From Publishers Weekly: Author of the popular blog Mother.Write.(Repeat.) (www.motherwrite.blogspot.com), Krista Van Dolzer, sold her debut novel, The Regenerated Man, to Shauna Rossano at Putnam. Agent Kate Schafer Testerman at kt literary handled the North American rights deal, and the book is scheduled for winter 2015. The middle grade novel is set in postwar California and, Testerman said, has elements of science fiction, as it follows a young girl who becomes the sole defender of “a bio-engineered Japanese soldier.”
Steve, otherwise known as THE REGENERATED MAN for the uninitiated, has had a bumpy road. When they say publishing slows down (read: comes to a standstill) in the summer, they mean it, so by the time fall rolled around last year, I was already feeling down and out. We'd given Steve a college try (whatever that means). Maybe it was time to pack it in and concentrate on the next manuscript.
Thank goodness Kate doesn't move on as easily as I do.
Long story slightly shorter: Shauna read the manuscript in a few weeks last September, then took it to her ed meeting. They liked it but had some issues. A few weeks later, she sent some notes, and I revised, revised, revised. I loved this manuscript so much, so I was grateful for the opportunity to make it even better. By Christmas, I was spending almost as much time revising as I was sleeping. By the end of January, I was (finally) done.
After Kate read the revision, she used words like "wow" and "amazing" to describe it, but we still had to wait and see what Shauna thought. And wait we did. Shauna was already swamped, conference season was just beginning, and in the ensuing weeks, I convinced myself that she was going to say no, that she would like it but not love it, that we'd be right back where we'd started. Even when I heard she was thrilled with the revision and taking it back to ed meeting, I didn't allow myself to hope. And when things didn't immediately come together, I told myself I'd told me so.
Then one morning, Kate sent me an e-mail. It was Putnam's offer.
How did John Lennon put it? "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans"? I've certainly found that to be true, especially in this business. But maybe, just maybe, that's part of its charm. Having everything figured out is kind of overrated. I'd much rather make it up as I go along.
A huge thank-you to Shauna for loving Steve as much as I do and fighting for him as long and hard as I would have. Another huge thank-you to the amazing and insightful critique partners who read and commented on early drafts: Liesl Shurtliff, Myrna Foster, Amy Sonnichsen, Jenilyn Collings, Ben Spendlove, Kelly Bryson, Mónica Bustamante Wagner, and Tara Dairman. I also have to give a shout-out to the KT Lit Sub Club, whose cheerleading and encouragement kept me (mostly) sane: Elizabeth Briggs, Susan Adrian, Erin Danehy, Sara Beitia, and our newest addition, Amy Sonnichsen. Last but certainly not least, a tip of my hat and a heartfelt hug to the incomparable Kate, granter of wishes and weaver of dreams. I must say, there's something to be said for boundless optimism:)
Oh, and one last thank-you to Honey Bear, our kids, and the rest of our family, but mostly Honey Bear. I don't know how I always manage to leave you out of these. It must be because you're always there, my only constant, the one person in the world who feels so much a part of me that I sometimes forget you're not. Nothing would be quite as bright if I didn't have you to share it with.