17 April 2014

Again and Again and Again

The manuscript for New Sight went through more revisions than I care to remember. The simple act of opening the folder still sends me running for chocolate and a Diet Coke. I thought I was finished with the novel at least six times before I really was.

Remember how I vowed to have it finished in a year?

Well, I did that.

It wasn't pretty—I know I ended up in trouble with more than one of my friends for burying myself in writing instead of hanging out—but I did it.

And can I just revel in that for a moment? How many people even start writing a novel? How many of those get past chapter three? And of those, how many actually finish writing their novel?

The statistics are depressing, so I ignore them. (Never tell me the odds, right?)

So triumph #1 is that I finished. On time. And did indeed pitch my book to a great agent at the conference. I also won the first chapter contest of the conference with the first chapter of New Sight that year.

Pretty much I felt awesome.

But that agent didn't end up taking New Sight, so I delved in yet again for more revisions.

I sent it to 25 or so agents and didn't get a bite. I stalked the TOR YA agent at WorldCon—late night parties with about a million people are NOT my thing—that same year and sent the manuscript to her. She ultimately rejected it.

That felt like the last straw. I seriously got the rejection letter at the SAME conference a year later than my first agent pitch. So two years had passed since I'd vowed to write this book. I'd already written rough drafts for two other stores—I was kind of over it.

Then, that night (literally, that night) there was a meet and greet with the local publishers. I didn't want to go. I'm pretty sure my BFF writing buddy made me go—she's really bossy. And that's where I saw the Jolly Fish Press crew.

My first thought, “They're all like 13 years old.”

In me defense, they all either look or are very young.

My second thought, “Didn't I send my manuscript to them a while ago?”

In a rare moment of bravado, I sauntered over, adjusted my messenger back on my shoulder, smiled and said, “I think I sent you the first 50 pages of my manuscript a while ago.”

One of the younglings smiled that smile they'd been smiling all day and asked me what my story was about.

I said, “Kids addicted to magic.”

Of course all they remembered was the eyeball/spoon part of the book. I admit, it isn't exactly forgettable. (I had a friend call me up one time and tell me she'd had a dream about trying to take all of the guys at her work's eyes out with a spoon. Oops.) They all got excited—going on and on about the horror of it all—and asked me to send them the rest of the story.

I knew, right then, that New Sight would be published by Jolly Fish Press. Don't ask me how, I just knew.

And here we are! Just a few days away from the big launch. After literally years of my life on this project and I finally get to unleash New Sight onto the world.

Catch the wave!

Here's a snippet that I really liked but didn't get to keep in the novel (not edited, don't judge). Lys is approaching the rehab compound—the one I didn't really use—and has been given a sketchy compound that's making her hallucinate. Enjoy!

Only a few minutes more passed before Mark said, “Here we go, love.”

Lys glanced up and saw him pointing toward the front windshield.

The pine trees were leaning in, practically trying to stop the SUV from continuing along the dirt road. Lys 
could feel them closing, could see them reaching for her.

Then they were gone. In a burst of sunlight, Lys found herself in a clearing the size of a football field. She blinked, there was the road behind them, with it's leaning trees and grasping boughs. Lys blinked again. This time she saw the SUV she was in, only from the air. Pine needles stuck out of every single spot they could burrow into. Hanging out of the other door, a seat belt flapped, covered in dust. Lys shook her head and took a deep breath.

The scene resolved itself, and Lys found a wall of logs on the far side of the clearing. Sharpened like pencils, the logs stood as sentinels—fifteen feet tall, brooding and waiting. Two towers loomed even higher than the walls, filling Lys with a feeling of smallness, weakness. Like it didn't matter how hard she tried to hide something, because they would see. They would see and they would come for her.

The SUV did not slow. Lys' internal willing it to stop failed miserably. As they approached the impenetrable wall, a section of it swung open, revealing a path to the interior. Lys wanted to beg the driver to stop—she did not want to go into the fortress, but before she could say anything they were through the gate, a blonde woman in a green shirt and khaki pants waving them through.

The clothes must be a uniform. Ayden and Mark were dressed in the same attire. Sentinels, uniforms, guards . . . prison, a prison that did not let people out.

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