Thursday, March 11

More anniversary fun!

As the newest member of the Teen Fiction Cafe (and the only one still waiting for her debut!), this was a funny thing to go back and look at. Especially after reading everyone else's posts!

Three years ago, in March of 2007, I was an unagented, unpublished writer wondering if I would ever actually sell a book. I was still trying to find my voice, putting off writing a book called The Cinderella Society because I was afraid I didn't have the skills to pull off a book bigger than I'd ever tried before.

Every published author I know has been at that point. Wondering, worrying, comparing themselves to other authors and fearing they'll never measure up. That was me three years ago.

But it was the summer of 2007 when I finally decided that worrying was never going to get me where I wanted to go. And when I acknowledged that my writing improvements were coming more incrementally than in the huge leaps they'd come in at the beginning, I knew it was now or never. It was time for me to write The Cinderella Society.

So I did. I shredded everything I'd written on it up to that point, made the idea as big as I could, and started over with my fears banished to the closet while I hammered out a first draft. I finished the book in fall 2007 and entered it in the Golden Heart. And then came the agent search. I queried the amazing/funny/talented woman who would become my agent at the end of January 2008 and signed with her in early March. Three weeks later, I found out The Cinderella Society was a finalist in the Golden Heart.

Fast forward a few months... MANY revisions to The Cinderella Society (including the famous "Do you think you can make the climax of the book the midpoint?" which nearly made me faint but made the book TONS better)... and it went out on submission in June 2008. The summer was crazy and then on August 2, 2008, The Cinderella Society won the Golden Heart. I remember standing on the stage at the awards ceremony in San Francisco thinking I couldn't believe this was happening.

Flying high from the win, I went home and regrouped with my agent. Three houses still had the book, including one that had been championing it for two solid months in-house trying to buy it. Everything was fabulous...

And then I got an email from my agent saying the editor who had been such a supporter of it had to pass. It was a Monday, two weeks after getting home from San Francisco, and I was devasted. If she couldn't sell her publisher on it after two months, what were the odds *anyone* was going to want it? I spent Monday in deep despair, thinking for sure this was the end of the road.

And then Tuesday arrived.

With an offer from one of the remaining two publishers.

And then Friday arrived with an offer from the other remaining publisher.

It's truly amazing how your writing life can completely change in a span of just four days. I never would've imagined on Monday that things would turn around so completely. I signed with Egmont in August 2008 and never looked back.

It hasn't been easy, by any means. There have been many days I've fallen apart, swearing that I'm a terrible writer and this was all somehow a fluke. But it's made me stronger as a person and I'm grateful for that. And it's helped me remember what's really important in life too - my health, my family, my friends. Those are the things that make life really spectacular. :-)

So, fast forward 18 months and we arrive... here! Today! Celebrating three years of TFC goodness! The Cinderella Society hits shelves next month (April 13th - the same day Glee returns!) and the second book of the series, Cindy on a Mission, is slated for Spring 2011.

I feel so incredibly blessed. I get paid to make stuff up in my pajamas and get to hang out in the Cafe with some amazing, wonderful, funny authors. If this is a dream, please don't wake me! I'm going to sleep in a while longer. :-)

GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate our 3-year blogoversary, I'm giving away a Cinderella Society "glass slipper" bookmark! Simply comment below for your chance to win. It's open to US/Canada residents and the winner will be announced in our grand finale on March 15th.

Happy anniversary, Teen Fiction Cafe!

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Congrats! Please sign me up! Sounds like a great book!

~Countrygal2468

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Looking forward to April 13, Kay - so glad you're one of us!

Amy Jo said...

Thanks for sharing your story! As an unpublished writer, I appreciate learning that other writers have my same fears and insecurities. It makes me feel as if I'm not alone. I look forward to reading your book!

Chelsea said...

Hey, Kay! Your book rocks. :) It's really cool to see a back-story on how you got published.

I Heart Book Gossip said...

Congrats. Please count me in.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Laurena said...

Can't wait to read your book Kay! It was a relief knowing that a lot of writers feel the same insecurities that I do. I'm unpublished, but am hoping to be!

Melissa Walker said...

Great story, Kay! I think we all have a version of that. The ups and downs make things interesting though, right? Yay!

Jessy said...

I really enjoyed hearing your story about getting published. Glad to see it didn't get you down.

Sara Hantz said...

Great post, Kay. I remember being at San Fran and cheering for you on the stage. It was such an awesome moment. Can't wait for The Cinderella Society to hit the shelves.

Alyson Noel said...

Great story Kay--and LOVE the bookmark!
:)

KrysteyBelle said...

Congrats! Can't wait to read it. =)

Gerb said...

Adorable bookmark, Kay. And I'll join the chorus and say I'm so glad you joined us!

Cherie J said...

Great post! I am amazed when I hear the stories of perseverance that authors share with us. Makes me appreciate even more the blood, sweat and tears that go into getting that first book published. Thanks for sharing.

Wendy Toliver said...

Hey Kay!

I love the Cinderella Society and am so excited for you!

Amanda Ashby said...

Kay - it was so awesome seeing you get up and collect your Golden Heart award!!!! I can't wait to read TCS when it comes out next month!!!!

Cassay said...

Congrats!

S.o.L.a.R. said...

What exactly is Glee about?...

Suzette said...

your book sounds amazing!! i want to read it!

Hope i win the cool bookmark!!
soccer_chick.11(At)hotmail(dot)com

~ Suzette

Heather Kelly said...

Congrats--what a roller coaster ride. Next month will be so exciting for you!!

Kay Cassidy said...

Country Gal - Done. :-) Good luck!

Lauren - Awww... thanks! I'm so thrilled to be one of the TFC gang. :-)

Amy Jo - You're definitely not alone. Hearing other authors' stories always gave me hope when I could swear it was never going to happen for me, so I'm glad it helped here. Best wishes for a stellar writing career for you!

Kay Cassidy said...

Chelsea - Hey, sweetie!! Thank you so much. :-) Can't wait to see you at the launch signing on 4/17!!!

Cindy - Thanks! And DONE. :-) Good luck!

Laurena - Glad it buoyed your spirits! It really *can* happen, so keep the faith and keep writing!!

Kay Cassidy said...

Melissa - Thank you! And it's true, isn't it? The ups and the downs definitely make it interesting. ;-)

Jessy - Aww... you're sweet. I think perseverence is just a part of the game in this career, like it is in any other career, really. :-)

Sara - Oh my gosh, that was so crazy! And it was such a blast meeting you and Amanda in person at long last. When, oh when, shall we do it again?? :-)

Kay Cassidy said...

Cherie - What a sweet note, thank you! It's funny, isn't it? I never gave much thought to how a book made it to the shelf until I started writing. It's really quite a journey!

Wendy - Thanks, honey! Since you read the very first version of the partial wa-a-ay back when, it's so fun to be able to share this together now. :-)

Amanda - Thank you!!! It was such a blast getting to meet you and Sara in San Franciso. I wish you didn't live so darn far away!

Kay Cassidy said...

Cassay - Thank you! :-)

S.o.L.a.R. - Glee is the TV show about a high school glee club. They did the first part of the season then went on hiatus. So I get to share my release date with its return. :-)

Suzette - Thank you so much! :-) Good luck in the bookmark giveaway!

Kay Cassidy said...

Heather - Thank you so much! I can't believe it's here already. Well, almost here, anyway. ;-)

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I cannot wait to read this book. I love everything about it!

Audrey; (AyC) said...

I loved the cover and i can't wait to read the book! congrats!