I’m a-MAIZE-d how time flies!
How has it been three months since I posted? Whew! I don’t know where the time has gone. In January I was still riding high from the book sales and support of my debut novel, The Project. Then, in February I virtually attended the Minnesota Writer’s Workshop and decided to do a pitch of my next book to three literary agents. Two said my genre/story wasn’t the right fit, but one asked to see the entire manuscript! Eek! This was a super exciting moment, and also, when I began to panic!
If you’re not a writer/author and have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s the low down. If writers want to publish their books with traditional publishing houses (think Simon & Schuster, Harper, Random House, etc), they have to go through literary agents. Literary agents peddle the manuscript in hopes of
landing a contract for the writer. This is a long rejection-filled process to pitch/query to agents in hopes of them wanting to even read your manuscript. One agent said yes to mine!
Why I started to panic is because I wrote the first draft a decade ago and hadn’t revised the entire thing. Usually a manuscript should be super buttoned up before even pitching! I was a little premature in pitching, but I was trying to get the experience. So, for five weeks, I was heads down, working early mornings, late nights, and all weekends, in revising/rewriting/deleting chapters in my manuscript. My characters told me a different direction they wanted to go in,
therefore, I ended up re-writing a lot of it. Wish me luck in receiving positive initial feedback from this agent. I have a lot of work to do on it, but hopefully she sees the potential!
The premise of my next novel is 30-year-old, divorcee Katalina (Kat for short) moves across the country to Phoenix, Arizona, to start over. Kat experiences mounting anxiety and panic attacks as she begins her new life and needs to decide if she has the strength to pull herself up from rock bottom and find herself again.
Although this novel is largely fiction, it’s based on my experience of having severe anxiety in my 20s when I lived in Phoenix. I feel like there are so many women dealing with depression and anxiety and not a lot of women’s fiction novels out there talking about it. Now that we are experiencing a pandemic, mental health issues are rising astronomically. I wanted to show through my book that there’s a way through to feeling better again with the right help and resources. When I was in my 20s, I thought I could overcome anxiety on my own with short cut methods. It wasn’t until I went to a LOT of therapy that I was able to really address it and manage it. Overall, I want women to know, they are not alone! If you don’t have resources, I work for this amazing company that provides free emotional support resources to anyone in need, especially through the pandemic and natural disasters (e.g. fires, hurricanes, flooding).Optum Public Crisis Line: Our toll-free emotional support help line at (866) 342-6892 is free of charge and available to anyone, so you can share it with family and friends. Caring professionals will connect people to resources. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Anyway...I suggest using your life experience to tell a story, even if you fictionalize it. If you look back at my November blog, I suggested that you think of three life experiences that you could write about if you ever wanted to write a book.
Stacey’s Suggestion: I heard this writing hack, and I need to try it! If you write one page a day for a year, you will have a 365-page book! One page a day seems do-able, doesn’t it? Also, if you’re going to start writing, just let the words flow, don’t self-edit. Get the story out and worry about editing later. Everyone’s first draft is crap! Who’s with me in writing a page a day?
Thanks for stopping by! Check back for more of my path to publishing. Sign up for my future newsletter under “Contact”. If you want to email me directly, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing from you!