Monday, April 29, 2013

This Is Not One of Those Overnight Success Stories

This is the post I've written a thousand times in my head but never needed to put down on paper. This is the post I've dreamed about but never dared to hope I'd write. But then, life has a way of surprising you, and as far as surprises go, this one is pretty good:

From Publishers WeeklyAuthor 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.

94 comments:

Suzi said...

Your story is one that reminds me to keep working. We all want it to happen overnight, but that's not usually how it goes. Patience and perseverance.

Congratulations!!!

Maggie Hall said...

YAY Krista!! I am SO, SO, happy for you! And welcome to the Putnam family! :)

Michael G-G said...

Wonderful! You are my inspiration to persevere and be patient. I'm full of joy for you--great news!

Mónica Bustamante Wagner said...

WOOOOHOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I'm so excited for you that I commented even before reading the post. LOL. Now I'm off to actually read it and will comment again in a minute!! TEEHEE!!! <333 I'm so happy for you and proud and everything. WTG!! I can't wait for everyone to read your amazing book!! <333

Jer said...

Congrats!!!! I'm so excited for you! And thanks for sharing your story along the way--gives the rest of us a little hope. :)

Mónica Bustamante Wagner said...

Okay, now I read the post. I'm all teary. Seriously. Look at you! I mean... this is amazing. Love what PW had to say and I love your story, but you already know that. And what else can I say other than THIS MAKES ME SO HAPPY!! Oh, and I know what else I have to say: Thanks for figuring out how to put the accent mark. LOL. I know it wasn't easy. Haha!! BUT thank *YOU* for letting me read and fall in love with your story too. You are amazing, my friend!!! <333

Lori Folkman said...

Congrats! You've worked long and hard for this! It's well deserved!

A.J. Locke said...

Congrats!! That's amazing news!

Eliza Tilton said...

Grats!!!

Zoë said...

So much congratulations! It's so clear how hard you've worked to get to this point and I am so excited to pick up my copy of STEVE. I know it wasn't a quick journey to get there but I'm so excited you finally made it :)

Cee Best said...

Congratulations!!! Always exciting when a hard-working writer receives a book deal!!

Ava Jae said...

CONGRATULATIONS! Always exciting to hear this kind of news. :)

Julie DeGuia said...

Such great news this morning! No matter how short or long and bumpy the road these stories always bring a (happy)tear to my eye! :-) Congrats to you.

Ru said...

Congrats Krista, that's so awesome!!

Rena said...

Congratulations! This is so exciting!

erica m. chapman said...

YAY! CONGRATS!!!! AWESOME NEWS!! *SQUEEEE*

Melodie Wright said...

HUGE congrats, Krista!!! So happy for you and can't wait to read this book!

Melanie Stanford said...

A million congratulations to you and your book! I can't wait to read it. :)

Shannon Wixom said...

Congrats, soooooo happy for you! What a dream come true!

Kristin Rae said...

AHHHHH!!!!! *muppet flails* SO excited for you!

Susan Adrian said...

WooHOOOOO!! You did it!!

First of the triplets, too. *high-five and snoopy dance, simultaneously*

michelleimason said...

I am so happy for you, Krista! And as fun as the overnight success stories are, it's always reassuring to me to read about a story that finds its place after perseverance and time. I can't wait to add THE REGENERATED MAN AND ME to my bookshelf. I will promote the heck out of it. Congrats!!!

Janet Johnson said...

Oh Krista!!! I'm so excited for you! Congratulations!! You seriously deserve it. :D

Valerie Cole said...

Krista, I am so, so happy to hear this news. I love reading publishing success stories, especially those that weren't overnight sells. You worked so incredibly hard and I am so happy to see it pay off. An inspirational story for all of us!

Congrats again. I can't wait to see THE REGENERATED MAN on the shelf. <3

Tina Moss said...

Wonderful news! Congratulations! :D

Ben Spendlove said...

And that's just the first. Every novel you write is better than the last. Congratulations.

But Winter 2015? That sounds like forever, doesn't it?

Actually, no. It sounds like about two years. That's a lot less than forever. A LOT less. :)

Chelsea Bobulski said...

Congratulations!!! Can't wait to see THE REGENERATED MAN on bookshelves.

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Congratulations to you and Kate and Shauna! I'm so excited to read the PUBLISHED Steve!! So, so, so happy for you, Krista!! <3

Heidi Sinnett said...

Congratulations! As someone who has just begun the process of being on submission, the quick-and-fabulous stories can be disheartening.

I LOVE that you've accomplished all of this and never given up! I can't wait to add THE REGENERATED MAN to my bookshelf! Congratulations again, and I hope there are many more congratulations in store for you in the future!

Elizabeth Briggs said...

Yay, so happy for you! I can't wait for Steve to be on the shelves for everyone to read!

Ki-Wing Merlin said...

Congratulations!! Sounds like a wonderful story -- I can't wait to read it.

Stephanie Diaz said...

Congratulations!! :)

Rachel Searles said...

Congrats, Krista! So happy for you!

Maria said...

Wonderful news! Congratulations!

Jeff Chen said...

Congrats!

Melissa Sarno said...

Wow! This is so exciting! Congratulations Krista. Glad you stuck with it : )

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Hey! How come I'm the last to know? Just kidding. I knew you would find a home for such a great book! You rock the writing world!

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats!

SStokes said...

Wow - congrats! What a great and inspiring story. Just goes to show what hard work and talent can do when they're combined. Congrats!

Gina said...

HUGE CONGRATS KRISTA!!! I'm so very happy to hear that your book sold. Best of luck and I'm looking forward to reading it!

Kate Larkindale said...

Congratulations! I'm so glad it worked out in the end.

Ninja Girl said...

Wow, this is all kinds of AWESOME!! I'm so happy for you, Krista. You do such a service for writers here at your blog. Congrats!
Ninja Girl

Sarah J. said...

Huge congrats! So happy for you! (And go cougars!)

Rosalyn said...

Yay! I'm so happy this has worked out for you--and also, I love that you don't have an overnight success story. I think your experience is probably a more accurate representation of what most of us can hope for.

Janice Sperry said...

Congratulations! It's nice to see hard work pay off.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats! That's such awesome news. I'd love to interview you with an ARC giveaway at Literary Rambles when your book comes out. I interview lots of debut middle grade and YA authors.

Stephsco said...

Wonderful! I'm pretty sure I saw this news bit on Publisher's Marketplace, but I didn't connect it to you and this blog. Way to go!!!

staceylee said...

Congratulations Krista! So excited for you. :D

Myrna Foster said...

I've never been so happy about a book announcement. It just hit me that Steve is going to have a cover and all of the FUN STUFF. Squee! ^_^





Katy White said...

How exciting, Krista! I'm so excited for you!

Ambiguous_A said...

Ahhh congratulations, Krista!!

Noelle Henry said...

Finally hopping on your blog to give you an OFFICIAL congratulations. ;) I am so happy for you!!! I loved reading your call story. So many times we believe that if we don't sell our book *right away*, it means it's not going to happen. You're a great example on not giving up on the book you love!

Aimee L. Salter said...

CONGRATS!CONGRATS!CONGRATS! CONGRATS!!!!!

Riley Redgate said...

YES YES YES YES YES!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS. I can't wait to read this book, I SO can't wait! A million congratulations, Krista. Your insane amounts of hard work (and positive karma from your selflessness, no doubt!) have paid off!

MarcyKate said...

KRISTA! I'm beyond thrilled to see all your hard work and patience pay off in such a big way! CONGRATS doesn't even begin to cover it!

Also, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS! :D :D

A. E. Welch said...

Congrats, Krista!!!!

JeffO said...

Awesome! Congratulations, Krista!

A.J. Cattapan said...

Congratulations! As someone who's read your blog for a long time now, I'm so happy to see you achieve your dreams.

Looking forward to reading the book!

Escape Artist Linda said...

Hey there, stranger!
So, very, very happy for you! Well done!
Big hugs!

Dahlia Adler said...

Huge huge huge congrats, Krista!!!! Such great news!! Can't wait to see it on shelves!!

Ryan said...

Now I can stop holding my breath for you. It's almost as good as my own success story. (Minus the raging jealousy.) Awesome! You deserve it.

Jessie Oliveros said...

Congratulations Krista! I'm excited to read more about your journey as it unfolds from deal to book!

Dannie Morin said...

Awesome news! Congrats, Krista!!!

Tara Dairman said...

Eeeeeeee! So glad that this news is finally public! And that we're editor-siblings! Holy moly!

This book is so original and awesome, and I just can't wait until it's out in the world. =)

jennifermhartsock said...

Congratulations, Krista! This is so incredible.

Take care,
Jennifer

Veronica Bartles said...

Wow! Congratulations! This is awesome news!! :)

Lori M. Lee said...

SQUEE!!! CONGRATS! You are so awesome, and so deserving. Hooray!

MTS said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! And I can't wait to read Steve!

Karen lee Hallam said...

CONGRATULATIONS--Krista!! thank you for sharing your story. wishing a great success when it hits the shelves. :)))

ocdtalk said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! You got to write your dream post :) !!

Stephanie Garber said...

Congratulations Krista! It's so nice to read such great news for someone like you, who does so much for other writers! I'm so happy for you! I can't wait until your book is in my local bookstore!

Andrea said...

From someone who enjoys reading your blog, congratulations! Sounds like hard work, perseverance and good writing really paid off! Best of luck to you!

Vicki Tremper said...

OMZ, Krista! Congratulations! What awesome news and what an awesome (and real) journey. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs and for all you do in this community!

Brenda Drake said...

I already told you in email, but I wanted to squee here - CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so thrilled and happy for you! <3

Janeal Falor said...

That's such great news! Congratulations! I'm very excited for you!

Marie Langager said...

Yay!!! So happy to see this, congratulations!!!!!!

Heather Clark said...

This almost made me cry. So hard to wait and wonder and hope and try. So glad you pushed through the pain! Congrats.

HEATHER LYNNE DAVIS said...

Ditto that last comment. I've just started following your blog and am still searching for an agent myself. You must feel so fantastic! Congrats and thanks for writing the blog and hosting the contests. It really helps keep the rest of us going! And the book sounds really intriguing!!
Cheers, Heather

Suzanne Warr said...

Congratulations! I've used your agent interviews and followed your blog for so long, this feels a little like a personal victory, too! I hope you don't mind if I eat a piece of celebratory dark chili chocolate in your honor. ;D

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Oh, thank you so much. Your kind words and happy thoughts have kept me smiling for days. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

P.S. Suzanne, I hope you ate two, one for you and one for me:)

Elizabeth Dunn said...

Way to go Krista. You're a ray of hope for us all.

Shallee said...

OH MY YAY!!!!!!! I knew this was coming, and I am so excited for you! I cannot wait to read it. And way to stick with it through all the rough times. *hugs*

tarak said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news. I've been a lurker on your blog for some time - this is my first actual post.

ilima said...

Congratulations! I'm so happy for you.

Anna said...

So happy for you. I always knew I would read this post one day. Congrats!

Emily said...

Congratulations, Krista! I'm so excited for you. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for sharing your journey. Oh, and I love what you wrote about your husband :)

Deana said...

You're story gives me cold chills! You sure deserve this:-D Congrats girl!!!!

Jessie Humphries said...

Big congrats on all your hard work! I can totally appreciate it. And I am so glad you got a deal with Shauna, she was on my sub list and several interactions with her made me really want to work with her. But alas, it doesn't always work out the way you think it will. I am very happy for you!

Kristen Wixted said...

You had me feeling all pessimistic for you when I got that e-mail a while back--congrats!! That is great news. I am really happy for you, and looking forward to reading Steve.
My ms just went out on sub yesterday so...my turn in the waiting place.
Anyway, sorry I was so late with this--just catching up on blog stuff after doing a bunch of revising...
Yaaaay!

L. R. Wright said...

Congrats Krista! So excited for you!!!!!!!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Oh, thank you! Your heartfelt well wishes are so kind and very much appreciated. (And Ilima and Jessie, congratulations on YOUR deals!)

Lorena said...

Krista, I must be in LaLaLand because I had no idea you had already sold your novel. A big CONGRATULATIONS and thanks for sharing all the details with us! Only a writer understands how truly amazing this announcement is.

Matthew MacNish said...

Wow. Took me a while to hear about this. Still: CONGRATS KRISTA!!!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Thank you, Matthew! It seems like Steve just sold yesterday (though Shauna and I have put in plenty of hours since then), so don't feel bad at all:)

And Lorena, I apologize for not responding sooner! Thank you so much for your well wishes.