Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Why, how about some BIG EFFING NEWS!!!!!

When I was in fourth grade (I think) I read A Dog Called Kitty. I loved it. I was always a girl that had her nose stuck in a book, and since we weren't floating in dough, I re-read a lot. And haunted the library too. But this book, it blew me away, and when the principle announced that the actual author would be coming to our little prairie school in the middle of nowhere, boy was I stoked.

Our teacher said everyone was allowed one question to ask the Real Live Author and I um, overdid it. I can remember clenching that piece of paper with about 80 billion questions on it in my sweat-soaked hand, and almost, almost having enough guts to ask him a question as the older kids in the back did theirs. He sat up on the stage and all the classes in the school were out to sit and listen to him talk. I got right up near the stage, displacing some second grader so I could watch his every move, that author. I had my chance to ask a question but skipped it to study him: how did he get a book published? He didn't look like much. Just a regular guy with magic in his fingers.

But that book was the one that got me thinking "hey, if this guy can publish a book, why can't I?" And got me going. So on and off, throughout the next years (and years and years) I plugged away. I subbed my first alphabetic picture book in seventh grade, but hadn't a clue and was rejected after a loooong time, then high school and university got in the way, so I lagged for a bit. But this author, and what he (and others) had managed to do always sat in the back of my mind. Until I decided to really give it a go (with the uber support of my hubs, who is insanely wonderful.)

This author's name was Bill Wallace, and he's published by Holiday House books.

So is Jim Kjelgaard - BIG RED (I loved this book too!), Hans Christen Anderson and the Brothers Grimm (I don't think I need to say who they are)

and a very good buddy of mine, Hilary Wagner - NIGHTSHADE CITY.

Venerable authors all!

And now, I'm um, thrilled (esctatic? Over the moon? Shocked?) to say that I'll be joining their ranks.

Look for POSSUM SUMMER, my debut novel, to be published by Holiday House books in Fall of 2011.

To say that this is a dream come true doesn't give news of this import enough leverage. And yet, what more can I say? That my agent NEVER gives up (even when *I* had) and is the most fabulous, supportive person of that ilk I've ever met? That writing friends had to bear with me while I alternatively melted down, giggled hysterically, and/or sobbed, sometimes all at once? Those crit buds that read and re-read my drafts, helping me with fine tuning and offering support of a shoulder-iffic nature? That my husband deserves a Lifetime Achievement Award for not only dealing with an eight-month pregnant wife - but one that was glued to her computer as news of her deal floated over from the other side of the ocean? And who celebrated with her by bringing her home a pizza?

Or my poor, poor manuscript - the one I knew I wanted to write for 15 years but never did - finally making it's "quiet, literary" presence known in the world? It'll be a real, live, honest to the gods BOOK?

All that and more, guys. All that and more.

I can't really believe it's starting to happen. I heart you all for being on this trip with me!

And NEVER, EVER give up!!!!!!

35 comments:

Courtney Allison Moulton said...

Amazing job, girl!!!!! Knew you could do it :-) CONGRATS!!!!

Kerri said...

I am absolutely, completely and utterly thrilled for you. You deserve this and all the good things which will come this year!!!!

rin said...

Congrats!

And while I am really excited, I am ├╝berhaupt nicht surprised ;). You rock!

Emily Kokie said...

Fantastic news! Congratulations!

Benjamin St├╝rmer said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!

Don't forget to make a post and let us know when we can pre-order it!

lisaalbert said...

Congrats!!!! Squee!!! Fall 2011 knuckle-bump!!

astrid said...

Congrats dear!!! I'm so happy for you too!!

Eliza Evans said...

Wow, congratulations! I love how things came full circle for you.

sue laybourn said...

Fantastic news, missus!

pseudosu said...

I feel so lucky to have been in on the process and follow your work. You are an amazing writer. I know big things are in store for you.
WOOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!

A.S. said...

Woooooooooot!
Congratulations!

The Unbreakable Child said...

Big awesome CONGRATS, bb!!!!
x0

Jonathon Arntson said...

Yippee!!

sarah e stevens said...

tears of joy in my eyes for you, my dear, dear friend!!!! MUCH deserved!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer M. Donahue said...

Woohoo!! Great news, congratulations :)

ETA: my word verification is WOOTA!

So, WOOTA on this fabulous dream come true

Jodi Meadows said...

I am SO SO SO SO SO SO happy for you! Dude, that's AWESOME!!!

(A DOG CALLED KITTY traumatized me. I have a feeling I'll love your book in a similar way.)

beth said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!

brimfire said...

Congratz!!!

Oh, I lived Bill Wallace, too. I don't remember reading A DOG CALLED KITTY, but BEAUTY left me bawling for days. *agony*

Hilary Wagner ~ Writer said...

You are truly such a good friend to me, Jen. I prayed this would happen for you, not just because you are so talented and so deserving, but because Rats VS Possums throw down was destined to be realized--2011 style! Ha, ha! :) I couldn't be happier for you and love that my good friend is going to be published by Holiday House, along with me!!!!!!!!

xoxo -- Hilary

(P.S. Rats still rule and possums still drool!)

Ello said...

Congratulations Jen! I am so happy for you! ANd I love the title!!!!

ChristaCarol said...

WOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!!! I'm so THRILLED, Jen!!!! Oh what a way to bring a baby into the world, too! Hah! Squee! This is so fantastic. I'd jump up and down with you but I don't want anything--one---falling out! ;-) Yay for Possums!

inkwench said...

Sooooooo happy for you! Congrats!!!

Merc said...

That's fantastic (and inspiring!) -- CONGRATS! :)

Patti said...

Totally awesome. So happy for you.

Teresa said...

Congratulations, Jen! I hope you can hear me whoop clear across the big pond. I'm so happy for you!

Teresa

hope101 said...

I was away from the computer all day and you started the party without me???

Seriously, Jen, congratulations!!! It couldn't happen to a finer person. And how cool is it that you'll be able to have your own baby read your very own published book? Perhaps someday there will be a tiny girl in a school auditorium someday who believes you're the one with magical fingers. Wouldn't that be neat?

notenoughwords said...

Congratulations, Jen!! What a wonderful year you are having :D :D

Violet said...

Congratulations!! :)

julieduck.wordpress.com said...

Just such an awesome story - the awe you had for that writer, the dream he planted in your heart, and the reality of sticking it through. What a gift for you!

:-)

- Julie Duck

Heidi the Hick said...

You DO believe now that you rock, right?

Lisa and Laura said...

Best. News. Ever. Seriously! Couldn't be more excited for you! Even better? Our books are hitting the shelves at the same time! Squee!

Anita Saxena said...

Heard about your good news from Hilary's blog. Congratulations! Best of luck with publication!

Elana Johnson said...

Ahhhhh! Congrats! Great, great news! Can't wait to see it in hardcover!!

Sarah said...

Just heard about this from Lisa and Laura! AMAZING NEWS!! Congrats! :)

Bethany Wiggins said...

I'm a little late to the celebration.

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

I can't wait to read it!