Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Thank You, 2015. You Were F*cking Swell.

So. Tomorrow is New Year's Eve. The last day of 2015.

Confession: 2015 was the best year of my life. Hands down. Yes, I've had some amazing things happen to me in previous years, but as a whole, this one takes the crown. 

I presented at my first academic conference.

Mad Max: Fury Road became my new favorite movie ever.

I traveled alone for the first time. Destination: Washington, D.C. 

I went to my first Supernatural fan convention.

Me. In a hotel bathroom. Wearing my con badge. 


The rest of the cast was A+++, of course, BUT JENSEN ACKLES Y'ALL.

In case you've forgotten what he looks like.
Which, by the way, is punishable by exile to a world without pizza. 

I recorded episodes for two of my friends' podcasts. Friend 1: The Walking Dead episode. Friend 2: Archie comics episode. 

Mockingjay Pt. 2 closed the series in spectacular (and emotional) fashion.

I signed with my agent!!!!

The spark I was missing to fix my manuscript is back in full force. 

Lastly, I celebrated my 29th birthday by returning to Las Vegas. 

Where I met One Direction.

Okay, okay. I met Wax One Direction. 

That still counts.

With Wax Niall.

So here's the deal. 2016 is right around the corner. I'm not totally ready to say goodbye to the best year of my life, but I'm ready to welcome better things. I'm ready to fight for my happiness again. Because that's what 2015 taught me. If I want something bad enough, I have to work for it, and if I work for it, sometimes, maybe, I can get it. 

2016, you don't stand a chance against me, kid.

Happy New Year!! :) 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How I Got My Agent, Part III: The Call

So. I've already discussed my querying timeline and writing a one-line pitch for my manuscript. 

Now let's talk about The Call. 

November 2015: Even though Linda emailed me on Thanksgiving Day, I didn't see her email until three days later. THREE DAYS. *face palm* I quickly wrote back saying that, indeed, I'd love to schedule a chat with her. We agreed on a date. I tried not to get too excited, seeing as my manuscript wasn't complete. Well, the old version was, but I'd started a brand new one. No chance I'd get offered representation with a manuscript in such a state.

December 2, 2015: Linda calls me to discuss revisions. We talked about my manuscript's new direction, our favorite books, diversity in YA fiction, my job as a college instructor, and life in Puerto Rico. I also pitched three other manuscript ideas I had. Linda sounded super enthusiastic about them (!!!). After an hour of awesome conversation, Linda told me she enjoyed speaking with me and hearing about my revision plan for the manuscript.

Then she said, "I would love to offer you representation."


I can't remember how long my silence lasted, but Linda was gracious enough to carry on as I fainted on the inside. I proceeded to ask her some standard questions for when agents offer rep, as well as some questions of my own. To be honest, I don't even know why I interviewed her. My mind had already been made. So after Linda answered my questions, I accepted her offer of rep (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

And now we've reached the end of this tale, my friends. I'm super pumped about what's next, which is a loooooot of revisions. A lot. Did I mention a lot? Because a lot.

Now if you'll excuse me, I must go finish a celebratory donut. It would be unwise to tell you how many I've eaten in the last month.

Happy holidays!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How I Got My Agent, Part II: The Pitch

So. I've already shared a timeline and my query stats in Part I. Today I'm talking about The Pitch that saved my life. 

I ended my last post like this:

October 2015: Linda emails me out of the blue to ask how revisions are coming along.

I don't think there's an emoji that could accurately represent the sound that came from my lips. It was a happy noise of happiness. And panic. Panicked happiness. I was thrilled that she remembered my lil' old manuscript and that she wanted to see if I was still alive. I was also panicked because I hadn't done a thing to revise it. So I did some heavy brainstorming and light plotting.

The problem? The draft Linda read didn't speak to me anymore. I wanted to write a different story with the same characters and world. The new version hit me hard. It wouldn't let me go. So I sat down and worked on a one-line pitch.

Confession: I love writing one-line pitches. This one poured out of me, even though I was still unsure of sending it to Linda. She did contact me because of the previous version. I had no guarantee that pitching a different story was going to be a sound decision. I did it anyway. After polishing the one-line pitch, I wrote back to Linda.

She gave me the thumbs-up.

She told me to revise to my heart's content and keep her updated on how revisions were coming along. The plan was to send her the new manuscript once it was ready.

So I started revising. That one-line pitch served as my inspiration to go full force on this story. I wrote five chapters and had started a sixth.

November 2015: (Thanksgiving Day, to be precise) Linda emails me to schedule a chat.


On my next and final post, I'll talk about The Call and signing with my agent. *flails*

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

How I Got My Agent, Part I: A Timeline & Query Stats

So. Earlier this week, I threw an agent announcement party with y'all. Today I'm sharing the story of how I got my agent. Mind you, I didn't spend a ton of time querying, and I'll explain why below. But first, let's begin with some stats:

From first draft to query-ready draft: 3 years

First query sent: April 2015
Total queries sent: 12
Full requests: 4
Full rejections: 4
Full rejections w/feedback: 2
Stopped querying to revise: July 2015

Out of the two agents who sent me super helpful feedback, Linda was one of them. I (shyly) asked if she'd be interested in reading the revised manuscript once it was ready. To my surprise and excitement, she said yes.

The only problem? I didn't revise at all. I got sucked into a vortex of self-doubt and panic. I felt like my manuscript's premise wasn't innovative or original enough. Yes, the writing was good, but not great. There was too much backstory. I had characters with motivations left to clarify. There was just nothing that screamed SNATCH ME UP too loudly.

So I put off revisions and went on with my life. I did brainstorm from time to time, but never sat down to actually work on those new ideas.

October 2015: Linda emails me out of the blue to ask how revisions are coming along.


So. On my next post, I'll write about what happened after that super awesome email. It will contain lots of exclamation points and Caps Lock. Because obviously.

Have a lovely day!!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Breaking News: I Have An Agent!!

So. I'm here today to make an announcement. 

What announcement, you ask? 

I HAVE AN AGENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm now represented by the super awesome Linda Camacho of Prospect Agency

*flails even harder*

I'll totally share my querying (and signing with Linda!!) story at a later time, but for now, REJOICE. You get to eat cyber pizza, ice cream, and cake with me! Not as good as the real thing, but no worries. I'll eat all of it on your behalf. :)   

Now if you'll excuse me, I must get back to flailing. I don't think I've done enough of that. 

*flails forever*