Saturday, September 22, 2012

Saturday Brags: Kathryn's Book Deal!

It's Saturday, and I know all your brains are resting, so I'm going to use fewer words and more pictures.

I got a book deal!!!


Yes, this is my actual reaction.

I have a picture of it because the call came in while I was hosting a writing retreat for women at my summer home in northern New York State. There we were, some writing on our own, others conferring.


When an e-mail rang through from my agent, Katie Shea at the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Subject: News
Body text: "Call me!"

Those words sparked an emotional charge that had to work its way through my system. Once I calmed down, I called Katie.


The offer was from Sourcebooks, a large independent publisher. Here Katie is telling me the initial offer, and her negotiation strategy. I am sitting in front of my computer screen, which has fallen asleep. I see the retreater who took this picture reflected in it—she's around the corner, where I can't see her directly—but I see her signing to the other women as if to say, "Would she wrap it up already?" They are dying to know what's going on.

They know about the nine years I've been working on this novel, refusing to give up until I got it right. About the 112 rejections I received from agents, until last December when I found Katie, my novel's perfect advocate. They know it's been out on submission since April and that the first round of editors still interested had been dwindling.

I have wanted this so long—indeed worked towards it since my first husband's suicide fifteen years ago—that the news is overwhelming. All of my faith and perseverance, kept aloft by what ever means possible, now exploded with meaning.


More details will follow—I'll be temporarily replacing my "Busted!" series with a new column that will follow my experience with traditional publication.

But for now I just wanted to share the good news. Like I did that night with my retreaters. Let's just say...wine flowed, and plenty of vintage dance music played.


What made the news super sweet: I got the call two days before my birthday. My husband, who has somehow kept the faith through all these long years, took me out to dinner. I tried my first chocolate martini (cleverly, my husband got in the picture—you can see him in the mirror behind me snapping this pic with my phone).


And when we got back to Pennsylvania, these arrived:


The first time my husband sent me flowers was when I'd reached to 50,000-word mark on my first novel. He makes me work harder for them these days—but what a journey it's been. One I'll share with you here at the Blood-Red Pencil in my new "first Fridays" column, "Countdown to a Book."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Kathryn Craft is a developmental editor at Writing-Partner.com, an independent manuscript evaluation and line editing service. Her women's fiction and memoir are represented by Katie Shea at the Donald Maass Literary Agency and her debut novel is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in late 2013. She blogs about Healing through Writing.


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52 comments :

  1. EEEEE - CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm so excited for you.

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  2. This news is PHENOMENAL, Kathryn. Major congratulations! I am SO happy for you. This post, those pictures, your excitement and happiness ooze throughout them. Savor it!

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  3. Those are wonderful photos. How awesome to have that moment captured, and to have fellow writers right there to share it with. Congratulations again, Kathryn!

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  4. Love this photo story Kathryn! And even though I know your story - I love reading it here all over again! And I'm so privileged to have been there and taken these photos! My fave? You with your hands to your mouth going "sqeeeee!" You deserve for your hard work and beautiful words to be shared with the world and I cant wait!

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  5. Thanks Anna and mooderino, and Donna, thanks so much for the pics!! I'm so glad you were there!! And I do not want one editor at this site to bust my chops for excess exclamation mark usage!!! OR ALL CAPS!!

    Haha, it was quite a moment, and Elle, I was so blessed not to be alone. My own joy, reflected back to me in the faces of the women, made it all the richer.

    And Shon—Each step on the journey takes me closer to my true goal of getting my book into the hands of readers. Right now I've not yet had to deal with the inevitable problems and frustrations that occur along the way, So for right now, in this very sweet moment, I AM SAVORING!

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  6. So awesome! Almost feel like I was there for the celebration. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing, it gives such hope!

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  7. Congratulations, Kathryn! This is a great post to read early on a Saturday morning, a day when I'll be spending my time doing one more proofread of a manuscript before sending it out again.

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  8. CONGRATULATIONS again, Kathryn. How cool that you are inviting us to share this journey through traditional publishing with you! I can hardly wait to get started. :-)

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  9. Yolanda—even though we've never met, now you WERE there! A victory for any one of us is a victory for all.

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  10. Larry, Pat, Linda: So good to see your names here for my little celebration.

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  11. So honored I got to be there for this joyous occasion!

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  12. And JMCooper: I hope I'm there with you the day you get the call as well. And congrats again on your new PR internship! Hmm...funny how I was standing right next to you when you got that word as well! There's magic in the air...

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  13. That's f-a-b-u-l-o-u-s and well deserved! I can't wait to read it.
    Lynda Dell

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  14. I can only smile and cry! So happy for you, Kathryn!

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  15. My hearing aid feedback is shrilling to the overload of sound I could experience through these photos!Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy! Thanks for sharing; so inspiring, so exciting, so perfect. Bless you, woman!

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  16. So important to celebrate all the milestones! Congratulations to you.

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  17. Such terrific news! Congratulations! I love the pictures documenting the event, as well. Such great synergy!

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  18. What a wonderful example of hanging in there, never giving up, and scoring the touchdown. Big time congratulations. It was so much fun reading this. Enjoy.

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  19. Woohoo! Yippee!! and Yahoo!!! Congratulations, Kathryn. I'm doing a happy dance for you. What exciting news to share with us today. Yes, perseverance is KEY!

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  20. I just can't get enough of hearing about it. I'm looking forward to more. It's all so wonderful and so deserved.

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  21. Loved the photos. Congratulations!!!

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  22. Thanks Lynda! And so good to see you to celebrate last night, Lisa—thanks so much again for the book signing pen!! :) And Kate—look forward to seeing you at the October workshop for a proper hug!

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  23. Dani, a special note just for you: thank you. Thank you for hosting my posts here, and celebrating with me, and tweeting and hollering so that others can share the joy—and hope!

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  24. Thanks Pamela and Alyce! And Cyd, my husband will love the football metaphor.

    And Heidi and Kathy O, thanks so much. I actually had to have a nap yesterday because all this hullabaloo has fried my nerves (in a very happy happy way)!

    You get so entrenched in the striving. Even though I'd imagined this many times over the years, I could never have conjured the intense sensation of joy in reaching this milestone.

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  25. Some meaningful detail in the top two pictures: from their portraits on the wall, looking over my shoulder—present, in spirit—are E. J. McMillan, the original owner of the camp in the late 1800s (my parents owned it since 1960 and Dave and I bought it from them in 2005 and rebuilt); my late Uncle Bob, an English teacher in North Syracuse who wrote a novel but gave up after several unsuccessful attempts at submitting it for publication; and my father, who died in April 2011. Gentlemen: I made it!

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  26. So great to have this documented!

    (My middle daughter took video of my older daughter opening the "college letter" for her first-choice school--these things are priceless!)

    Huge congrats again.

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  27. Kathryn

    Congratulations on your wonderful news. All the best. Thank you for sharing and . . . Rock 'n' Roll!!!

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  28. Larry and Kelly, thanks for stopping in!

    And Kelly: I hope you daughter got into that first choice school! This may just be a writer whose suffered plenty of rejection talking, but I can see that whole scene fizzling out pretty quickly...

    But since I don't think that would have inspired your comment, congrats to you as proud mama as well!

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  29. So that's what it feels like! Great to know and especially see what it feels like to get "the call" and with an audience. How wonderful! I'm very happy for you.

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  30. Well done, Kathryn! I guess it's like having one's first baby. (Of course, I wouldn't know. I delegate all important things to my wife :))

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  31. This is absolutely fantastic news. Well done! And thank you for sharing all this positivity with us. :)

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  32. Yay, Kathryn!
    Super congratulations to you!
    It's so nice when someone I know who has worked hard gets rewarded for her efforts!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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  33. Cgarwriter, John, Jess, Morgan—thanks so much! it's about time we had a bloody good party around here! With this new, sporadic Saturday series, maybe we can kick up our heels a little more often!

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  34. Congratulations, Kathryn!!!! So happy for you!

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  35. Congratulations, Kathryn!

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  36. Hi Kathryn,

    I am newly active in the Writers forum on Facebook, and have just recently started following your posts. This one was truly magical to read-- I could feel your joy right through those words and pictures. Congratulations!!!! Sounds like a well-deserved triumph, inspiring to all, those of us who have already gotten their first deal and those who will be there someday. I'll stay tuned to follow your adventures. :)

    Katia

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  37. So excited for you, Kathryn, and looking forward to your new series. Even though I enjoyed your "busted" series so much, I am eager to read about your journey over the next year or so until your book comes out.

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  38. Thanks Maryann! I love the Busted series too—with any luck I'll get back to it! It's important for use to learn from what well published authors do right.

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  39. Congratulations! I know I've said it already, I only wish there were better words to express how excited/proud/estatic/I knew you'd to it/joyful/priviledged to witness the journey/gratful to celebrate your sucess/downright awe inspired by your talent and perseverance.

    I can not wait to hold your book in my hands an ask for you to sign it.

    Keep celebrating!

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  40. Aw, thank you Tori. All afternoon on a client's manuscript I've been writing "hyperbole"! but with your comment I have decided to suspend disbelief and accept every single nice thing you just said. ;)

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  41. What a wonderful, wonderful post. Congratulations to you! What fun to see it happen for you live-ish! Best wishes!

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  42. Thanks Liza! Glad to invite you in on the fun!

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  43. I'm late to the draw, but SO HAPPY for you, nonetheless! Congratulations and let the good times keep on coming!!!!! I was just at an author reading yesterday for Nora Zelevansky and she was joking that it takes 9 months to publish a book. Just think of the joy you'll have sharing your baby with the world in 9 months time and you won't even have have to stock up on Purell!

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  44. Hey, thanks for stopping by Steph! Great to hear from you. "Author reading"—so many joys ahead!

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  45. Hard work and perseverance pays off! Thanks for sharing.

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  46. Kathryn, your face looks exactly how I expect every author's looks when they get "the phone call" :) How joyous! And what a group to celebrate with! How wonderful! :D

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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