Friday, January 30, 2015

The Second in what I hope is a recurring theme

I mentioned earlier this week that it was a big week on the blog. First I got to help reveal an awesome cover! No seriously, if you haven't already seen it, go take a peek.

Second, I get to share a secret:

So last year, right around the time I was supposed to be working on my NaNo project, I was packing boxes. On my way to work one day, I had an idea. I told some of my writing friends about it, and they said "That's the one!"

I was pleased to have such an enthusiastic response, but then I entered a couple of writing contests--stop me if you've heard this one before. Those contests, well, they were rough. What made my story different? (didn't I say that in the first sentence???) The market is too clogged with YA contemp books, yours would "really have to be different." Everyone is writing sports books right now.


This is nothing new. I'd been in that place before, but I was hoping for a steady climb: first book, no requests, second book partials, third book fulls, fourth book agent. It seemed logical, but no one was biting for this book. I thought it was a goner. I was ready to hit Delete and move back to my happy space, but this character had me and demanded more of me. I don't usually tell contemporary stories. I like blowing things up, and there isn't a single explosion. HOW? How could I write something without aliens, unicorns, or explosions?? (also, no Dragons, and I'm Liz With Dragons; I can't write something without dragons!)

But this book had me in its clutches, so I took a chance. My publisher is just starting a new imprint. In the past, Curiosity Quills has focused on Genre Fiction, specifically, Science Fiction and Fantasy: my wheelhouse. As in, they have been on my radar since day one. Yes, they are small. No, they are not one of the big five.

So when I heard they were starting a YA contemporary romance line, I thought to myself: they'll never want to publish my book, right?


Somehow, I convinced myself that they would have ZERO interest in my most recent book. Zero.  I mean, my book wasn't even in their target genre set. It was YA contemporary with a splash of romance. In fact, it was really about the sport of Fencing (near and dear to my heart, FYI).

So you can imagine my shock when they said they wanted my YA contemporary with a hint of romance.


My Contemporary YA, OF PENS AND SWORDS by Bridget Adair is going to be published!

Here's the blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Cyra Berque wants two things in life: a date with Rochan and a chance to show the world a one-handed girl can fence in the Olympics. When Cyra’s coach tells her he’s taught her everything he can, he sets her up with another coach, one who could take her all the way to the top, but the new coach costs more. With her dreams slipping out of reach for lack of money, Cyra agrees to tutor a ballerina with a rich father and a D minus in English. He’ll pay Cyra three times her usual tutor rate if she can get his precious daughter to a passing grade. The ballerina only has eyes for Rochan, and she’s promised Cyra to turn her D into a full fledged F if Cyra doesn’t help her win the heart of Rochan.

OF PENS AND SWORDS is a YA contemporary retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac with the gender roles reversed. 

The next step in my bid for world domination: book two!

So yeah, happy dance, and there will be some changes around the blog here.



    I cannot wait to get both your books and read them and love them and put them on my shelf for ever and ever!!

  2. So pleased for you!!! That's amazing!!! But I mean, it's right... you deserve it. Love it!

  3. How wonderful!! I have the utmost respect for Curiosity Quills (isn't that the most awesome name for a publishing house?). I'm so happy for you!

    Once you're dominating the world, can I be assigned to a beach house somewhere warm?

  4. Congratulations! Again! ^_^ And now that I think about it, this is the first fencing & romance book I've heard of. If there's a niche market for that, you've absolutely cornered it. :P

  5. Congratulations! You never know how things will turn out in the writing business.

  6. I am very excited for you - congratulations. I hope that nasty 'self doubt' character who sits on your shoulder has been well and truly gagged now!

    I'm looking forward to seeing what you can achieve in 2015 - bring on world domination!

  7. Congrats! I'm so happy for you. :-)

  8. Oh my gosh, that sounds so good!!! Congratulations, Rena!! I can't wait to read it!

  9. You guys are so sweet! Thank you so much!

  10. I'm so proud of you, Rena!!!!! I've loved knowing you through your journey and I'm so excited for all the next steps!!! You're wonderful. :)


I love comments! Let me know what's on your mind.