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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Big News (Yes, That Big News)

So there I was, fumbling my phone. My hands were shaking—my whole body was shaking—and my fingers couldn’t find the right button or my brain couldn’t compute. There was something about an offer. And then I hung up.

I should back up. Give you the whole “once upon a time” story.

Once upon a time there was the girl on fire. When my phone rang that Thursday, I’d been burning for 24 hours straight, and I was in the sort of pain that settles into your mind. I was also on the furious side of angry that my EM wouldn’t leave me alone.

It was a bad day.

And then the phone rang. My agent, Sarah, said something about an editor and my mind exploded. My cheek bumped the FaceTime button and I was too out of my mind on excitement to know how to get back to the regular call.

And so, the hang-up.

I was shaking. Even when Sarah called back and kindly laughed at my half-crazed mumblings, I shook and shook and tried to take notes because it seemed like the smart thing to do.

They read like the ravings of a mad women, which I guess isn’t too far off the mark. Because, guys: Karen Greenberg, and editor with Knopf Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Random House)(!!!) loves my book.*

I’m just going to sit here and let that sink in some more. Because at this point, it’s still not real.

We’d gone on submission for my YA magical realism novel, Gray Wolf Island, in January. A little under two months doesn’t seem long, but what you may not realize is that submission time is like dog years. You have to multiply it by seven then add 1,000 and that’s how long it feels when you’re waiting to hear from editors.

Incidentally, that math holds true when considering the wait between selling a book and being able to tell the world about it. Oh how I wanted to tell you all.

I wanted to tell you that all of the insane time we put into our writing pays off.

I wanted to tell you that writing the next book is always a good idea.

I wanted to tell you that your friendship over the years has kept me going, even when it felt like I’d never, ever get here.

But I am here, still not sure how it’s possible that an editor loves my book as much as I do. I’m a weepy mess of excitement and gratitude.

I suppose that some time before fall 2017—when my book (!) is set to release (!)—I’ll be a fully functioning human again.

* But WHAT IS IT ABOUT!?! I’m just going to go ahead and steal the Publisher’s Weekly blurb for this. Gray Wolf Island is a magical realism story of “five teens looking for a legendary treasure on a mysterious island, only discover they must reveal their darkest secrets in order to succeed.” Goonies never say die.

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