Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hip Lit Hooray!

I promised it and now I'm ready to bring it. If my agent, Jennifer Carlson, has anything to do with it, Hip Lit, my own funky take on teen chick lit, will soon be at a bookstore near you.

No, not tomorrow! But soon...I hope! Right Jen?

J.C. will be shopping "So Not The Drama" to publishers this autumn, and I think the last time I was this excited it involved the birth of one of my kids. It's truly an incredible feeling when a project you've worked on so long (2 years, 2 months and 3 weeks to be exact) reaches a milestone.

I still have quite a few milestones to reach before you can click it or brick it to purchase the book, but it really feels like the 200 ton gorilla is off my back.

I know that self-pubbing has gained quite a name for itself among African American writers. This time last year, I was looking into the option. But after looking long and hard at the option, it didn't feel like the best option for YA fiction. I had it all planned - I'd sell via my website which I'd market like crazy.

Just one catch. What 11 year-old has a credit card? I know my daughter doesn't. Nor am I about to start buying her books via the Internet when we can roll over to Barnes & Noble.

Another great venue for self-pubbed authors are fairs a la, For Sisters Only, held annually in D.C. or Afram, held in Baltimore. But again, the average tween is not going to these events searching for a good book to hug up with. Matter-of-fact, I think a lot of people go to see the musical acts.

So scoring an agent felt like my only real chance to become the black Judy Blume...or the YA version of Terry McMillan. Yeah, yeah, I know - two very different authors. But I'm making a point here...which is...Hip lit is coming at ya!

Move over Meg :::bowing in reverence to the Queen of the Princess Diaries::: you're about to get some company, girlfriend.

Milk (and) Cookies,


Friday, August 19, 2005

Summer? Here, Summer...

Oh my God! Where did summer go?!

Why is it August 19th already?

I've only had one vacation (Myrtle Beach), hard crabs, just once, only been to two family reunions, only lounged poolside like four times, and missed a total of three weeks worth of writing because I didn't want to squirrel away in my office and have the Princesses miss out on their summer.

::sigh:: Somebody write the President and tell him we need to extend summer by at least 30 days. For real.

Oh and while he's doing that, can he please institute a policy that says people with last names starting A-L can stay home on Fridays, last name M-Z stay home on Monday to save on gas??!!! Geez-us, gas is ridiculous!

Politial policy aside, I'm royally bummed that summer is gone.

School starts for Princess 1 in just one week. She starts 6th grade this year and I'm still waiting for her to get excited about it. But let's be honest - as exciting as the new adventure of Mid School is, I'll take a rainy summer day over a sunny one at school, anytime! You know?

Behind the first door we have, lounging in the cut watching vids and playing games. Behind door two, we have listening to the teacher talk about how Mesopotamia was built. Hmmm...ooh that's a tough one.

Sorry. I know that's such a bad parent thing to say. But, it's because I know how stressful grown up life is that I advocate for as much summer, downtime and playtime as possible. Get your fun on while you can!

Okay, so summer's over. Get over it, Paula, and focus on the good.

The good...

The good... :::shhhh::: I'm thinking!

Oh, here's some good: I think I may have an agent!

Yes, here I am, summer #2 and still trying to get "So Not The Drama" published.

Have I mentioned that the road to publication is mad long?!

The book is on iteration #16. I have revised it 16 times. The concept has never changed, but my style is evolving and it really has gotten better. If I may be so bold.

And while, a year ago, I had ants in my pants - so anxious to get an agent and get this puppy into print - this year I'm a calmer, more mature writer. Thanks in part to the ladies of the Teen Chick Lit List at Yahoo. These women have helped center me. I'm more focused, thanks to all of their advice and guidance.

:::Big hugs, ladies:::

But back to this agent thing. Finding an agent is just as hard as finding a publisher. So if this happens it's like step 1/2 in the process. Not because it's not important, but because honestly there's still so much more work to do afterwards.

So, cross your fingers, eyes and t's for me.

If it doesn't happen, I'll be right back on that horse called Struggling Writer. Not a bad title, considering it could be Starving Writer, Bad Writer, Poorly Paid Writer or my all-time favorite, Writer Without A Clue.

I'm none of these...I think.

Well, it's time to roll. Gotta pay the bills so I won't be Homeless Writer.

In the meantime, pack those books in your new cool sling pack (love those, even if they can only fit like two books!), grab a good book to read on the weekend and dive into the school year. I'm diving with you back into homework with Princess 1 and cheerleading.

Gah! I think she'll be the one dragging me out of the bed kicking and screaming come August 29th!

Later yah!

Pens (and) Pencils,