Honestly, that was the worst part. Writing the novel was easy. Sending out multiple queries after researching agents that accepted my genre was DAUNTING, DISHEARTENING and DEPRESSING!!!!!
I can't come up with the words to describe what kind of emotional rollercoaster agents unintentionally put a hopeful writer through. It's PAINFUL!!!!! *cringe, sigh, cringe again*
The rejection letters I could handle. You have to pretty much come to terms with that early on. They suck, but you know they are going to trickle in. But the part that lacerated my heart every time was when I would get the positive answer. I had a handful of agents request partials, then fulls, and the entire time I'd go, "OMG! This is it! I made it past the query letter/synopsis/baiting them. They don't have time to play around. This must mean marriage!"
Of all the fulls agents requested of me, they all ultimately ended in rejection. Painful, painful, painful stuff. Let me tell you. But then I had a strange thought, one that never came to me before because it sounded so ludicrous I'd never even contemplated it.
Was it possible that there were publishers out there that would accept unsolicited/unagented manuscripts? Surely not.... But I looked, apprehensively, because I just couldn't believe that to be possible. Why? Because agents are the folks that filter through manuscripts, decide which ones can sell, which ones they believe will not, and they are the ones that pitch it to a publisher.
While there were some close calls, I had never made it to the agent level. But sure enough, I was surprised to find that there were actually several publishers who would in fact accept unsolicited manuscripts.
I didn't dare hope. But I did select a handful of publishers that fell into this category and fired away. To my surprise (I still think back to this moment and smile, feeling stunned and overjoyed) I had three different publishers offer a contract. I just couldn't believe it. I couldn't hardly wrap my head around what my inbox was telling me: That I had to chose a publisher.
On April 19, 2013 I sent the following query to Evernight Teen:
Dear Evernight Teen,
Eighteen-year-old Ally Watson struggles to break free of the rigid rules her guardian,
Uncle Argyle, has always held her to, and hopes that her high school graduation will
bring the freedom she longs for. Returning home with her best friends, Michael and the
twins Jessica and Dave, she is terrified to find Uncle Argyle in a life-or-death battle with
some kind of monster. After he kills the creature, her uncle gives her her deceased father’s
daggers and instructs her how to use them to summon help.
The four teens find themselves transported to Brunswick, Georgia, where they learn the truth
behind Uncle Argyle’s secrets and silences, behind the mysterious marks on Ally’s shoulder
blades, and the daunting task before her. As she meets the aunts she never knew, she
discovers that she-and they-are angels, and that Ally is truly Azrael, the Angel of Death.
Soon she must make life-altering decisions for all mankind, as she embarks on a journey
to save her uncle and herself from a destiny that will change the lives of everyone she holds dear.
Will she unlock Hell’s wrath or stay Heaven’s hand?
Filled with blacksmith mythology, gypsy curses, and heaven’s warriors, this novel puts
Ally through a gauntlet of turmoil and prophecies, leading to the climatic realization that
while faith and hope are essential to her journey, love is the most powerful force of all.
My 70,000 word novel, Black Amaranth, is intricately woven like the novels of Melissa
de la Cruz but with a tone like The House of Night series by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast.
I was also inspired by YA novels such as the Fallen and the Mortal Instruments series.
Black Amaranth comes from the same innovation but it has its own voice.
Black Amaranth puts a new spin on the paranormal dominion. The first in a series, I am
currently working on the second novel. Your website mentioned that you are interested in YA
fiction. Black Amaranth fits into this category. I look forward to your response. Thank you for
considering Black Amaranth. Per your guidelines I've attached the full manuscript and a one page
synopsis in Word.
I am a RN living in rural West Virginia with my husband, two kids, and two dogs.
On April 25th, I received the email from Evernight Teen offering a contract.
On August 16, 2013, she was born:
Since that first book, I wrote her siblings, Black Abaddon, Black Atonement and finally now at the end, Black Apocalypse.
It's been a ride. I've had the opportunity to meet a vast family of talented authors. And even publish a short story with some of them. It has opened up a whole new world to me, one where my characters can thrive. I'm humbled, still, and grateful for the opportunity Evernight Teen has provided me.
You can still get the 1st three on Amazon on sale for a limited time here: AMAZON SALE
Join me on this journey, my journey, their journey, by reading the first three. Prepare yourself for....