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Your journey from unpublished to published author

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message 1: by Emma (new)

Emma Pass | 21 comments Mod
What was it like? How long did it take? And what were the high points and low points along the way?

message 2: by Amy (new)

Amy McCulloch (amymcculloch) | 24 comments Mod
It's taken 7 years for The Oathbreaker's Shadow, from first draft to publication.

But Oathbreaker wasn't the first book I ever queried agents about. I'm not sure my agent even knows that! The first book I tried querying when I was 18... and I was so not ready. It was about imaginary friends and a girl who could see them. So I suppose that was a low point - but, looking back, it wasn't the right book, nor the right time.

The Oathbreaker's Shadow was actually roundly rejected by agents - back when it was called Spirts and Scars. I basically hit 'The End' on the first draft and immediately started querying. Writers: DO NOT DO THIS!

It turned out, that story needed marinating for another... oh... two years, before it went out again, completely revised, turned inside out, polished up and beautified. At that point, it was ready. I landed Juliet Mushens as my agent in early 2011 (I was her first ever client!) and then we revised again.

Once it finally went out to editors, it wasn't long (but it felt like AN AGE) until Lauren (in her infinite wisdom ;)) picked it up and made an offer.

It's then been 18 months from offer to publication! Phew, and I still have a few days to go. It could all go horrifically wrong before then!! (Well, I hope not).

message 3: by Karen (new)

Karen Mahoney | 25 comments Mod
I spent most of my twenties NOT writing, but wanting to write. I read a terrifying number of books, though, and I think I must have learned a lot by osmosis...

It took me until I was in my early 30s before I really took myself and my dream of publication seriously. THE IRON WITCH, my first published book, took almost 4 years from initial idea to publication date. That's how slow publishing works, people! If I tell you that I actually wrote the first draft in 6 weeks, that should tell you just HOW slow publishing can be. ;)

message 4: by Emma (new)

Emma Pass | 21 comments Mod
Amy, I'm sure you will be just fine! The Oathbreaker's Shadow is such a wonderful book.

I knew I wanted to be a published author right from the beginning, when I decided this was going to be my career, and wrote a LOT in just about every genre. But I didn't query a novel until I was 25. It was a contemporary YA and it was… rubbish. Thank GOD it's been consigned to a folder in the wardrobe!

I next queried a novel – another YA – 2 years later, and this one landed me my fabulous agent, Carolyn Whitaker. It didn't sell to a publisher but it was a near miss. After that, I started ACID. This was 2008, and it didn't sell until 2011… and then it was another 2 years, almost, until it came out! But totally worth the wait.

message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy McCulloch (amymcculloch) | 24 comments Mod
That's what I always find - it is worth the wait. Every minute I spent on my book, I'm so glad for now that it's almost out.

message 6: by Emma (new)

Emma Pass | 21 comments Mod
Yes, same here, and I'm glad it was THIS book (ACID) that got published, and not the contemporary that got me my agent. I'm not a contemporary writer (much as I adore the genre) and I don't think I could have sustained that sort of writing over more books.

And even the stuff you write that you don't think is any good teaches you SO much!

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