Friday, December 6, 2013

From Querying to Book Deals and All That Fun Stuff

So if you follow me on Twitter, then you know I shared some big news last Friday. If you don't follow me on Twitter, well, why the heck not? Jay kay. Okay. For those who don't know, here's my big news:

My YA supernatural horror, THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME, will be released from Curiosity Quills in Fall 2014.


It's absolutely crazy to picture myself as a published author, and I get a little sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I'm nervous and happy and scared and so AAAAAGH. But this is what I've always wanted and I'm so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing support team (aka YOU GUYS) and incredible friends/family. This was such a long journey and so, so worth it.

Here's a quick timeline of how/when it all began:

I started writing YA seriously back in 2011. This is when I actually sat myself down, stared at the computer screen, and told myself I was going to write a book. It was a horrible book, by the way, but a book nonetheless.

I then got an agent last year (2012) with my fourth manuscript that was a totally different YA supernatural. You read right. FOURTH. It took those first three, that were super sloppy, to pin down my writing flow and actually write something worthwhile.

For reasons that are better kept unsaid, I parted ways with my agent eight months later. This was a major personal decision that I feel was best for me at the time, and still is. For the record, people leave their agents all the time for all sorts of reasons. It's not the end of the world, though it feels like it might be. You work your ass off, snag an agent, go through the submission process, only to go back to square one. I'm here to tell you that it's going to be okay. You made the decision because something inside you told you it was right. Stick with your gut and remember that you WILL get another agent. Maybe right away, maybe not, but you will.

Have I gotten another agent yet? No. Would I like one? Of course. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. I'll sign with another agent when the time (or rather, the manuscript) is right. When it came to GATEWAY, I had several agents interested in it who asked for revisions. I even had some who were sad to see it go when I accepted my offer with Curiosity Quills.

But here's why I decided on a small press and not an agent:

The enthusiasm and love CQ had for my manuscript went beyond anything I could have ever expected. They had so many fantastic ideas that helped me realize how great my manuscript could be. Not only were they super excited and willing to spend the time walking me through revisions, but they immediately made me feel a part of the family. I connected with them from the get-go and ended up emailing back and forth like we were old friends. This is not something that happens often, at least not for me. I knew in my heart that CQ would be an amazing move for GATEWAY, and I was right. I'm so looking forward to this next year, and can't wait to see GATEWAY in print!

For those going through the query trenches, don't give up. THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME is my sixth novel, and I have since started working on manuscripts 7, 8, and 9. It never stops as long as you keep pushing yourself. (Remember that occasional writing breaks are okay, too.) But more importantly, always keep writing during the waiting process, because even if that manuscript doesn't get signed, it could be your next one or the one after that. Continuing to write will keep you distracted and it'll also keep you ahead of the game, if for some reason you have to shelf a particular manuscript. But whether you sign with an agent or a small press, the journey is different for everyone. Just make sure whoever you sign with is legit, and don't be afraid to ask someone to look over the contract. This is always a must!

So with that, cheers, my friends! Thanks for sharing this amazing moment with me. xo

Heather Marie is a YA writer who loves all things creepy. She enjoys writing horror/supernatural stories that make you question that feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Heather spends most of her days reading and writing and plotting her next idea. When she's not in her writing cave, she enjoys watching creepy TV shows with her husband and picking apart plot holes in movies.

Her YA debut, THE GATEWAY THROUGH WHICH THEY CAME, releases Fall 2014 from Curiosity Quills.

You can find her on Twitter @:
And visit her website @:

4 secret replies:

  1. That's good to hear that it was your sixth - I think I'm working on my fifth now. Sigh. And congrats on the deal!

    1. Thank you, Tiana! And, yes, do not fret. It's very rare for someone to sign on their first book, but it happens. Just remember that everyone is different and believe that you'll sign in no time. Just keep writing!

  2. Congrats!!! I'm excited to read you book!! Eeekk it's so cool, you're going to be published :). I'm so happy you found people to work with that make you comfortable, I think that would make a huge difference in your writing process. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Congrats! I signed with a small press too and have been truly enjoying the experience. Small presses are gems for writers and produce quality books. Can't wait to read your book.