What a Road It’s Been
So last year, I wrote a new novel, right? Based on a kernel written so long ago, before I ever got published, that it was all but forgotten. Then I gave the book to a trio of writers I trust. And they said, “Hmmm, this is a bit different for you. Isn't it?”
It was. Enough so that I came to the big gulp decision of parting ways with my longtime agent. When the book was still so nascent and raw it was like some shell-less sea creature, I reached out to an agent I’d heard great things about. And she offered feedback that sent me deep into a writing cave, where out of the darkness crawled this character who became the raw, beating heart of the book.
At that point, several people—including some who read this newsletter—extended hands and offered wisdom and help. That resulted in a few amazing conversations with agents. It was hard to turn away from two in particular.
But my dream agent had been the dream all along. I knew in my gut that she is the one to steward this novel, and my career, forward. She represents a stable of authors whose books hold me rapt and have garnered worldwide fans and acclaim. Even better, she and her team see what MY work is, and what it can be.
That curving yellow brick road doesn’t always go directly to the Emerald City. Sometimes it takes you through a forest of weird ass monkeys. But today I can share, dear readers and writers, friends and fans, that I made it onto the hot air balloon with…wait, no, my metaphor is breaking down. As my agent and her brilliant team would surely tell me! So let’s just get right to it, and allow me to say that I am proud and joyous to have signed with the legendary Victoria Sanders and the fabulous VSA team.
Writers & Hollywood
Many writers say their dream is to see their book on the big (and increasingly, the small) screen. Next week on Rogue Women Writers, I interview four who hit the Hollywood jackpot. Jill Awbrey, Kelly Braffet, Karen Dionne, and Michael Koryta share secrets from the studio lots.
They may not be able to tell you how to get your own book or favorite read made into a film, but you’ll glean tips. As a bonus, this is an amazing streaming—or venture-back-to-theaters—watch list. Subscribe to the RWW blog and meet each screenwriter/novelist/star in your inbox.
A Book for You to Win!
You know those authors you have on pre-order? Karin Slaughter is one of mine, and I love her standalones as much as her longstanding Will Trent series. FALSE WITNESS, just out, is best-yet material. You will never hate a character more. You’ll also laugh out loud. Loathing and humor—that’s a tough combo to write.
Email me and I’ll enter you to win a gorgeous, deckle-edged hardcover copy!
In the Spotlight
I love working with emerging authors. I met Katherine Nichols at the AWC conference and got to hear as her journey led to the release of her first novel. As a bonus, the book is really, really good. I recommend ordering a copy as soon as you’ve read this Spotlight!
To forgive may be divine, but it’s not easy. In my debut novel, The Sometime Sister, a brutal murder destroys the heroine’s chance to forgive her sister. She faces cold killers and fights a corrupt system to find justice for her sister and redemption for herself.
My passion for writing comes from a love of language and the power of storytelling. I dreamed of telling my stories so well I would someday be a published author. I started attending a critique group. The members not only helped me become better at my craft, but they also encouraged me to take risks. I joined the Atlanta Writers Club and attended their conferences where I polished my query and pitched my novels. I acquired an agent whom I worked with for a few years before our mutual break-up.
At the spring 2019 AWC conference, I attended Jenny Milchman’s workshop on branding. I won a copy of her novel and a critique. Her comments, suggestions, and support encouraged me to keep writing. They gave me the confidence to submit my work to independent publishers where I found the perfect match in Black Rose Writing.
One Author’s Battle with Chronic Illness
Debbi Mack is a real cheerleader for authors. She has accomplished the herding-cats task of putting an anthology together, and champions the work of other writers in a way that helps with some of those dark writer days. (You know, the ones when there isn’t news like I’ve gotten to share today).
So when I learned that Debbi is fighting and living with an illness, I wanted to help. Here is a little more in Debbi’s own words:
Having dystonia can be very isolating. And since we still don’t know enough to cure dystonia or treat each type consistently, an organization like DMRF that finances research and offers support has not only provided me with hope, but given me a reason not to be isolated.
This year the DMRF have invited people to form teams for an event they’re holding online in September, the Dystonia Virtual Zoo Day.
I joined Debbi’s team—check it out!
The Road from Here
Over the next few months, I’ll be engaged in both a creative process and the process of strategizing the next phase of my career. It’s going to be intense, and as always, I welcome your letters and questions and dispatches. Walking beside all of you is a big part of the yellow brick road of writing for me.
Love from the Hills of Wedeskyull Oz,