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How I Got My Agent(s)... And Didn't.


The publishing process can be a brutal one. I know for me, when I first started writing, I thought I would be the exception. I thought I was special. I thought I would write a book, I would query, I would get an agent, I would get a six-figure-deal and I would really be somebody in the publishing world! 


Oh, how blind I was. 


It took me three books until I got my first agent. Querying those first two books was HARD. I watched all my best friends get “Big 6” deals while I was still in the trenches. Though I did have a lot of success querying. With my first book, I got 28 full requests, but they all ended in rejection. My query and first pages were strong, the book just wasn’t ready. I also had a lot of close calls with my second book, but it failed again. Anyone who has written a book, queried, and faced rejection, knows what a toll this takes on not only your self worth, but in your belief of whether or not you’re cut out for this business. I cried. A lot. (A lot). But I decided to try again. I wrote a third book.


This time, I had more success. I quickly got requests, and I ended up getting SEVEN offers of representation for this book. I thought for sure this was the one! If SO many agents were interested in this book, then for sure I would finally live my dream of getting a Big 6 deal! (It was still Big 6 at the time) 


But submission didn’t go well. We had a lot of wonderful rejections. Kind words, but ultimately, everyone passed. I was heartbroken. In the end, my agent and I decided to part ways. (I still love her DEARLY, and we are still wonderful friends!) 


And so I queried again. 


This time, querying wasn’t as bad. I got an agent pretty quickly, and I signed with a more editorial agent. We worked hard on the manuscript and we sent it out on submission. The book got some great response, and it even went to acquisitions! I was SURE this was it. An editor wanted my book. She brought it to “the table.” She fought for it. It was going to get picked up… but it didn’t. It fell through. And ultimately, because of certain reasons, I decided it was time to move on. Heartbroken, I left that agent too. 


Querying is hard. I was at a low point. I’d had TWO agents. I had left them both. I felt like a failure. I couldn’t write anymore. I slipped into a deep depression. Sometimes, hope would filter in and I would try and write, but the depression would press down heavy again and I’d be paralyzed once more. I went a long time without writing. A LONG time. I went through a period of severe darkness where I doubted everything about myself. My ability. My capacity. My worth. Who I was. It took a long time to pull out of it, but I did. 


I don’t know how, but I decided to try again. 


I wrote another book, and I queried it. 


It went somewhat well. I got a ton of requests, but I wasn’t getting any offers. I was starting to panic. I’d already had two agents. Was I never going to get another one? Did I not have what it took anymore? Was my dream of being published going to die?! Had I already had my shot? 


So I decided to do something I’d never done before. I subbed to small press. And things took off. I immediately got three publishing offers right off the bat. But I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go down that route. It was a big step. And it was a turn in a new direction. Was it the right one? Was it the wrong one? Would it ruin my chances at a Big 5 deal in the future? Did agents look down on it? Would it help me build an audience? Give me more opportunity? So many questions swirled around in my head. 


Because of the darkness I had just pulled myself out of, and because I wanted to keep progressing forward and not fall into old patterns, I decided to take the leap. I signed a deal with my first small press. And I’m so glad I did. 


While working on edits for that book, I decided to write another book. My dream of being pubbed with a Big 5 hadn’t died. So I decided to query AGAIN. (Yes, we writers are crazy!) This time, the book did very well. To my relief, agents didn’t seem deterred that I had a small press deal. I ended up getting 3 offers of representation for this manuscript. 


The book went on submission to big editors and started out well… but Covid hit. 


Everything went south. 


The publishing world stopped. But despite this, my book still went to acquisitions FOUR times. One Random House editor wanted it desperately. But it fell through. It killed me. It broke my heart. The book got SO CLOSE to signing with my dream publishers it still hurts. I was so close to my dream. After all this time, after three agents, after working hard for so long, I had still failed. I still hadn’t lived my dream. Why was I so close SO many times and I couldn’t cinch the deal? Why did I have to be so tortured for so long?  


During this, I debuted. (During 2020 no less!) My book, The Redpoint Crux did well. It got great response and I’m proud of it. It’s not a NYT Bestseller, but it’s my book, and it has worth. Meanwhile, I decided to sub another one of my books to another couple small presses. I got two more offers. I ended up signing a three-book-deal with Aethon Books. This trilogy will be released soon. I’m grateful for these opportunities, I’m grateful for each chance to grow, but I haven’t lived my ultimate dream yet. 


Sadly, through this difficult year with Covid, this past month, I parted ways with my latest agent. I’m heartbroken. I love her so much. We parted amicably. It was the right thing. But I’ve found myself, yet again, starting from scratch. After EVERYTHING. I’m fighting feelings of failure. I’m fighting the darkness. I’ve started querying again. I’m having success. I’m getting requests. But I’m still so scared. Will I ever live my dream? Will I ever find an agent that I can be with forever? I want security. I want to be set on a secure path and stop having so many twists and turns and ups and downs. It’s all so difficult. 


But isn’t this what it’s all about? 


I know it’s not about the destination. It isn’t about the end result. It’s about what we learn on the journey. It’s about who we BECOME on the journey. I’m a completely different person than who I was when I started ten years ago. I’m grateful for each rejection, each moment of sadness, and each moment of success, because it’s morphed me into who I am. Even though I’m sad, and even though it can be so rough, I’m still so hopeful for the future. As I’m querying yet again, and am continuing to embark on this journey, I will NEVER lose hope that I can someday live my ultimate dream—and maybe, perhaps, I am living the ultimate dream. Which is getting to experience this journey at all. 


Audiobook for The Redpoint Crux!!!!

The audiobook for THE REDPOINT CRUX just dropped!! It’s SO much fun! It’s weird to have these fun little moments after years of hardship... 😭🩰👻🔪🧗‍♀️✨ 

To support me, here’s the link: Click here 

Love you guys!!! 

The Redpoint Crux Blurbs!!!

I'm so delighted to share two of my recent blurbs for The Redpoint Crux!!!One is from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of The Crown’s Game, and the next is from Wendy Higgins, New York Times Bestselling Author.  I've posted the blurbs below!!!

Aren't they lovely??? I'm so excited for June 9th and it'll be out in the world!!! If any of you would like to share and promote, that would mean the world to me! Thank you!

Add on Goodreads: Here 
PreOrder Link: Here 

Thanks guys!!! Hope you are all wonderful! 

The Redpoint Crux COVER REVEAL!!!

I'm so happy to post my cover reveal of THE REDPOINT CRUX!!!

This book means a lot to me. It's gone through so much. From signing with my first agent, to going on submission. To signing it with another agent, and going on submission again. I finally submitted to publishers, and signed a deal with The Parliament House. I've loved working with them!

This book holds many pieces of me. From ballet. To rock climbing. To a haunted theater. All my favorite things!

Here's the blurb:

When Megan Van Helsburg gets kicked off the U.S.A. Climbing Team, she has no choice but to return home and leave her climbing career behind. With no coach, no money, and no prospects, she joins the corps de ballet determined to improve her strength and agility. 
But the ballet theater is in dire straits. Not only do a series of murders break loose, but the ballerinas are becoming deathly thin and brain-dead. As Megan investigates, she meets Bellamy, a tortured young man who lives beneath the depths of the theater. Megan falls hard and fast for Bellamy, who becomes her mentor, but something is off about him. 
It isn't until the company announces they're doing Giselle for the fall performance that Megan realizes the parallels between the ghost story and the lives around her. Megan must find a way to not only save her climbing career, but stop the murders and dying girls before she too, is numbered among the dead.

And without further ado: 

Here it is!!!!

I hope you love it. 

And please, please, PLEASE will you add on Goodreads? It would mean a lot to me!!! Here's the link: Goodreads. 

Thank you so much for visiting! 


Alaska, Agents, and Goodreads!

It’s been too long since I’ve posted! 

But I need to get back into blogging, because I’ve missed the blogging world, and all my blogging friends! 

Personal Update: Life up here in Alaska is so fantastic. It really is Camelot. Every day is a miracle. I love the cold and the dark, and I could live here forever. 

Writing Update: I’ve just signed with Kelly Peterson of Rees Literary Agency, and I’m working on revisions right now. She is wonderful! 

I also have a YA Gothic Mystery novel coming out spring of 2020! It’s entitled, The Redpoint Crux, and I would LOVE for you to add it to your Goodreads! Here is the link: Click here.

Any updates with you? I hope you are all wonderful. I adore you all! Good to see you all again! 


The Year Of Lightning!!!

Once upon a time… there was a nerdy writer girl who didn't have any friends on twitter:

Nerdy scared girl.

But then she met a friend who was super nice and had the same writerly aspirations/interests as her. (Wanting to take over the universe by using orbital death rays, inventing cake vending machines, respect for evil overlords who executed rebels… yanno, the usual)

Yay Friends!

The two became great friends and even beta read for each other. The girl had beta read some scary books in her day, so she was relieved when her friend had real talent. 

The friends even went to fun conferences together and plotted how some day they would be successful authors and teach classes on world-building, perseverance, and how to turn normal words into slang by adding apostrophes. 

Aside from writing, these two friends were like-minded in other ways. Like how they felt about sports:

Or the questions about ninjas that kept them up at night:

Then something fabulous happened. The girl's friend signed a three-book-deal with Jolly Fish Press and she was SO happy she got to reveal his cover on her blog!!! 

Cue cover reveal:

Amazon Pre-order link

Ryan is holding a contest! If you want to participate, here are the rules:

How would you fight a lightning storm? In one paragraph, tell us exactly how youd do it, and dont hold back! Get as crazy/silly/stupid/super-tough as you want. The sky is literally the limit. Well pick a winner from each participating blog, and I will send each winner a package containing an awesome secret clue to the central mystery in THE YEAR OF LIGHTNING. 

Thank you, Ryan, for letting me be part of your cover reveal. You're a wonderful friend and I'm so excited for your success!!! 

Red. Head. Out. :) 

Don't. Give. Up.

I’ve been in one of those periods in life where I’ve been in a storm for so long, I wasn’t sure the clouds were ever going to clear. But I’ve experienced some moments this past week that have struck me deeper than anything has ever struck me before. I want to speak directly to you, because I know that you’ll all understand on some level what I’m talking about. 

We push. And cry. And push again. Obstacle upon obstacle finds itself in our path, and we find ourselves in a place where we can either stop, keep pushing, or find a way around the obstacle. But what if the obstacle is ourselves? What if the obstacle isn’t something that can be defeated overnight, or even in a few years, or ever? Sometimes obstacles are nothing tangible, nothing that anyone else can remove. Nothing but demon voices in our head telling us that we’re not capable of greatness. 

The fight is real. And the storms can last for years. But sometimes, there’s this little spark deep inside of us that won’t let us quit. It’s this little voice that TELLS us to hold on. That all isn’t lost, even though the tears won’t stop and we can’t see any light. 

But sometimes… there are moments where events unfold and suddenly you realize that the storm itself was a miracle. That the clouds that were covering you was only a way to help guide you to where you really needed to be. That the pain experienced was so absolutely necessary because we wouldn’t be able to create and become who we need to become without it.  

I really don’t want this post to be cheesy, but I love you. All of you. All of you who are reading this, even if you’re a person who doesn’t particularly like me very much. :) 

This past year has been difficult, with storms so intense that it’s been a struggle to find any kind of footing. Friendships have been gained. Friendships lost. Some people disappear during these difficult times, while others hold on and give you that hand you need to pull yourself out of the darkness. 

Writing this past year has been the most emotional thing I’ve ever been through. We each have “the one story” we have to tell. It might not be the best thing we ever write, but it’s the one that holds our heart—the one that is so us. And my journey with this story isn’t something I’ll talk about now, but as I’m only a couple chapters away from completing a piece of work that I’m finally proud of, I have to say that it was worth the years of struggle… even if nothing comes from it. To hold something in your hands that you’re proud of through and through is a feeling I’ve never experienced before—but it’s something I’m experiencing now.

I recently had one of my close friends have some huge success, and I look back to when she doubted herself. And having read her manuscript, I KNEW that it would make it—that it would be the one to secure a big publisher. I remember telling her to trust in that feeling… that feeling she first felt when she sat down to put the words on the page. That FEELING that floods into your whole being when you tap into that place where creativity happens. 

Sometimes all we have is that feeling—and it’s the only thing we have to push us forward. But it’s enough, if we allow it to be enough. It’s incredible what can happen in the darkness, if we just hold onto the little bits of light that we can find. I know we all have our own special story to tell, and all of our journeys are epic in their own way, but I’m pleading with you to keep going. Because time and time again, I keep learning that through each wave, no matter how big, we can emerge from it on the other side a stronger and better person. 

Red. Head. Out. 

A Day In The Life With WOVEN…

We all know books can change your life.

But they can also completely disrupt your life… unless you know how to function *while* reading them… especially one you can't put down…

My experience with WOVEN…
Mr. Woven and I spent a few hours practicing the piano together…
We also spent some time on the treadmill together…

I managed to write and read at the same time… 

My mad face when Mr. Woven beat me at Pictionary…

He even comforted me in the scary part of movies…

I've lost count with how many different positions I read in…

A day wouldn't be complete without watching the sunset together…

And big smiles all around with what a fantastic book WOVEN is!!!!!!

I'm so proud of David Powers King and Michael Jensen. I don't know Michael well (but I know he's wonderful!), and I consider David one of my most favorite friends. He's not only a talented writer, but he's one of the kindest, most genuine people I know. (He's also married to a gorgeous red head, which automatically gives him huge bonus points) :)

My review:

Woven is such a beautiful story!!! This book contains the kind of magic I’ve been missing in stories for a while. I love the uniqueness of the fantasy world… I was sucked in from the start and immersed completely with the plot and characters.  Pacing was great. Writing was beautiful. It’s the kind of story that is timeless---where it will easily hold its own in today’s crowded market and for years to come. Action, adventure, ghosts, magic, romance… I thoroughly enjoyed this!!!

Thanks, DPK for letting me be a part of your Woven tour, and I'm so excited to see more Woven success!!!!

Red. Head. Out. :)