Evernight Teen Publishing

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Cold Feet

I've written some posts about my YA Contemporary "The Boxer and the Butterfly." This past weekend, after agonizing over this particular title, I typed 'The End.' I've read over it a few times and have even had a few glamorous betas help with editing it.

This was all in the hopes of a few things.

1.) I wanted The Boxer and the Butterfly complete.

2.) I wanted to participate in #Pit2Pub

3.) There's supposed to be three things, you know, like Sheldon Cooper. If you don't have 3 things going on, then it's incomplete. But right now, I'm not coming up with a 3rd reason.

The finished product came in at roughly 85k words. It covers some seriously sensitive topics. This novel in particular is very dear to me. While it's a piece of fiction, there are some elements in the novel inspired by real experiences.

This past weekend, after binge reading (I felt sure at Sunday midnight my eyeballs turned to dust sockets) I started getting pumped for #Pit2Pub. For those of you new to this concept, there are tons of Twitter pitch parties where an author can pitch the concept of their novel in 140 characters or less to publishers, editors and literary agents. Exciting, right? Well .... it is, but let me tell you, if you thought trying to get a query down to 250 words, try capturing your novel in 140 CHARACTERS. I'll never complain about writing a query letter again. In fact, bring it on!

I used 7 different pitches on the 3rd and by the end of the day I had favorites from 7 different publishers and 2 editors. Exciting!!!!! My heart slid down into my stomach each time my pitch was favored. After the high wore off, I found myself going, "Oh, God... What have I done?"

Other questions that followed looked like this:

1.) Is my manuscript as good as it can be?

2.) Am I ready to hit the proverbial 'submit' button?

3.) Am I ready to part with my baby and send it out into the cruel world of publishing all on its own?

4.) Can I really handle email stalking, rejections, etc. and then wonder if there was something I missed that ultimately caused said publisher to pass?

5.) What if I pick the wrong way to go?

Oh, the questions that roll through your head are soooo tormenting. At 24 hours later, my feet grew cold, and I'm deciding to sit on my manuscript. I'm so proud of it, but I have to break out the Lysol wipes and give it another one over before I ship it off to who knows where.

I've thought about attending the #PitMad in March and I've even considered doing the whole literary agent thing again. Maybe they are ready for me, but I'm not ready for them. Change is hard. Even a good change. In the meantime, here's a 1st outline of my query for The Boxer and the Butterfly:

From the outside looking in, seventeen-year-old Autumn Chamberlain has it all. She hails from a prominent family with connections, has a perfect GPA and lives in a gated community where her mother wins best curb appeal year after year. Autumn’s satisfied being the perfect daughter until one evening she becomes immersed in a dangerous game of dare where she ends up the loser.

As punishment Autumn is given the choice to tutor the boy from the wrong side of the tracks or face the consequences of her parents wrath for tainting their good name. Autumn decides to take on the challenge of bad boy Mickey Costello. The problem? He’s the principal’s nephew and has more demons than Autumn could’ve ever imagined.

Mickey’s everything she isn’t. He lives life on the edge, is reckless and impulsive. Once Autumn undergoes the task of helping Mickey bring his grades up she discovers a world where everything that glitters isn’t gold. As she begins to breach the walls Mickey’s thrown up, she learns that he isn’t who everyone else thinks he is. As the attraction between them grows, long buried secrets resurface that threatens to tear them apart. In the ring, Mickey’s never lost a fight, but when the tragedies of his past come back to haunt him, will it shatter them both forever?

Complete at 85,000 words, my novel, The Boxer and the Butterfly, explores sensitive themes like Stacey Trombley’s Naked and Kelly York’s Made Of Stars, but with a profound voice of its own. Thank you for considering The Boxer and the Butterfly.