Saturday, May 23, 2009

In Which I Recount the Publication Journey

So this publication thing. It has been a wild and woolly journey, that's for sure. This week, I took another big step because I arranged for my launch party/event (I'm never quite sure what to call it; party makes me think of beer and chips or possibly pin the tail on the donkey and those little party hats with the rubber chin straps... neither of which will mostly likely be part of this event) at my local Barnes and Noble on September 12th at 2 PM! In any case, the arranging had the singular effect of making this all seem VERY REAL. As does the fact that the galleys -otherwise known as ARC's (advanced reading copies) are circulating around and will also be available at Book Expo in NYC this week!

(Yes! If you are in NYC, stop by the Sourcebooks booth and see if you can snag one. Tell them how much you love me. How important I have been in your life. How I deserve sparkly flying llamas and a parade. HowI pulled you from in front of that speeding train and saved you from certain doom. That Joy Preble, you will tell them. Without her, I would be a sniveling pile of snot. Or something like that)

Do not let anyone know that it has also occurred to me that the galleys are circulating and therefore people are reading Dreaming Anastasia and are either liking it or not and it is totally out of my control and why the hell didn't someone explain that ultimately this is what happens at the end of this long trail instead of letting me realize it in one whooshing moment of neurotic angst? People. are. reading. the. book. oh oh!

But I digress. Back to the journey thing. If you are reading this and on the journey yourself, or if you are reading this and are wishing to be on it, or if you are just thinking hmm, some random facts that I've been mulling:

Since I finished the first draft of what would eventually be titled Dreaming Anastasia in the fall of 2005, here are some things that have happened:
  • my critique group read various versions of various chapters so many times they lost track.
  • I queried agents and editors and got rejected. I repeated that a number of times.
  • I found a great group of like-minded folks on Verla Kay's Blueboards. Some have become life long friends.
  • I got yanked out of the slush pile in 2006 by Michelle Andelman, then of Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
  • I danced the dance of joy!
  • I revised and revised and revised. And then I revised again.
  • Michelle sold my book to Lyron Bennett at Sourcebooks in 2007.
  • I waited a long time and in the mean time wrote another book and started two or three othere.
  • I revised some more.
  • I learned that Dreaming Anastasia wouldn't be released until 2009.
  • I joined the absolutely wonderful Class of 2k9. Made some more amazing writer friends.
  • I went to my first national SCBWI conference and met some of the above amazing friends.
  • I waited some more.
  • Hurricane Ike hit Houston. At that same exact moment, Michelle changed jobs and I was adopted by the amazing and fanatabulous cowgirl agent Jen Rofe, also of ABLA. It was hard to talk to her the first week, since even my cell phone didn't work after the hurricane.
  • I revised some more.
  • I started getting to read the ARC's of many amazing 2k9 books. I felt honored to be among such amazing writers!!
  • I got to have breakfast with Jen in Vegas. We ate waffles.
  • I arrived at copy edits and got a cover!
  • My editor at Sourcebooks left. But before I could panic, I got a new editor, Dan Ehrenhaft, which was also exciting because he also writes YA and he's worked on series such as Gossip Girl, which got me all swoony with excitement.
  • My cover got revised. Swoon-worthy hero Ethan got added!
  • ARC's arrived. I was assigned my Sourcebooks publicist. He is awesome!!
  • I finally sent in my profile to the amazing Cynthea Liu and Snoop at Authors Now, where you can find me and many other amazing debut authors and to which I will be posting a link very soon! (as soon as I go to the three graduation parties I need to attend during the next um, 48 hours)
  • It occurred to me that I'm an author and I have a book coming out.

So - if you add it up... well, it's a long time to keep dreaming. I fully admit that my fellow writers mentioned above have kept me sane. The ups and downs of all the above can't really be expressed in those bullet points. And honestly, when you're a little, um, older, you are fully aware that things don't always go your way and that things like, say, hurricanes, bear down on you just as your agent leaves you and thrust you into darkness and you - because you are older and wiser - realize that things might not actually be okay, even if eventually they turn out fine. If I'd achieved this at 22, I might have had a different stand on the whole issue. But that, I suppose is neither here nor there.

So what am I thinking right this second? Keep dreaming! Whatever it is you hope to achieve, you are neither too young nor too old. If others are not supportive, screw 'em. People will not always be what you want them to be. It's not their dream, it's yours. You will tell people you have a book coming out and they will say things like, "Oh. I had to write some research when I was getting my doctorate." And then they will pause, right there in the canned fruit aisle at Kroger's and say, "You know what would be great? If you joined the book club so and so is starting because she just got laid off. I bet you'd enjoy that." And you will clutch your can of peaches and realize that said person wants you to chit chat about Marley and Me and drink mojitos and has no interest whatsoever in your YA contemporary fantasy. So be it. Because if one thing has happened, I have learned that I have some amazing friends who have been pulling for me and who got so excited about the aforementioned launch event that I cried yesterday because I wasn't sure how to deal with so much love from so many folks all at once.

Someone said it's the journey, not the destination. Well, today I think it's both. The journey has been part of the fun. But the destination - well - okay, it looks pretty exciting too.

Til next time...


Kathryn Fitzmaurice said...

Thanks for sharing your journey. I'm so happy for you!

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling all cuddly wrapped up in the journey that is you. Soooo excited for you and I'm dreaming about how successful your book will be and how I can point and say I know you! :)

Book Spot said...

Thanks for sharing all of that (I really do appreciate it) :D

and now that I've found out about your book, seen it's great cover, and that you're from Chicago...I wish even more I could have gone to BEA!!


and congratulations on your book release being so very close

Joy said...

Thanks guys - and sorry for so many exclamation marks. Will try to be more subdued next time I'm gushing...