2012 Brings TWO Special Debuts

I rarely get very personal on this blog, but today I’m just going to go all crazy whats-going-on-with-me, so…LOOK OUT!

2012 was already set to be one of the biggest years of my life. I have been entirely focused on NOVEMBER 20 as the date to end all dates (no, they haven’t rescheduled the apocalypse, but it IS when that little book of mine comes out).

However, my husband, Stefan, and I now have a second date to get excited about: the first week of June. Spring will be in full swing, flowers will be blooming, and we’ll be welcoming our very first baby into the world. Yes…I’m pregnant!

We’re totally excited. Stefan and I met on the internet when we were both still in high school. A classic YA love story, and maybe one day I’ll write about it. We got married twelve years ago, and I’m pretty sure most of our family members gave up on us ever having children. What were we waiting for? Maybe something to celebrate. So the coolest thing about 2012 is: within six months Baby makes his/her debut, and six months after that, we can celebrate as a family for the debut of THROUGH TO YOU.

Life is amazing. <3

THROUGH TO YOU

I’m not sure how to write a blog post like this. I’ve never written about getting a book deal before.

[Update: I am now on my third try. Coherence, where are you?]

So, amazing things have been happening to me this year–and we’re only in February.

Maybe it’ll be easier if I cut right to the chase…my amazing agent, Mary Kole, sold my debut YA novel, THROUGH TO YOU, to Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins for publication in Fall 2012. I doubt I need to say this is one of the most amazing things that has happened to me. EVER! I couldn’t be more elated, thrilled, terrified, excited, and over-the-bright-and-beautiful moon!

Despite combing through message boards, blog entries, vlogs, you name it…nothing could have prepared me for this. I don’t think the emotion that goes along with selling your first book ever makes it intact to the public. Because it looks like this: (O_O), and it sounds like this: “!!!!!!!!!!!”

And yet here it is (from the Publishers Marketplace announcement):

Emily Hainsworth’s debut THROUGH TO YOU, about a grieving teen who discovers a parallel world where his girlfriend is still alive, only she’s harboring some dangerous secrets, and the devastating choices he must make, and a second, untitled book, to Alessandra Balzer at Balzer & Bray, in a good deal, in a two-book deal, at auction, for publication in Fall 2012, by Mary Kole at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA).
Foreign: Taryn Fagerness
taryn.fagergness@gmail.com

After four years of writing, revising, and endless queries, I had myself convinced I’d never get an AGENT, let alone an EDITOR. Now it’s like a mini-riot inside my head: all the OLD thoughts I’ve grown used to–maybe someday, I’ll try harder, I can do this, one day–versus the NEW thoughts–I am going to be a published author, my book will be in stores, I hope people like it, OMG THIS IS REAL!

It’s that last thought I am having a hard time with. I keep experiencing these earth-shaking reality checks. Yesterday, while reading a friend’s blog entry about receiving her first edit letter, I found myself wistfully taking in her account of how daunting and exciting the edits were. I thought…wow, that would be so scary and cool…but then I caught myself and realized that WILL be scary and cool, and it’s going to happen to me SHORTLY.

I walk into book stores, but they are no longer just places where I buy other people’s books…MY book will be on the same shelves with people I admire and respect. My book. The one I wrote mostly between 10pm and 2am, falling asleep on the keys surrounded by coffee mugs and candy wrappers. The one I pitched half-heartedly to my invaluable critique partner, Courtney Summers, one night over a couple of direct messages on Twitter after giving up on my last novel:

“Ok so this never happens, but I have a title: THROUGH TO YOU. But I think my MC is a guy, and that makes me sooo uncomfortable/unsure. Idk. Think his name’s gonna be Camden. His gf recently died, but then he sees this girl (who isn’t his gf) he thinks is a ghost, except she’s not a ghost, but in another dimension, and she needs something from him but I have no idea what yet…but he’s just hoping his gf might be in another dimension and not dead?”

What shocks me now, after months of writing and revision, is that these lines still describe exactly how the novel starts. But thank you, Courtney, because her response to me that night was: “WRITE THAT.”

So I wrote it–with one agent specifically in mind the whole time: Mary Kole of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. I knew this was foolish…but Mary had given me insightful feedback on my first novel and I just had a good feeling. I took writing THROUGH TO YOU as a challenge to impress her, and to (hopefully) take my writing to a new level along the way. Don’t get me wrong, I did send other queries…but when Mary read the manuscript, she LOVED it and offered representation: [insert dreams coming true].

Actually, make that: [INSERT MORE THAN MY WILDEST DREAMS COMING TRUE].

Agent-Extraordinaire-Mary sent THROUGH TO YOU out on submission Friday, January 14th, and by the following Friday (one week later) we had our first offer — with more to come. The next week was a haze of editor phone calls worked in around my day job, pet grooming…I’m not sure how I managed to cut dog hair straight that week, but none of my clients received an accidental mohawk the way my critique partner Tiffany Schmidt teased. That Wednesday the 26th, Mary called to tell me Taryn Fagerness of The Taryn Fagerness Agency had already sold TTY in a pre-empt to Germany (Oh Mein Gott!). And finally, Monday, January 31st, Mary sat down to auction off my book in the U.S. while I sat down to bite my nails. The next day, February 1st, we accepted a two-book deal from the fabulous Alessandra Balzer of Balzer+Bray / HarperCollins, and THROUGH TO YOU will be published in Fall 2012!

In time for the apocalypse!

So that’s my MY BOOK SOLD story! And yes…I still expect to wake up tomorrow and discover it was a dream. But I have to admit the moments when I realize IT’S REAL all over again are pretty cool. So I’ll keep re-reading emails that make me smile, and pinching myself while I await my own edits, and pointing little things out to my very patient husband to try to make it all seem real. Things like, LOOK! THIS! WILL BE ON THE SPINE OF MY BOOK:

BONUS! Read Mary Kole’s own account of the sale HERE.

~*~

 

 

 

An Interview with Parker Fadley and Her Author, Courtney Summers

 CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers made its debut on December 23rd. I’ve invited Courtney and her main character Parker Fadley to tell us (some very random things) about themselves and the book, which is so awesome you might want to run out and BUY IT FIRST and then come back. Oh and if you haven’t seen the book trailer, that’s a must-see. To be honest, I wasn’t sure Parker would even show up to this interview, but she graced us with her presence in her own unique way, and I didn’t even have to bribe her! Really!

Cracked Up To Be
"
Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore.  She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school.  Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud.  It isn’t even something she can say to herself.  A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.  If she can just remove herself from everybody–be totally alone–then everything will be okay…The problem is, nobody will let her. "
 
Q) So Courtney let’s get right to it: What Is With The Volcanoes?
I just love them.  I think they’re fascinating and terrifying and beautiful, much like zombies.  Except for the beautiful part.  I actually used to be really, really afraid of volcanoes.  Don’t laugh, but Dante’s Peak scared me to DEATH.  The thought of a volcano taking out Pierce Brosnan was more than I could bear.  Somewhere down the line, my terror shifted to awe.  It was also around the same time I decided Pierce Brosnan was no longer attractive to me.  Do you think that is a coincidence?  In any case, volcanoes are AMAZING.  And you should RESPECT them.

 Q) Parker, how do you feel about social networking? Do you have a MySpace/Facebook/Twitter?
(>_<)
 
Q) School Uniforms (either/both of you): Yay or Nay? Why?
Courtney:  I think uniforms are horrible.  For the most part, I can understand the reasoning behind them but, God, I hated wearing mine.  I found them as stifling as the environment I was in.  I prefer a dress codes vs. uniforms.  Blegggh uniforms bleeeeeegh.
Parker: (ò.ó)
 
Q) How do (either/both of you) feel about pressures to stay in/drop out of high school? What would your advice be to someone having a rough time in school?
I (Courtney!), will take this one.  I think the pressure to stay in school and the stigma of dropping out can be equally ridiculous at times.  The education system isn’t for everyone and I would encourage anyone who is having a rough go of school to explore all their options–whether that means staying, going, transferring, or seeking an alternative education (unschooling, homeschooling, etc).  I think one of the hardest parts about these types of situations is that some (not all) parents and teachers assume having a difficult time at high school is par for the course and inadvertantly shrug off a genuinely unhealthy situation as being ‘normal.’  This is really unfortunate.  On the flipside, leaving school is not the most feasible solution for some families, even if it is the best option.  That’s also really unfortunate.  I can’t tell someone who is having a rough time at school to drop out or keep plugging away, but I would encourage them to talk to their family and their teachers, to examine all their options, and hopefully some sort of solution will present itself.  If not, write it all down and put it in a book later!

 Q) What kind of music do you like, Parker? Favorite bands/artists?
d-_-b  Matthew Good Band, all the way!
 
Q) Courtney, in 140 characters or less…what is the best thing about Twitter?
~*IT IS MORE DAZZLING THAN EDWARD CULLEN.*~

 Q) (either/both of you) What would you do if you woke up to find Edward Cullen sleep-stalking you?
Courtney:  (ó.ò)
Parker:  (ó.ò)
 
Q) Parker, I know Courtney feels strongly about the impending zombie apocalypse…what is your opinion?
zombies: f(O_o)f   [¬º-°]¬
Parker:  (ó.ô)
zombies:  f(O_o)f   [¬º-°]¬
Parker:  (9ò_ó)=@
zombies/Parker:  (x(x_(X_x(O_o)x_x)_X)x)
 
Q) Courtney, what is the coolest/freakiest/weirdest authory-thing that’s happened to you since Cracked Up To Be was released?
It has all been cool, freaky and weird, to be honest.  People where I live know that I write now.  I used to hold that card close to my chest.  And now it’s just out there!  It is bizarre.  But in a good way.
 
Q) (either/both of you) You can SAVE THE WORLD or go after the ~*sparkly*~ thing. What do you do??
Well, obviously we would–OH MY GOD LOOK AT THAT ~*SPARKLY*~–
 
Q) BONUS QUESTION for Courtney: If you could be Doctor Who’s companion…where/when would you go/see/do?
Look.  To be honest.  I would just stay in the TARDIS all day and make out with the Doctor.  Yeah, that’s right.