Monday, August 17, 2009

Impromptu Questions

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!

43 comments:

Marybeth Poppins said...

I am so super excited for you! I know I don't know you too well yet...but still! HOW FREAKING AWESOME IS ALL THIS! Anywho another super congratulations :)

Can't wait to buy and read your book!!!

T. Anne said...

Um...I'm completely freaking out for you! It's so wonderful to have a blog buddy who meets her goal. I just want you to know your joy is shared and I cannot wait to pick up you book!!!!!! Enjoy every minute and please post often, inquiring minds like to know what's going on ;)

JaneyV said...

WOW! That is FREAKIN' FAST. But Yeay - only about a year to wait. Happy happy happy dance.

JKB said...

Still such utterly awesome news. :-))))

Super excited for you!

Kiersten said...

Thank you both : ) And T. Anne, don't worry, I'll definitely keep you guys updated!

Sarah Laurenson said...

Are you going to buy a washer/dryer now? :-)

Kiersten said...

Sarah--YES. Well, eventually. The goal is to be able to move by next summer. But really, yet another dream come true!!

Lisa Aldin said...

Five houses interested? Yowzas.

I linked you in my new blog:

http://djfoxadventure.blogspot.com/

Congratulating you, but of course! And then whining how I'll never get my own deal. Yep. I'm one of those people. A baby. I'll get over it and work, work, work!

And have you SEEN how many GREAT books Harper Teen puts out? Um. Wicked, Lovely anyone?

=)

Megs said...

Ooh, one year, huh? That's great!
And congrats on getting over 100 comments on one post. (It's the little things that count, right?) ;)

Still dancing for joy over here!

Kiersten said...

Lisa--I know. Their list is one of the big reasons why I wanted to go with them. I honestly think they are putting out some of the best, most fun YA to be found right now. I am SO THRILLED to be added to the list!

And thanks, Megs : )

Mariah Irvin said...

Fall 2010?! That's going to come faster than you know! Congrats again!

Tara said...

Thanks for sharing your excitement! It's contagious.

Valerie said...

I have a question! I was wondering if in order to get your 3 book deal you had to provide outlines for the second and third books? (Like was it contingent on them liking your overall plan?) Or did you get the deal based on the first book with an option to do a trilogy or any other two books you wanted? If that makes sense. Thanks for posting these questions. I'm really excited to check out Paranormalcy!

Kiersten said...

Thanks, Mariah and Tara!

Valerie, good question! I did not, in fact, provide anything about the second and third books. I did have a little blurb about the sequel on my website (the blurb is now gone), so they could see that I had something planned.

But it's definitely a Paranormalcy + two sequels deal. They've purchased three books. They liked the idea of a set trilogy, and that was my plan all along. If they had asked I could have provided an opening chapter or two to the sequel as well as outlines for both sequels, but they were confident enough after reading Paranormalcy that they didn't ask.

I am really excited to talk over my ideas for the sequels with Erica, though! And I'm going to get back to work on writing right away so I can get as much as possible done before getting my editorial letter.

Taschima Cullen said...

Can we have an interview? I'm Taschima Cullen from BloodyBookaholic.blogspot.com

Let me know ^^

Kiersten said...

Taschima, absolutely! But only if you tell me which Cullen you married. I was always partial to Jasper, myself.

Valerie said...

Thanks for responding so quickly! I read another author's blog where she had to provide outlines for all three and I was curious if that was common. Very interesting. Hopefully one day I'll get to find out first hand!

Kiersten said...

Valerie, I think that's pretty common. It's also VERY common for editors to ask for an edit on the book before they'll make you an offer. However, in my case there was so much interest everything kind of went at light speed. Besides that, Michelle vouched for my speed and easiness to work with as far as edits and taking direction are concerned.

lotusgirl said...

Kiersten! I'm so excited for you! I take time off from blogging and totally miss out on your fabulous news. So a belated CONGRATS! Paranormalcy is such a great title and such a great story. I say that Harper Teen is lucky to have you. Huzzah to our dear Kiersten!

DebraLSchubert said...

Kiersten, As you know, I'm overwhelmed and completely thrilled by your news. It sounds like you're doing your best to enjoy this special time in your life. Still doing East Coast Happy Dance...;-)

candicekennington said...

I'm just so excited for you! Thanks for posting these question, because inquiring minds definitely want to know what's up. I'm so interested to watch you (via your blog of course, in a totally non-creepy way) go through the pre-publishing ropes. I love seeing the mystery of the publishing world unravelled. Thanks for sharing.

Feliza David said...

All I can say is WOW! Oh, and congrats! That, too, of course.

I know Fall 2010 isn't that far away, but still... It must be like waiting for Christmas, but about 10x harder. If I were you, I'd just be walking around, randomly squealing, "HarperTeen, man, HarperTeen!" :)

Peggy said...

Wow! The speed of it all is so amazing! From how fast you wrote the book to editing--- and that is so cool everyone jumped on it so fast! It's very evident they have a TON of faith in your book. Especially to do a three book deal. Them not waiting to see if the first one did before committing to the second one is huge, but being willing to commit without even seeing outlines is phenomenal!

Congrats on it all! I'm so very happy for you.

Kiersten said...

Thanks, Lotus, Debra, Candice, Peggy, and Feliza! And yes, I may or may not have randomly yelled "HarperTeen!" to myself several times over the course of the last few days...

I am, of course, thrilled and honored with the amount of faith and excitement they have in my book. I always thought it was special, but you never know how other people are going to react, you know?

carolinestarr said...

Everything has moved so quickly for you (other three novels aside). I find my older work takes so much time to revise. My first novel stays in the file cabinet, a melodramatic mess. The second has gone through years of revision, number three not as much of an overhaul, and number four, once I stopped feeling intimidated by it, came very quickly.
You know I'm going to watch this all unfold for you. Thanks for taking us all on this journey.

sylvia said...

Now that they know they like you, are they going to look at Flash?

Kiersten said...

I don't know, Sylvia. Flash and Paranormalcy are very different. I want to do some major edits and revisions on Flash before I consider trying to sell it again. And I've got the next three years booked : )

(Ha--booked? Man, I didn't even mean to do that one, but I'm so going to throw it in whenever I can.)

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Kiersten! Just wanted to toss in my own congrats for your success. It's all so thrilling!

Although I make a meager living writing travel guides and articles, I long to be paid for my fiction, too. And while you're right that our writing goals shouldn't hinge on the possibility of money, I'm sure it helps you to focus creatively when the bills are paid. So, you go, girl!

Kiersten said...

Caroline--thanks! It felt like a long time... : )

Laura--I agree--there's a HUGE amount of validation that comes with being paid for fiction. And I think that would be true regardless of the advance amount. But you're going about it exactly right, I think--making money freelancing (I did, too) while you work on what you really love in the meantime : )

Lisa and Laura said...

Yeah, we'll admit it. We've been stalking your blog via google reader for months now. You're awesome, your books sound awesome and we thought we'd come out of stalker mode to give you a quick congrats! It's so inspiring to read success stories like yours.

Rock on Kiersten!

*Reactivates stalking mode*

sraasch said...

Teehee :)

What did you do to celebrate? Like, huge dinner with the fam? Hours of mindless squealing? A little of both?

Kiersten said...

Thanks, Lisa and Laura : ) Continue stalking!

Sara--The night we found out we went to our favorite pizza place with the kids. Then this weekend we got together with some friends and family for a rootbeer float party. We're pretty low key : )

And, of course, the hours of mindless squealing. And dancing.

myrna said...

Wow! You are a fast! I am so painfully slow.

What you said about having some random girl reading your book and loving it being more important than the money is so true. The money is great. But the first time Highlights sent me a contract for a poem, they used the word "delighted." They could have had my poem for free.

And I think it's fun that you and that Natural/Artificial gal are going to be published at about the same time.

Whirlochre said...

If Laptop starts demanding favours (or otherwise behaving in an underhand manner as as he/she/it/* seeks to milk your success like The Fifth Beatle), Geoff and I are perfectly welcome to act as "heavies" on your behalf.

Kiersten said...

Myrna--I know, I'm really excited about publishing with Steph, too!

Whirl--It's about time someone stood up for me. No one messes with Geoff.

Laptop said...

You better watch your back, Brit boy. You and that fluffy monstrosity of yours, too.

sraasch said...

Second question: When will your deal appear in Publisher's Marketplace? I keep checking for it to see PARANORMALCY all big and bold and fancy...

Kristan said...

Kiersten, CONGRATS. I am (a) so happy for you, and (b) so jealous! Hopefully I can join you soon as one of the first HarperTeen authors.

You give me hope. :)

Kiersten said...

Sara--Next week.

Kristan--Keep at it : )

Phoenix said...

Late to the party but no less thrilled to be congratulating you and helping to extend the happy dance into another week!

Wishing you TONS of great marketing and reams and reams of fabulous publicity!!

You go, grrl!

cindy said...

*runs around in rabid chihuahua circles* eeeeeeeee! =DDDDD

Daisy Whitney said...

Went searching on your blog for your book deal news! The book is the dream -- completely agree...

Kristan said...

Uh oh, I think I'm all caught up on your blog archives now... I think this is where I started reading. :'(