I didn’t realise how tough it could be to get really exciting news you can’t blog about until you get the okay–until I found myself on the receiving end of some really exciting news I couldn’t blog about until I got the okay. I’ve seen other people go through this and took note of the different ways in which they coped. Some get by without uttering a word, others by semi-spilling (I’ve got an amazing secret but I can’t tell you what it is just yet!). I opted for something halfway between and wrote this entry on the 19th, which begins, “I’m tired and I’m getting sick. That aside, I’m really really happy!” At the time, it was the closest I could get to saying St. Martin’s Press would be publishing my YA novel without actually saying it.
But today I got the okay, so now I can.
ST. MARTIN’S PRESS WILL BE PUBLISHING MY YA NOVEL!!!!!!!
Here’s the deal announcement, which came out yesterday, I believe:
Courtney Summers’s CRACKED UP TO BE, in which the popular girl decides to quit being popular and find herself but her friends work hard to stop her making “a big mistake,” to Sara Goodman at St. Martin’s, by Amy Tipton at FinePrint Literary Management (World English).
(*cue ominous music for the popular girl*)
Even though I’ve had a few weeks to process it, I can only actually believe it for seconds at a time.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was September 17th, a Monday like any other. The referendum was a mere month away, Stephen Harper was still Prime Minister of Canada and The Hour was gearing up for a new season (or the new season had already started, I forget). I was prepping for my glam cleaning job when, sometime after four in the afternoon, the phone sounded its long distance ring, which usually means telemarketers, which means I was in no hurry to pick it up.
Until I saw the 212 area code.
You know how they say prepare for the worst, hope for the best? Well, I’m Queen of the former and miserable at the latter. I’ve got psyching myself down to an art. I knew it was Awesome Agent Amy but before I answered it, I had to convince myself she was calling to tell me every editor on the face of the planet had passed on my manuscript.
Except that is not what she told me at all.
I will now recreate our conversation, so you can see how being too pessimistic can potentially cause irreparable brain damage:
amy: we have an offer!
me: *brain pops*
I wish I could transcribe the exclamations of joy and disbelief that came out of my mouth when Amy said those words but I can’t because they were totally unintelligible and if I tried, they’d probably read like this: safklj13w!1!
So we had an offer but agenty things had to be done before any next steps could be taken and I would hear Thursday. I was happy to leave Amy to her awesome agenting while I reconstructed my head, happy-cried, did the cleaning thing and settled down and waited. I did not eat or sleep very much at all, which isn’t very impressive when you consider how short the wait actually turned out to be, but it’s VERY impressive when you consider the fact that I’m all about the sleeping and eating (I’m doing both while typing this right now!). My mental faculties were severely compromised. All I was capable of asking people was whether or not it was Thursday yet.
But Thursday never came.
Well, I mean. It did in a LITERAL sense, as you can’t really prevent the days of the week (on Thursday I was watching Survivor and it was great). But book things ended up happening faster than anticipated, so on Wednesday the 19th, when I was starting to suspect the whole thing had been a hallucination or a coma dream, Awesome Agent Amy called again.
amy: I sold your book!
How to describe it. It was like Archie Andrews had told Betty Cooper he’d come to his senses and Veronica Lodge was nothing to him and actually MEANT it. So it was completely surreal, basically. I walked around in a daze. And called a million people.
Shortly thereafter, I talked to my editor Sara for the first time.
sara: welcome aboard!
Sara is extremely nice and enthusiastic and was totally understanding when all I could say was “thank you for this” and “safklj13w!1!” over and over again. Each time we’ve been in contact since, I get that warm and fuzzy feeling of knowing my novel’s in the right place and in the right hands. I’m super excited to be working with her.
But back to that Wednesday.
Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better…
mom: oh, by the way, Supervolcano came in the mail today.
me: THIS IS THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE.
AFTER IT HAPPENED
When things got calm, one of the first things I said out loud, in a voice of dazed wonderment, was: “Do you know what this MEANS? My book is going to have a COVER!”
Actually, I wound up saying that to myself a lot. In fact, I’m still saying it.
I might be unreasonably excited about the cover part.
When I said to my grandma, “Can you believe it?” She said, “Yes!” And I said, “Neither can I–”
And then I realised what she said and cried.
And then when my mom mentioned what a kick my grandpa would’ve gotten out of it, that she could just picture his face and everything, I cried even more.
At Chapters, I found a St. Martin’s Press book and sprinted down the aisles to my mom and grandma and jumped up and down, pointing at the logo, saying, “St. Martin’s Press! See! This is who will be publishing my book! Do you know what this MEANS? My book is going to have a COVER!”
It’s really hard to describe how important this is to me on a level that doesn’t involve volcano jokes or brain-popping jokes or jokes of any sort. I’m used to keeping things, especially writing things, not-so-serious in this blog because it helped me pretend it was a less vulnerable pursuit than it really is.
There are two Very Important Things I couldn’t possibly end this entry without saying:
First, this wouldn’t have happened without Awesome Agent Amy. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I couldn’t have asked for a better advocate of my novel. Her hard work put all the pieces into place and her enthusiasm and amazingness made it an overall fantastic experience. It’s terrific working with her and in case I haven’t made it obvious, Amy makes it VERY easy to tack the word ‘awesome’ onto her name.
Second, I wish I could tell you what it was like telling my family the news, because they’ve seen it all and have been so supportive of me in countless different ways, time and time again, but I can’t because words fail. In fact, they fail now, writing this and knowing it’s being read by still more people, both family and friends, who have supported and encouraged me like crazy throughout this process. Honestly, that’s the part that gets me every time. It’s not just that it happened, it’s that so many people–not all of them around anymore–were involved in making it happen. I could never adequately express what you’ve done for me, how much it means, how lucky I know it is and how grateful I am to have been helped so much, but I’m going to try right now: