My novel is going to be published.
There. I said it. I had to say it (again) because I’m not sure that I really believe it. After just shy of two years of write-submit-reject on repeat, I have finally found someone who believes in my story and in my talent.
And it almost never happened.
I desperately wanted to stay for yoga class after CrossFit on Wednesday, June 18, but the deadline for Pitcharama (hosted by Aussie Owned and Read) was 9 PM, and if I stayed for yoga I wouldn’t be home in time to submit my entry. “You have to skip yoga so you can enter the contest,” said one inner voice, while the other retorted, “Why enter another contest? Nothing ever comes of them. It’s just a waste of time and of hope.” After months of rejection, the cynicism sets in like concrete.
Ever-hopeful me won out, and I skipped yoga to submit my entry. My first stroke of luck was that both of my YA entries were chosen (the wonderful Stacey Nash chose Chasing Eveline, and the lovely Cassandra Page chose Lucky Girl, my other YA Contemporary manuscript).
The contest went live, and Chasing Eveline drew interest from Shelby at Turquoise Morning Press. On June 28, eighteen minutes after I sent the fifty-page request, she requested the full manuscript. (Yes, I’ve studied the time-stamps extensively.) I gave myself a side of cautious optimism with my hefty serving of anticipated rejection.
Thank you for getting back with me. We at TMP loved Chasing Eveline and would like to extend an offer for publication. If you are interested, I will have Shelley send you a contract.
Again, congrats and I hope to hear more from you!
They loved it! Someone actually liked my writing and my story and my characters! They loved it!
So after waiting for these words for just shy of two years, what did I do? Did I jump up and down? Did I squeal in excitement? Did I burst into happy tears?
No. I shut the phone off and dropped it nonchalantly into my purse. Then I drank my wheatgrass shot and wondered when the cloud cover would break.
Part of me thought I’d just hallucinated. Another part of me was pretty excited for the juice. But mostly I think I just didn’t know how to react to good news. I’ve got the rejection response down pat. I can calmly pass through all the stages of rejection: sadness, then anger, followed by a sense of futility, and ending with proud determination. But good news? What’s that? I had no idea what to do with that.
Eventually I went back to the email and reread it, confirming its existence. Then I contacted some friends to tell them the news. And then finally after giving time to another publisher and agent who’d had the manuscript for review, I accepted Shelby’s offer of publication on July 9.
Today is August 11. I have sat on this news for over a month because part of me still thinks I might have hallucinated this whole event. (Maybe it’s all the wheatgrass I’ve had this summer. There really is no conclusive research on its effects.) I’m also still working on how to respond to good news. It’s not easy, let me tell you. Rejection is a pretty muscular beast, and he’s not too eager to give up his space in my brain. However, I’m making progress. The other day I actually felt a wave of happiness wash over me. It was brief, maybe more of a flash than a wave. But it was real. I think.
And it’s all thanks to Aussie Owned and Read (for their contest), Stacey Nash (for choosing Chasing Eveline for her team), Cassandra Page (for answering all my questions about Turquoise Morning Press), and of course Shelby and everyone at Turquoise Morning Press for loving my story and believing in me. (Cue background Academy Awards speech music.)
All of these wonderful people, my skipped yoga class, the hope that somehow still dimly burns inside me, and perhaps some wheatgrass…it all came together to create this dream-come-true.
It took a village, but now I can finally say…my novel is going to be published.