Well, Grasshoppers, this is it. The day I’ve been teasing you about for two solid weeks. All the details are in place, the contract is signed, and the announcement has been sent to Publisher’s Marketplace.
But more than that, it’s the day I’ve been waiting for since August 2008, when I decided to become a published author. That’s almost four years.
I’ve been through a lot in those four years. I completed my first novel. I snagged myself a wonderful agent who stuck with me through three grueling rounds of submissions–and who encouraged me to self-publish my work because she believed in it.
I lost that same agent through circumstances beyond both of our control.
In those same four years, I wrote a second book that ended up not being worth submitting. I wrote a third book that has been read–is being read–by dozens of agents. I’m over halfway through a fourth book that I can’t wait to finish. I’ve started a fifth book. And I have several ideas for more.
At some points in this journey, I’ve wanted to give up. The process felt too hard, the goal too out of my reach, the odds of success too low.
And yet, here I am, making an announcement I never thought I’d get to make.
Holy cow. I can’t believe I’m about to say this. In fact, I don’t really know how to say it, so I’m going to let Publishers Marketplace do it for me:
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Children’s: Young Adult
Anne Riley’s SHADOWS OF THE HIDDEN, in which a teenage girl discovers the true reason behind her parents’ disappearances and finds herself at the center of a centuries-old quest for immortality, to Elle Horne of Compass Press, in a nice deal, for publication in December 2012 (US).
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Wow. That looks surprisingly like a BOOK DEAL ANNOUNCEMENT, doesn’t it?
THAT’S BECAUSE IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t have a subscription to PM, but my publisher (!!!) was kind enough to send me the above announcement so I could include it in this blog post. It may look slightly different on the website, but that’s the gist of it!
NOW. Some of you may be thinking, “Hey, that storyline sounds a lot like THE CLEARING.”
That’s because it is.
SHADOWS OF THE HIDDEN is the new title for a revised and revamped version of my previously self-published novel, THE CLEARING, that has been acquired for publication by Compass Press!
“What will be different about this version, Anne?” you ask.
Several things. First of all, the writing will be representative of Present Day Anne as opposed to Four Years Ago Anne. And that right there is a BIG FAT DIFFERENCE.
I’m also adding a few new scenes, deleting scenes that didn’t contribute enough to the story, fleshing out my characters a bit more, and adding a little more mystery to the whole thing. Basically I am making it MOAR BETTER.
As Compass states in their acquisition announcement today, we will be “enhancing the story, not altering it beyond recognition.”
And now, dear friends, there are a few things I’d like to say.
First of all, I hope this announcement encourages you. If it can happen for me, it can happen for anyone. Keep working, keep dreaming, and know that IT IS POSSIBLE, regardless of what the naysayers may tell you.
Secondly–and this is where things get a little bit Academy Awards–I have some people to thank.
- My first agent, Alanna Ramirez, for believing in me enough to take me on as a client and to fight tooth and nail for my work. You are amazing and I miss you.
- Everyone who ever read one of my manuscripts. Guys, the only way to get better is to let people critique your work, and dozens of you have done that for me. I am indebted to you beyond reason.
- Every single person who bought THE CLEARING. I mean, for real, you spent your hard-earned money on my story, and I am so honored by that.
- Heather McCorkle at Compass Press, who, a couple months ago, sent me an email that said, “Hey, remember that book you wrote? I’d like to talk about doing something with it.” You are making all my dreams come true. Thanks to you and to everyone at Compass!
- You, my blog readers, whose comments make my day and who stick with me through all the ups and downs. You guys ROCK.
- My entire family, but especially my husband Rob, who watches the toddler for entire afternoons at a time so that I can go write.
- The online writing community. I mean, really. Is there a more supportive group of folks out there? I would suggest that there is not.
- God, who gave me the kind of imagination that can build new worlds out of nothing. Thank you for making me just eccentric enough to be creative.
And, well, I guess that’s it for now. I’m sort of in a fog of happiness mixed with mild panic, and although I know there’s more I need to say, I can’t think of it at the moment.
This is HAPPENING, people. December 2012. And I’m so glad you’re along for the ride!