You guys… All That We See or Seem is going to be a book. A real book. A book you can order on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or a number of other places, a book you can hold in your hands and flip through and bookmark and read. (Or download onto your Kindle and read the new-fashioned way!) It’s everything I wanted for this book. I adore this story and these characters, and I so badly wanted them to have a life out in the world.
How did I get here? Well. It’s been a journey. Total cliché, I know, but looking back, it really feels as though it has been. My sister had the dream that inspired this book way back in early 2014. I can still remember standing in her kitchen when she told me about it. A dream about a girl who falls in love with a boy she meets in her dreams. Super meta. Some day, once the book is out and you see what direction I took it, I’ll tell you about the many weird directions we originally discussed this story going.
So from there to here… a little over three years. Granted, some of that is slacker time. I would write intermittently and noncommittally, working on it in fits and starts, and it wasn’t until mid-2015 that I fully buckled down and committed to writing this story. I finished my first draft in February 2016, and then I attended the Aspiring Writers Workshop in March 2016 and learned a mind-blowing amount and realized that I could do so much better. So I got home and rewrote the book from scratch in about three months. Obsessively. I don’t know what else I did over those three months. I assume I went to work and ate and slept? But all the while, my head was firmly in my book.
I did a round of revisions, sent it out to my five wonderful beta readers, did another round of revisions based on their feedback, then went back in to trim some 7k words (I call that stage “hell”), and finally had it ready to start querying in September 2016.
The querying process as a whole? 10 months of refreshing my inbox and stressing out. Over the course of those 10 months, I had 15 full requests and 1 partial. I got a lot of positive feedback, but it wasn’t until I spoke with Janeen Ippolito over at Uncommon Universes Press that I felt the enthusiasm of someone truly believing in my book and wanting to make it a reality.
It should also be noted that it was #PitMad over on Twitter that first got the attention of UUP. I can’t recommend Twitter contests like this enough for getting the attention of agents and editors. This was the pitch:
Based upon them liking that pitch, I sent them a query on June 8, 2017. On June 29, they requested the full manuscript. And on July 5, they told me they would like to move forward with publishing my book.
One of the best parts of all of this: I get to write the sequel! I had heard the (entirely logical) advice not to write the sequel immediately after writing the first book, because if the first book doesn’t sell, why bother with the second one? Which was honestly a little heartbreaking for me, leaving my characters with their unresolved stories and unfinished business. But, it made sense, so I moved on to a different novel which I’ve been working on for the past several months.
But now… Book 2! I could not be more excited to dive back into this story and get reacquainted with Reeve and Bran and Arden. (You’ll meet them soon, promise.) They get to have an end to their story after all, and I am incredibly grateful for it.
So, all good things. One of my biggest life goals is to be a published author, and it’s on its way to coming true. Thank you all for coming along with me on this. Everyone’s enthusiasm and congratulations have meant the world to me.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela