More than two years ago, on May 8th, 2019, my agent sent me a submission list of all the publishers to which she was pitching my first middle grade book. The first rejections came in fast, with simple emails saying nice things and shitty things. It’s like the thin envelopes that come after your university applications – the ‘no’ is always the first out of the mailroom.
While we were waiting for that one ‘yes’, I wrote book 2 featuring the same cast of characters. I also wrote and published Murder on My Mind and completed the first draft of a young adult novel (which I am now revising).
My agent, the amazing Stacey Kondla from The Rights Factory, kept pushing and sending and following up. It’s a brutal journey peppered with self-doubt, frustration and belligerence (all on my part). Sometimes Stacey believed in this book more than I did. That’s exactly what you need from your agent.
For the past 2 years, I was up against a pandemic, social movements and publishers focussing on signing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) and LGBTQ+ authors – voices that needed to be amplified.
Stacey promised to let me know when she had exhausted all avenues. When we hit that wall, I was going to move foreward with self-publishing my middle grade series. This week, we came to the end of that road.
I have signed a two-book deal with Young Dragons Press, a small publisher based in Arkansas. I don’t have a lot of details to share just yet, but when I know, you’ll know. For now, here is the official industry announcement.
Thanks for sticking around for this journey. I don’t say this enough, but without you supporting and reading and sharing my books, I’m not sure I would have kept going. But, boy, I’m sure glad I did.