Sunday, 30 December 2012

My Writing Year in a Nut Shell

Wow.  Well, what a year it has been.  Time to do a little recap!  So here's my writing year in a nut shell...



January - April:  Sadly, no writing.  Not a dicky bird.  I'm on a writing break as my previous querying attemps struck out the year before.

May:  I start writing a YA Contemporary novel with dark undertones, called Starting With Amber. It flows faster than I can imagine.  First draft is finished before the month is out.

June:  Time to edit, edit, edit on SWA and I go at it like a hellhound off the leash.  By the end of the month, I decide to send out two or three tester queries, which result in very quick full requests.

July:  I get 5 full ms requests for SWA out of very few queries.  I hit send and feel immediately nervous and terrified.  While I'm waiting, I start writing a YA Gothic Horror called Overtoun Bridge.  It hits me with as much force as a freight train doing 200mph off the track.

August:  I get a reply from two of the full ms requests I had out on Starting With Amber. Both rejections, but with very insightful and helpful comments for revision, with an invitation to submit again in the future.  I still have three full ms subs outstanding, so I wait on tenterhooks.  I finish the first draft of OB and get down to the bare knuckle section of revising.

September:  I take a break from querying, but decide to enter Pitch Mad, the online writing contest where aspiring writers hone their best pitch and aim for agent requests.  I am blown away to get multiple partial and full requests.  I keep editing OB in the meantime and I'm so excited about it I'm done before the month is out.

October:  While waiting for replies to my fulls and partials, I enter Pitch Live, making a video trailer for Overtoun Bridge.  Again, I am stunned to receive agent requests that build into full requests over the coming weeks.  I also enter the Spooktacular pitch contests and receive a partial request.  I then see Pitch On, a contest with an editor at the helm, and I take a leap of faith and give it a shot by sending in SWA.  I make the finals and get a full ms request!

November:  I receive my first agent offer on Starting With Amber!  I let the other agents with my fulls for both Starting With Amber and Overtoun Bridge know about my offer.  Within the week, I have other offers on SWA and OB.  After much deliberation, I sign with Jamie Bodnar Drowley of the Corvisiero Literary Agency.  My world is totally ROCKING.

December:  SWA goes out on submission to the Big Guy publishers and I hear back with some revision ideas from the Pitch On editor.


So, 2012 has certainly been a whirlwind year for me.  I've been very fortunate and I only pray my good luck continues for 2013.  I am grateful for all that I have received.

Good luck for 2013, everyone!  See you on the other side!

24 comments:

  1. Awesome! May 2013 bring even more excitement in the form of a book deal-or maybe even more than one! Wishing you the best of luck with the sub process. Hope to be posting a similar story myself, in the not too distant future ;-)

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    1. Hey Rhiann! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. Fingers crossed on a book deal (or as you say, two!). Can't wait to hear some good news about your writing! Keep me posted! :-)

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  2. Great blog idea! I love reading about other writers' journeys. :) I may write a blog entry like this, too, although I don't get to say "In *insert month here* I got my agent!" Hopefully in 2013, I can say that. :)

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    1. It'll only be a matter of time before you snag that agent! Fingers crossed for 2013, Amy!

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  3. Wow! How wonderful! Amazing how quickly things started moving for you once the requests came in. Thanks for sharing your experiences. It's inspiring to hear the positive side of a writer's efforts.

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    1. I feel so blessed with how quickly things moved all of a sudden. I have been writing for so long, so when this finally came the speed of it really blew me away.

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  4. Great blog, Fiona! I'm so happy to hear your story. You deserve every bit of success & I look forward to reading about when you get your multi-book deal. ;)

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    1. Hey! *waves* Thanks so much. Fingers crossed, huh? I'm stocking up on fairy dust as we speak! lol

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  5. Wow, you've had an amazing year. It looks like taking that little break was just the thing you needed to press the "reset" button and rock the writing once you got back to it. I can't wait to see your books in the bookstore!

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    1. I think you're right, Shell. I'd been writing for a long time, but taking a break let my mind relax and I came back more charged than ever. Something just sort of clicked. It's taught me that a rest can do the mind a world of good.

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  6. You HAVE had a great year. I'm certain you recognize that getting five full ms requests -- even with two "thanks, but no thanks" -- is something we all live for. And THEN to get multiple agent offers.

    You owe yourself a big toast at the stroke of midnight tomorrow.

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  7. Fiona. WOW. What an amazing year 2012 was for you! I love the blog... I may do something like this tomorrow, just to look back over the year... great idea!

    I sure hope, in 2013, I'll get to have some wonderful news like you've had in 2012. You inspire me.

    I'm also quite taken with the speed you wrote SWA, and OB... man, those keys musta been SMOKIN'!

    Great job on all your hard work and I know 2013 is going to bring you even more good news!

    So glad we 'met' this year... it's been one of the BETTER parts of my year, meeting all my new CPs! You ROCK!

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    1. I have everything crossed for 2013 for you! I can feel big things coming for you and D!

      I did indeed set the keys on fire writing SWA and OB. It really was a productive year!

      And ditto on loving meeting all my wonderful CPs! You rock too! :-)

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  8. That makes my year look pretty pov by comparison: I just wrote stuff, edited stuff and got some very nice form rejections! (I realise that sounds narky/whiny/jealous, but I don't mean it to be.) Go you! I hope 2013 is the year it rains BOOK DEALS!

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    1. I had 16 years of that! lol. So I guess at some point we all sail in the same boat. I lost count of how many rejections I got. And lots of writing, editing, and narking rolled up into one big ball! lol

      Here's hoping 2013 brings you lots of good luck and success! :-)

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  9. I was in Vegas for New Years and had the pleasure of meeting with Jamie face to face!!! (As she lives there) We talked about you and how amazingly talented you are. She said she was SO nervous you would pick another agent and she really wanted to rep you. And then you picked her! And now we're agent sisters :) What an awesome year for sure! 2013 is only gonna be better :)

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    1. That is so awesome you were in Vegas and got to meet with Jamie! I'm so jealous!

      I also am honoured you guys talked about little ol' me! I'm so glad she offered me rep - I really am. And I am just as glad that I have such awesome agency sisters like you! Here's to a stellar 2013 for us all!!! :-)

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  10. First off, 'not a dicky bird'...uhm, yeah, I *will* be using that phrase and hopefully in the near future! :p

    What an amazing year and I have a feeling 2013 is going to be just as wonderful! So thrilled to have such a lovely/talented agency sister <3

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    1. It's an awesome phrase! Lol. I think we're all going to have an awesome year this year! 2013 = Corvisiero authors take over the literary world! :D

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  11. Haha, Jessika I totally thought the same thing about dicky bird. Sounds like an amazing year. My year when nothing like that but with a similar end result. So glad you picked Jamie. ;0)

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    1. Maybe I should make that my tag line: "Fiona McLaren...not a dicky bird..."

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  12. Did someone say dicky bird? LOL! I am so happy that we found each other along with your other agency "sisters" Here's to a great 2013!

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    2. Me too! I know I say it all the time, but I couldn't have wished for a better person to work alongside. Big dreams and aspirations for 2013 for us all! :-)

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