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The Journey to MY BOOK DEAL!

When a writer announces a book deal, everyone always asks, "So how'd you do it?"

It's pretty much the same answer you'd give to someone if they ask how you lost weight, (well, what I imagine I'd say if I lost weight, which I'm always striving for...), which is "lots of hard work and persistence."

I hate when people state the obvious. Of course, I know THAT much, but what are the deets, the down low, the real deal?

You want the details? You got 'em.

THE SHORTCUT:  Took me nine years, five novels, and three agents...but FINAAAALLLY, one of my novels sold! I'd been to acquisitions twice before, with two different novels (one each with two prior agents), but this time, Eric Myers of The Spieler Agency finally sealed the deal. *Picture me jumping up and down and tears streaming down my face when I got "the email." Okay, stop picturing that. I doubt it was a pretty sight. :) And yes, he sent me an email, so I didn't get "the call," but I suspect Eric was protecting his eardrums from my shrieks of uncensored joy.

THE PUBLISHER'S MARKETPLACE BLURB: Kym Brunner's debut WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE, about two teens possessed by the spirits of Bonnie and Clyde who soon discover that the legendary outlaws plan to continue where they left off, to Jacquelyn Mitchard at Merit Press, for publication in 2014, by Eric Myers at The Spieler Agency (World English).

THE TWISTY-TURNY LONGER VERSION: I wrote, revised, sent it through my critique groups, revised again, the whole shot for roughly 18 months. Started sending queries out to agents and got a "send the full manuscript" from Eric Myers. So I sent it, he loved it, and then he asked me to get it line-edited before we sent it out. So he gave me a few names of freelance editors, one of whom was former Scholastic editor, Jennifer Rees––who had edited the HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY! Naturally, I decided to utilize her expertise and have some development editing done as well. She shared some ideas with me and four months later, my manuscript was even shinier and prettier than before. Eric sent it out on submission and I was thrilled when Merit Press Books editor and fellow author (first Oprah Book Club author) Jacquelyn Mitchard, fell in love with it too. We changed the title from Gangster of Love to WANTED: DEAD OR IN LOVE (thanks to my daughter Karly for that awesome title!), which fit the story perfectly.

And now another sort of journey begins––revisions and book promotion plans, creating an author website and Facebook fan page, and anything else I can dream up. This being my debut novel, I know have a lot to learn. Hope you'll stick around and help me along because I can use all the cheerleading and advice I can get...starting now. What were a few things you wish you knew when after you sold your first novel?

'Til next time, KYM

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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 5th, 2013 11:02 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Kym!! :)
May. 5th, 2013 11:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Robin! We've been on this journey a looong time together! What's happening with you?
May. 6th, 2013 06:56 am (UTC)
Congratulations! That *is* a great title! :>) Luckily there's lots of authorly wisdom on LJ, Verla's, etc. Enjoy the ride!

Edited at 2013-05-06 06:58 am (UTC)
May. 7th, 2013 01:49 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, Christine! I'm excited to try and absorb it all!
Jessica Wilson
Jul. 31st, 2014 02:02 pm (UTC)
I have also been on this journey for six years. I returned to school to help my writing and I have joined writing groups like SCBWI. I knew Jennifer Rees when she worked at Scholastic as an editor. Editors do a great job of polishing manuscripts, but if you don't have the money then what would be the next best thing of landing that agent?
Jul. 31st, 2014 11:47 pm (UTC)
Re: Wow!
Joining SCBWI was my first brilliant move (lol), but getting into a regular critique group was my second. I lead a group that meets in person twice per month through SCBWI at a local B & N, and another online group that each person posts ten pages per month.

I'd have to say that was the number one best thing for improving your writing - readers telling you their true thoughts and revising accordingly. And if you're already in a critique group, going to conferences is a great way to meet and greet agents and see which ones are a good fit. I loved reading agent interviews on Literary Rambles and finding ones that fit my work. Good luck! :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )