How anxiety can lead to a two-book deal…
Time for truth telling.
I have had high anxiety that, as an author, I would be a one-note song. That the Scar Boys and Scar Girl — which are really one long, quasi-autobiographical story — were the only good things I would ever write.
As my agent shopped a new manuscript (tentatively called House of Stone) — unconnected to The Scar Boys or to music or to the 1980s, and not drawn from personal experience — I watched as one editor after another rejected the book.
“It’s too adult to publish as YA.”
“It’s too young to publish as adult.”
“The third person narrative and ensemble cast won’t connect with readers.”
“You’re a loser and you should die.” Okay, no one actually said that, but I think maybe that’s what they meant, right? There’s nothing like rejection to breed self doubt.
But writing is nothing if not an exercise in perseverance. I decided not to edit the manuscript based on the rejections I was receiving (as some confidants were advising). I guess I just believed in the book enough to hope it would find a home.
My patience paid off. I’m thrilled to say that I accepted an offer from Cindy Loh, editor extraordinaire and publisher at Bloomsbury Kids, to publish House of Stone. You can see the announcement, here.
Scar Girl will publish in Spring 2016 (from my other new publisher, Lerner), House of Stone in spring 2017 from Bloomsbury, and the book to be named later, well, later.
Much more to come about all of this, but for now, while I still have plenty of anxiety, I am one insanely, incredibly happy, and very lucky dude.
Thank you Bloomsbury!!!!!!