After an almost 2-month hiatus (because I was in a major sulk and wanted to be back in Florida) I got back into writing my then-work-in-progress, the MS which would later become Blackfin Sky. At the time I was calling it Transparencies, though I think I always knew it would have to change. With fresh eyes, I realised I didn't hate it after all, and actually started to fall a little in love with Blackfin...
Still drafting. Still falling.
Finished! And fully in love with it! I carried out the most whirl-windy editing of my life and then sent it out to two of my critique partners, and got their notes back super-fast. Another round of zippity edits, and I felt confident enough in the MS that I sent it out to my agent. (I would normally spend longer than this on the editing stage, but I think spending SO long on drafting and mulling had an impact here).
I also got a bit bored, now that I didn't have a MS to vex over, so I started a new blog schedule. It had fancy new posts and everything. (Spoiler: it lasted 6 months.)
My agent, Molly the Magnificent, helped me polish and rename Blackfin Sky, then took it out on sub.
There was interest. Then an offer. There was also possibly screaming and celebrating and dancing around running-man-style in my living room.
To try and keep my effervescent little brain occupied, I started mapping out a new MS.
I got to announce my first book deal with Firefly Press! Then I got to announce my second book deal with Running Press Kids! And I may have lost my voice because SCREAMING!
I met with the editorial team at Firefly in late July, and they were absolutely lovely. On my way to meet them I trod on my own skirt (yeah, GRACEFUL) and tore a great big hole in my dress which I then had to staple back together using a stapler I'd loaned from a sympathetic waitress. It is possible I was a little flustered when I arrived at the meeting, and did a lot of big hand gestures.
When I was home and calm enough to string words together, I worked on my new WIP. That was not a lot.
I was invited to join a stellar group of debut authors at We Are One Four. I felt LOVED. I posted an INTRO.
I also suggested an excellent cover artist to the team at Firefly, not expecting for one moment that I'd get to have SHANE REBENSCHIED do my UK cover for Blackfin Sky. Cue more screaming when I saw the initial drafts of his artwork and fell in love with my own cover.
I finished the first draft of my new MS just as I got my very first Edit Letter. So I set my WIP aside and dived back into the crazy world of Blackfin...then turned in my first UK revision to Firefly a few weeks later.
[Edit: Because I am a scatterbrained idiot, I failed to mention this when I first posted...]
Bridget Shepherd, the most wonderful artist, CP and human being, drew this amazing picture of Sky from my novel.
A lot of neat stuff happened this month. I got a wonderful character sketch of Skylar from Blackfin Sky, drawn by the equally wonderful Sean P McConnell. I also teamed up with Chynna-Blue Scott, Julie Hutchings and a whole boatload of brilliant writers to take part in The Zombie Project (I even designed a logo for it, heh heh) and got my zombie on in short story form.
I scrapped my routine blogging schedule (real reason: I got bored with it.)
Off to World Fantasy Con in Brighton! I met a lot of cool writer folks and saw some great panels and listened to authors reading excerpts of their novels, and generally had a fantastic time. Also, I was thisclose to Neil Gaiman walking down the corridor. THISCLOSE. Naturally, I said not one single word.
I got my second Edit Letter - this one from Running Press Kids, and dived right back into Blackfin for the next 4 weeks.
Blackfin Sky's finished UK cover was announced, and suddenly my book was on Amazon and other sites for preorder in the UK! I cannot describe how weird and wonderful it is to see MY BOOK up there for people to buy.
I turned in my first round of edits to Running Press Kids - YAY! I also saw the first drafts of the US cover - HUZZAH!
I took part in the SantaCLASH series of short stories over on The Midnight Type, which meant tuning in to my inner Bridget Jones and writing chick lit for the very first time.
I held a giveaway when I reached 1500 twitter followers, and decided to give away 5 of my most-loved YA books of the year and a Hello Kitty pen. Share the joy and all that.
Right now I'm working on the 4th version of my new MS, and it's getting much darker and twistier. There's an overarching psychopathy to the cast of characters that I'm really excited about, and I'm maybe-possibly-perhaps thinking about pitching it as a series. Eep.
So that's my 2013 in review, and I've got lots of cool stuff coming up that I'll be blogging about over the coming months. I hope you've had a great 2013 too!