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It’s Only the Beginning

March 11, 2012 by Kiersi

Concept art for The Devil's Throne Series

Concept art

As I mentioned a couple of days ago, I’ve just signed a contract with an independent Portland publisher called RainTown Press for a series of paranormal YA books called The Devil’s Throne. The first book will be worked over from now until June or so, aiming for a Spring 2013 release date. The second book in the series is scheduled for Fall 2013, and the final installment in Fall 2014.

This is my debut novel–and to have the publisher take it on as a three-book series, well, I’m a pretty lucky girl. I’ll have the opportunity to sketch out an epic, an opera of unexpected twists, turns, and big reveals. That will be awesome. But in some ways, it’s also totally terrifying. I’m glad to have an editor to help me keep track of all the threads, and make sure they tie up neatly at the end.

One interesting hurdle so far has been learning that the acquisitions editor who chose my story and convinced the press to pick me up may not be involved in the actual editing-to-publish process. My new editor is a jack-of-all-trades type, who confessed to me that girl books (mine is undoubtedly a girl book) are not usually his cup of tea. He sees it as a challenge, and I see it as an opportunity to have the story critiqued by an “outsider” of the genre. By the same token, though, I’m paralyzed by the thought of his reaction. Will he hate it? Will he second-guess the decision to pick up my book?

All I can say is that I’m glad to have a contract behind me now. I can focus on making the book the best it can be, without worrying about whether my first chapter will be good enough to hook an agent or a publisher. I can finally think long and hard about the series as a whole, finish my draft of the third book, and start a dialogue with someone who knows how it will all end. Nobody knows that yet except for me, and that knowledge has been burning a hole through my chest.

But knowing there is so much work ahead–when I’ve put The Devil’s Throne aside and started writing other novels outside the series, started thinking about ebooks and self-publishing and literary agents–I’m also full of trepidation. I pray that we don’t have to rewrite sections of the book. I hope that we can find a great cover artist. There are so many ifs, it’s a bit painful to think about when I once believed my days after signing the contract would feel more final.

I know there are a million other debut authors making a splash in the YA genre this coming year, and I can’t help but wonder what their experience was with the editing process. Any tips? Best practices? Suggestions for keeping sane? I’ll be waiting.


10 Comments »

  1. I tackle editing in stages, looking for different things with each run through. That keeps me sane. It can be overwhelming when you try to accomplish everything at once.

  2. Fi Phillips says:

    Wow! How exciting and terrifying. I’m not published (yet) so I can’t offer up any gems of advice. All I can say is ‘congratulations’ and ‘I look forward to hearing how it all goes’.

  3. Jim Snell says:

    This is great news! Can’t wait til when I can grab myself some of your books! (Oops, already used my 2 exclamation points – just saw Elmore Leonard at the Tucson Book Festival.)

    So… are you gonna share your query letter to them and all that good stuff? Or maybe you’ll have to just ditch this blog altogether and get to work!

    Congrats again.

  4. Adelaine says:

    Wow, you are incredible! I can’t say I am not envious of you though. You are so lucky! I am from a country that doesn’t really have publishing houses (if they do, it’s printing school books. Only recently they printed 2 or 3 storybooks) so my chances are slim to almost nothing. But thanks to your post, I am more inspired to be work harder at getting my chance to be published. I look forward to your books! All the best!

    • Kiersi says:

      You can definitely still get published no matter where you are! Just write a great book and there are lots of great resources online to show you the way. I don’t see any problem with sending query letters to agents and publishers in the US or another country near you that has publishers.

      I’m so glad you are inspired. Work hard and your dreams will come true! Thanks so much for reading my blog.

  5. Erin says:

    Kiersi, this is tremendous news. I am thrilled for you!

  6. Austen says:

    I’m obviously not an expert on getting published, but I have a buddy who has an awesome website called Gnome Stew. He not only has written two books now, but he decided to create his own publishing company as well. His name is Martin Ralya and he’s super open about offering advice as per his experiences.

    His twitter is @martinralya

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