Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Daaayyy!!! (And I have lots of news to share :P)

Helloooo everyone! *ducks rotten tomatoes* Yeah yeah, I know I haven't posted in forever. Sorry! Well, I have lots and lots and lots to tell all my fabulous fans … you know, all two of you who read this or whatever. Heh heh.

Alrighty, so, the first thing I have to talk about is the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, which ended like a month ago or so. The bad news is, I didn't win. The good news … I believe the last time I wrote I had made the quarterfinals of the contest. Well, I ultimately made the SEMIFINALS!!! THAT'S THE TOP 50 OUT OF 5000 YOUNG ADULT ENTRIES, TOP 100 OUT OF 10,000 TOTAL ENTRIES! AD;KFD;SKJFSKJ. I've known this for like three months and it still blows my mind. Anyway, a couple of great things came out of this, even though I didn't win. First of all, I made the semifinals based on a review and rating from a Publishers Weekly reviewer (AAHH!).

So, my friends, here is the PUBLISHERS WEEKLY review of my book Walking Shadow. I will put in bold all the phrases that made me die of happiness:

"Two teens connect under very unusual circumstances in this well-crafted novel. Both seventeen, Cassandra is a psychic and Jason has just died in a car crash. Cassandra is closed off socially, suffering from dreams of the souls that live in the Otherworld. Jason, after his death, makes a deal with the Lord of the Underworld to be returned to his past life, not realizing that he will be a ghost. When Cassandra is the only one who can see him in his ghostly form, Jason pleads with her to help him. Cassandra agrees, thinking that Jason might be able to help her lift the curse of psychic ability that has affected all the women in her family. A solution is presented to them, thanks to Celeste, a spirit from the Otherworld and Elaine, a ghost like Jason. If they are able to journey through the Underworld, Jason can regain his soul and Cassandra can lose her psychic ability. But this journey has never been completed by a human--will they be the first to achieve this? Told in two voices, these engaging main characters live and breathe on the page. While the idea of a journey to the Underworld is not new, there are interesting twists, such as Jason's ghostly state. The plot is well-paced and thoughtfully developed, the Underworld clearly established without long passages of exposition. Combining romance and action with a dual character study, this manuscript is a wonderful, thrilling read."

HOLY TALKING MUSHROOMS, can you believe that? I had to re-read it about ten times the first time I saw it because I couldn't believe it was real! I still don't believe it … GAHHH! So yeah, that was definitely a life-changing experience.

And as if things couldn't get any better … shortly after I made the semifinals, I received an e-mail from literary agent Jason Anthony (Lippincott Massie McQuilkin agency). Apparently he discovered my Kindle excerpt of Walking Shadow and enjoyed it, and then––get this––he found THIS BLOG (woot!) and also enjoyed it, and so he asked to have a phone conversation with me. Thus, I ended up having my first phone conversation with a literary agent, during which he asked to see the full manuscript. (Squee!) Well, I haven't heard back from him yet. But even so … This is the first time a literary agent has approached me, rather than vice versa. Feels purty special. I'll keep you peoples updated on this. Hopefully I will hear more from Mr. Anthony soon. :)

I also got a partial request from Kristin Nelson (Nelson Literary Agency) for the first 30 pages. She rejected me a few days ago saying she thought the writing was "solid" but it was "relentlessly dark" and she would have liked to see a glimpse of hope in it. Well … it's kind of hard to show hope shining through in the first 30 pages of a 500-page book, especially when the story is about one character who is doomed to die while the other is already dead. So, I don't know, maybe this was a horribly stupid idea, but I decided to stand up for myself and e-mail her back, explaining more about what the themes of the book are and that I want to show teenage kids that "love triumphs over fear" and that it does actually have a hopeful message … or something along those lines. I'm kind of afraid to go back and read it, but I felt good about it at the time. Oh, well. I expect that she'll either ignore me or reject me again, but at least I tried.


So … other random things going on.

It's summer! Yay! I finished my horrible, intolerable, depressing, soul-crushing junior year of high school! I got my report card yesterday. Meh heh. Well, let's not talk about that. Just kidding, I pretty much did fine in everything (EXCEPT STUPID STUPID GOSH DARN MATH WHICH SHOULD DIE IN THE FIERY PITS OF HELL). Ah-hem. Nobody saw that.

Also, IT'S JULNOWRIMO!!!!! (which is like NaNoWriMo, only in July and not as important). Guess what?! I HAVEN'T STARTED YET. CRAP. Ah … well, I can still probably do it. I intend to finish writing Unraveling for JulNo, but right now I'm trying to finish up Jump, which I am like 3.5 chapters away from finishing. *sigh* Just need to get working on that, but I decided to do this blogging thing instead.


I guess that's all for now. I will try to post again soon … er … !!! :)



    Congrats on the literary agent!! Try not to actually die from excitement, because then no more Brigid and we will all be sad. :'( Wish I had enough motivation to write an actual novel... although that would require having a legitimate idea for a plot. (Fail.)

    Anyway, this is not about me! This is SUPER HAPPY FUN AWESOME EXCITING EPIC YAY!

  2. YESSSS. And I should update this blog more often. Teehees.

    Well, it's not so exciting anymore. Kristin Nelson double-rejected me, and then Jason Anthony rejected me too. x_x So, now I'm sunk. I should start sending out the queries again, I guess. *bursts into tears*

    oh, don't worry. you will come up with a plot! plots are hard … 

    yaay. thanks? kind of too late now though … siiigh :(

  3. Brigid: Although I have not come close to agents or query letters . . . I understand rejection and I'm trying to prepare myself for that as well. How long have you been querying?

    If may not seem like it now, but a partial is a big deal as of yet. From what I read, that girly agent sounds . . . stupid. No, really. She does. *cries* "It's too dark. I'm frightened of the dark! Mommy!" :P

    Promise me you won't give up?

  4. Brigid, don't listen to some stinky gents what know good work when they so don't listen to them, 'cuz your work is great!!! *Stands pointing finger in the air with American flag in the background and fireworks*

  5. Alex - Yeah, rejection is a big part of publishing. I've received more rejection letters than I can count by now. Well, I've only been querying for Walking Shadow for about two months, but I sent out my first query letter when I was 15, and that was two years ago. This is the third book I've tried. *sigh* Haha yeah, that's kind of a silly reason to reject a manuscript I think … especially since it was only the beginning. Oh well, it's like, what can you do? >_< No, I won't give up. Even if it's like banging my head against a brick wall …

    Anjali - Thanks. :P But I kind of have to listen to agents, since they're the ones that get the books published. lol

  6. Hi there! Just found your blog. I love finding other teenage authors! :)
    Glad that the first post I got to read was this awesome news. I'm getting ready to start querying at the end of summer, so I guess I need to start gearing up for rejection :P

    Come visit me at my blog, if youre so inclined

  7. Though I'm nowhere near that stage, at least with my novels, I wanted to ask you to write a post based on editing novels. Mostly, I want to know how to figure out what works and what doesn't, when to add/take out scenes etc. Thanks!

  8. Angela - Hi! Nice to meet you too. ;) Well, the awesome news turned not-so-awesome, but at least I'm getting there … sorta. Yeah, definitely get ready for the rejection. It's fun. (NOT!) Sure, I'll check out your blog too. :)

    Alex - Oh gosh, I'm probably not the person to ask about editing, since I'm kind of terrible at it. Or that is, I'm usually too preoccupied writing new stuff to write old stuff. But I can try to give my advice on it. I think I said a little bit about it in one of my earlier posts (the one called "SO HOW DO I WRITE A BOOK ANYWAY?!" or something like that.) But yeah, I'll try to get together a post about editing. ;)

  9. HEHE HI BRIGID! I like this blog post. It's full of happy stuff. You should also re-read this when you are a sad panda.

    I LOVE YOU. TEeheeeeee you wrote this the day before you met me!! EEEE!!!! XD Love you.

  10. HI SELLA. I like this blog post too. I mean, THANKS! Well, it doesn't make me much happier since both those agent-y things ended up being fails. Although the PW review is still nice. and I MISS YOU. *hugs*

  11. Brigid, I can't stand your new format. Look at what it does to your sidebar. You have two letters per heading.

    Just had to say that.

  12. *slaps Amy*

    I know, what a delayed reaction. I'm not even sure which format you're referring to ...


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