Monthly Archives: January 2017

After the Offer: Five Things No One Told Me

Getting an offer from such an amazing publisher as Orbit remains a highlight of my life to date, and working with them has been pure bliss. My pre-publication experience has continued to be a dream come true. But there are some aspects of the life of a debut author I couldn’t have guessed at. So here you go… now you can’t say nobody warned you!

1. DEADLINES CHANGE EVERYTHING. My old writing process involved a lot of letting things sit and simmer for a while. Yeah… Let’s just say the slow-cooker method is no longer on the table. Conversely, I keep thinking “Okay, I’d better stop goofing around on this book and do some work—WAIT! This IS work!” Being able to prioritize writing guilt-free is pretty awesome.

2. YOUR BOOK BECOMES BIGGER THAN YOU. Every now and then my lovely editor will casually mention “the team” working on or talking about my book. Every time, I’m filled with a sense of wonder that this is a thing, and there are these people I’ve never met who are helping make my book a published reality. And then I think OH SHIT I CAN’T LET THEM DOWN. (It’s kind of terrifying, actually.)

3. THERE IS SO MUCH WORK. So. Much. Work. This is fine, because I like writing, and I even like revising these days, and I don’t mind hard work. But wow. Don’t get it in your head that once you get a publishing contract, your work is done. It is ONLY BEGINNING.

4. YOU FINALLY UNDERSTAND WHY PUBLISHING IS SLOW. There are so many steps, big and small, between “I WROTE A BOOK WOOOOO!” and final published product. It’s been about seven months since I got my offer, and I feel like the pace has been lightning fast. My editor has always gotten back to me with blinding speed, and I’ve been working my butt off. There has been no fat to cut. The machine is well-oiled. It just has a lot of work to do.

5. IT NEVER STOPS BEING AMAZING. At least, not so far. I still regularly find myself going HOLY CRAP, THEY’RE REALLY GOING TO PUBLISH MY BOOK! And I bounce around the house grinning like a loon. It still feels like a wonderful dream.

2017 Writing Goals

2017 is here! I like to set goals at the start of each year (rather than resolutions), to get my priorities in order. Here are my writing-related goals for the new year:

  • Rock my debut year. THE TETHERED MAGE comes out this Fall! It’s going to be a crazy, wonderful year, full of new experiences I can only guess at. I plan to both work hard and enjoy every minute.
  • Write book two! I’ve been revising forever, and I am SO EXCITED to start a shiny new first draft soon.
  • Read some great adult fantasy. I was focusing on reading YA while I was writing YA, and I have some delectable catching up to do on recent grownup fantasy. (Recommendations welcome!)

Those are the big three I want to focus on. Subordinate goals include:

  • Save time for fun. I want to reserve time for hanging out with my friends and taking my kids on fun outings, and I need to schedule accordingly in advance. If I try to play it by ear, two careers means I’ll wind up working ALL THE TIME. If I pre-book my fun, I can’t weasel out of it to do work instead.
  • Challenge myself. I always like to pick a new area or two of craft to particularly try to level up when I start a new writing project. Gotta figure out what to work on next!
  • Give back to the writing community. I want to support fellow authors, and help up and coming writers seeking agents.
  • That’s probably enough! 2017 is going to be a really busy year, so I shouldn’t get too ambitious. Can’t wait to see what it has in store!