The things I’ve learned about publishing over the last four years could never be condensed into one blog post. I’ve learned it’s a slow and painful process, until it isn’t. Until everything happens at once and it’s incredibly exciting and stressful all at the same time. There’s a lot of “hurry up and wait” in the business.
I can definitely cover a little bit of what I learned in 2014 in this blog post though. I’ve been querying on and off for years, but last year was the first time I entered Pitch Wars. It was one of the most wonderful and painful experiences of my writing career thus far. Painful because realizing where you’re consistently going wrong in your writing (getting feedback) can hurt, but wonderful because I wouldn’t be where I am now without it.
My Pitch Wars manuscript had a lot of interest, first from mentors, then from agents. In fact, I was ecstatic when it actually won the MG category for “most requests”. I was sure I was set. Bring on the offers!
And then the rejections came trickling in.
And then flooding in.
The feedback was consistent. Didn’t connect to the character. Didn’t connect. Didn’t connect.
After having a mini breakdown (okay a major one, there was a lot of chocolate involved) I sat down and compiled all the feedback. I highlighted things, I took notes. I cobbled together a list of problems to fix.
And I wrote something new.
I discovered something pretty cool when I was finally ready to start querying. A lot of the agents recognized my name from Pitch Wars. A few of them told me they requested because they remembered the Pitch Wars manuscript, and how much they loved my writing. Even though I hadn’t received an offer directly out of Pitch Wars 2014, nearly a year later it was opening doors for me. Surreal.
After six months of querying, and a set of revisions or two, I received an offer.
I was in shock, rereading the email, barely able to believe it. I think I probably fell out of bed, though the excitement makes it difficult to remember the little details.
I wandered around in a daze for a few hours and then sent off my “offer of rep” to the other agents reading the full.
The next day another offer came in.
A few days later…another.
I know it’s a cliché to pinch yourself when you think you’re dreaming, but I did. Repeatedly.
When the deadline finally came, I had three offers and an R&R with intent to offer, and an extremely difficult decision to make. In the end, I signed with the wonderful Silvia Molteni of Peters Fraser and Dunlop.
Right now I’m sitting here drinking tea and recovering from the enthusiastic happy dance I just did all around the room after signing the papers.
There would be no happy dance without Brenda and Pitch Wars, without my fantastic mentor, Ben Brooks, and without the amazingly supportive group of friends I’ve made from the 2014 Pitch Wars Mentees and Alts.
So yes, Pitch Wars was a roller coaster for me. Ups and downs, unexpected crash landings…and every single minute has been worth it.
E. Latimer is a young adult fantasy writer who was born and raised in Victoria, BC and recently moved to Vancouver. She writes books, makes silly vlogs about writing and reads excessively. Her book FROST was released by Patchwork Press on August 25th, 2015. FROST is a YA fantasy based on Norse mythology, about a teen who accidentally freezes the first boy she kisses and discovers her family tree is weirder than expected.
Megan Walker’s touch has turned to ice. She can’t stop the frost, and the consequences of her first kiss are horrifying.
When her new powers attract attention, Megan finds herself caught up in an ancient war between Norse giants. One side fuelled by a mad queen’s obsession and an ancient prophecy about Ragnarok, the other by an age-old grudge. Both sides believe Megan to be something she’s not. Both sides will stop at nothing to have her.
Fire or frost. It’s an impossible decision, but she’ll have to act soon, because the storm is coming.
Frost, Book 2 is set to be released early next year. For more updates on this, as well as access to short stories and contests, click on “newsletter” and sign up.