into editor land, since a no from a publisher is a burned bridge, and I didn’t want to have a bunch of those on a book I was querying. Agents might not be all that enthusiastic at having their stories head hunted by small presses (who usually offer small money, and agents have to eat, too).

But I had another story (news flash, if you’re a writer, you write: the longer you’re in the more manuscripts will haunt you from the trunk), a story I’d written back in 2011, entered into the 2012 Writer’s Voice. Stuff was going on in my life, so I put that book away, and hadn’t really chased all the rabbits down the holesI was REALLY Busy. But it was collecting electrons on my hard drive. I had this vision of just dusting it off and entering it.

Ah, Naïveté, thy name is writer.

Some time between when I’d put that story away and when I opened it for the Pitcharama contest, the fairies had failed to clean it up and make it ready for the eyes of others (faeries don’t follow orders well, I tell you). I busted buns, cleaned up the manuscript, fixed up my pitch and posted it on the blog.

Then I waited.

And waited.

And then I saw that the other participants were getting picked to teams, and I had a sad face.

Sad face… until Stacy Nash posted on my pitch that she wanted me for her team!

Everything went live. Pretty quickly, I got requests from two editors at different presses. I gave my first three chapters one more read through, and sent them off.

I’d like to say that at this point, I happily went about my complicated and well adjusted life, but who am I kidding? I’m a research scientist by training. I looked up every scrap of information I could about the presses. I maybe wore out the refresh key on my computer hoping to get an email.

Then the editor from Curiosity Quills got back to me and said she loved it. Please send the rest.

Loved it? My book? I was pretty much in a state of shock.

I did the happy dance, then tried to talk some reason into my brain. I’ve had full requests before.

I’ve had full requests from publishers before. It’s a guarantee of exactly nothing, so I settled in to wait the long wait. The “Please love my book” wait.

After a month, she got back to me with a contract.**


That’s right, I sold my first book, ACNE, ASTHMA, AND OTHER SIGNS YOU MIGHT BE HALF DRAGON, a YA urban fantasy to Curiosity Quills!

Me, signing at the desk of awesome.

I’m so excited!

Thanks to Stacy for picking me for your team!

Thanks to Aussie Owned and Read for hosting Pitcharama. ALL THE FEELS.

And thanks to Kathleen for loving my book (like really, I’m still in shock!), and I'm super excited to be joining Curiosity Quills!

Okay, now back to work.

**Turns out, I have an odd response to too much emotion, good or bad: the part that feels shuts off. It goes into overload, and only the cold, logic remains. It’s the weirdest thing. It’s sort of like in that Star Trek movie where Data tells the Captain that he’s scared and he’d like permission to turn off his emotion chip. Apparently, that’s my default happy mode.


  1. Rena, this is WONDERFUL!!!!! I'm so happy for you! Congratulations!!!!

    <3 <3 <3

    !!!!!! (Love happy stories!) :)

  2. Oh my gosh, this is so exciting!! I'm so happy for you! And I LOVE that title! Ah! Congratulations!!

  3. Congrats, Rena! This is awesome news and Curiosity Quills is a fabulous home for your book. I can't wait to read it!

  4. Ohh! Another CQ sister from Pitcharama. So happy! Congrats, and I'm looking forward to getting to know you better. :-)

  5. Already offered my well-deserved congratulations elsewhere, but I think this is warranted too:

  6. Awesome news! From what I've seen of CQ they produce some great stories and I've seen so many of their covers that I've loved. Congrats!

  7. So exciting! This is wonderful, I love to hear things like this! (And I love the title of your work, lol!!) YAY!

  8. Congratulations, Rena. Great news.
    And I love your title :)
    Best of luck!

  9. Wonderful news, Rena, congratulations :)

  10. What FANTASTIC news. Congratulations. I noted that two editors had made requests and I've been patiently waiting (and hoping) for you to post something.

    Best news ever - you're going to be a published author! Makes all the hard yards, long nights and angst worth it.

  11. I'm happy for you! And jealous. But mostly happy!

  12. I'm like a month late to this party...I didn't even know about this until you mentioned it my comments the other day. But let me just say:

    YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!! Congratulations Rena! You are awesome and totally deserve the success!!! I can't wait to READ YOUR BOOK!!!


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