Tip of the Day: Beware the combination of an empty refrigerator and full tins of Xmas cookies. Especially at dinner time. And breakfast. And, um, lunch, too.
Hello and welcome to Author2Author! Thanks for spending valuable time here with me when you’re probably already addicted to a dozen other blogs. But I promise, this one is worth adding to your daily read -- soon you won’t be able to sleep at night if you haven’t checked in with us.
Hopefully you’re here because you’re interested in our writing journeys. (But if you are here to internet stalk me, the least you could do is buy our books.) I am happy to share this with you, and hope you’ll weigh in with your own journeys, tips, questions, answers, etc., because lord knows the writer’s gig is never short, simple, or easy and we need all the support we can get!
I’ll start with the explanation of how I got my name, Miss Recently Repped: I signed with my agent one month ago! OK, that was probably obvious, so here’s some more background info on me, starting with those days of no sleep and weirdo roommates that I like to call college.
College Undergrad: Wrote a bunch of short stories. Thought I wanted to be a journalist. Thought wrong. Majored in Communications and Creative Writing while working at the public library.
2001-2002: Finished college, and wrote some more short stories while working my new full time day job as a legal editor. Read a lot of novels. Got bored out of my gourd. Went back to school.
Grad School: Got my Masters in Library Science where my favoritist class was Resources and Services for Young Adults. I reconnected with the books I had always loved and read as a kid – and still loved but just didn’t know it. I had always thought I wanted to be a college librarian, but that class alone convinced me I wanted to go back to public libraries and be a YA librarian.
June 2004: After I got my MLS diploma, I was restless again and searching for a YA librarian job (I’m still seeking this job, so any library directors out there gimme a shout!*****). I was also reading YA novels like a fiend. One day I sat down at the computer and after a fruitless job search, was like “Now what?” “Well,” I answered myself, “I could write a YA novel. How hard could it be? I could be published just like all these other authors whose books I’m reading!” [HA! Yes, HAHAHA on me. Not hard? Right.] I connected with two writer friends and we formed a critique group. I also found a YA novel writing contest online, saw it had a submission deadline of December 31, 2004, and decided I’d have my novel done by then. I did. I submitted Novel #1 in all its unbeknownst-to-me-horrible glory, but I’d met my goal! Go me!
2005: Got the You Did Not Win letter from the contest. Sent out [HORRIBLE] query letters to publishers on it. Wrote Novel #2 and submitted it to the contest in December. At that point I knew it wouldn’t win, but it was still my measurable goal and I had attained it. Got form rejections, and one request for pages on N#1. I pity the editor who read those pages. I also discovered Verla Kay’s Blue Board and learned a TON from it!
2006: Joined SCBWI and went to conferences. Wrote Novel #3 and queried my first agents on it. Got a lot of requests for pages, and this book was better, but I still had a lot to learn. In August I took an online writing class where I hooked up with Emily and Tina, and started my LJ where I met Lisa. Kate joined my in-person critique group. Finished Novel #4. Collected more agent and editor rejections, some “close but not quite rights.”
2007: Wrote Novel #5 and loved it more than any other book I’d written. Went to more SCBWI conferences. My writing got better and better. I queried more agents on N#5 that summer then started N#6. Chris, my agent, got my query via snail mail in July, requested 30 pages soon after, requested the full ms in late August, then emailed in October to tell me she loved the book and wanted to show it to her boss to see if she could sign me! In November I wrote N#7 for NaNoWriMo, and then the Monday after Thanksgiving I got The Email from Chris saying she wanted to call me the next day and that her boss said yes, she could sign me! We chatted on the phone and got along really well. She totally “gets” my novel and she sent me the contract to sign a week later.
Now I am happily agented and awaiting my first agented subs to editors in this new year! I think 2008 will be a very exciting year for all my Author2Author friends.
Hopefully you will never have to read through a post this long from me again, but alas, its length also gives you insight into my blabbermouthness (which I accept with no apologies). I do hope you were entertained and informed about me, and that you come back to read about our journeys going forward!
Deena, Miss Recently Repped
****Eeeeee!!! I just accepted a position as the Young Adult and Circulation Services Librarian at my local public library! I am THRILLED!!!