I know that it's Monday, which usually means poetry, but I figured I'd answer some questions instead, since I seem to be getting the same ones over and over again. If you have any questions that I don't answer, please feel free to ask them in the comments and I'll address them.
1. Are you totally and completely freaking out?
Yes. Really, really yes. Suddenly my dream is my reality, and it's surreal. I'm prone to giggling at random moments, and having trouble sleeping because the instant I wake up at all, suddenly my brain is screaming, "HOLY CRAP I'M GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!"
2. When is your book coming out?
Fall of 2010.
2A. (From people who don't know how publishing works) Isn't that a long time?
No, it's really quite fast.
2B. (From people who understand how publishing works) Wow, isn't that really fast?
Yes. I should have my editorial letter in about two weeks, and then I'll have a couple of weeks to turn in edits. It's a good thing I'm obsessive and work very quickly. But I'm so thrilled with the pace and think it's amazing that my book will come out in about a year. I wouldn't have it any other way.
3. How did it all happen?
As I mentioned in my announcement post, we had a lot of interest and had about five houses ready to go to auction. (In an auction, interested publishers bid against each other for your book.) The day before HarperTeen came in with a pre-empt (meaning they make an offer good enough to entice you not to go to auction), and after some back and forth, Michelle and I both agreed that we would rather take their offer than go to auction. And, as I mentioned before, I couldn't be happier since Harper is the publisher I always hoped would want me. Plus, Erica, my editor? Freaking. Awesome.
The whole thing happened amazingly fast, since Paranormalcy had only been on submission for about three weeks when editors started calling Michelle about it. It was one of those right-manuscripts-at-the-right-time I guess.
Also, if you're curious, I wrote Paranormalcy in January, edited it in February, then spent all of April and May editing it more. Para is the fourth book I've written.
5. Do you have the sequels written yet?
No. I have the second book completely plotted out and have started writing the first draft. The third book has a general (if vague) plot line and a definite ending.
5A. Does that make you nervous that you've sold books you haven't written yet? Will that change how you feel about writing them?
Honestly, I don't really think so. I'm excited about it, even more so than I was before.
6. Can I ask how much money you made?
No. Sorry. Keep in mind that this is my profession, and it wouldn't be very professional to go around blabbing about money and such. I understand being curious--because I'm always curious what other people make--but I'll just say that I'm completely happy.
Here's why, and here's why you shouldn't look at what other people make as a guage to how well you might do if you get a book deal: all deals are different, and the money isn't what matters. And I know that sounds smug now that I'm actually getting paid to write, but really, I would have been happy with anything. Because money isn't the dream, and it certainly isn't something you can count on. If you are writing to make money, you should stop right now and start freelancing. I read recently that the average advance for YA books is $8,000. When you average in the time you'll spend writing and editing, and the amount of time it takes to get published...well, it doesn't make much sense financially, does it?
But that's not why I write, and that's not why you write. The dream is the book. The book, on shelves, that anyone can walk in and pick up and read. The dream is a teenage girl in Milwaukee seeing your book, liking the cover, taking it home. The dream is that girl getting lost in your world and your characters the same way you did when you were writing it.
Money is great--it's fabulous--but it's not why we do it.
7. But seriously, you're freaking out, right?
Heck yes I am.
Feel free to ask about anything else in the comments!