Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Tale of Publishing, Part I

This morning, an enormous padded envelope arrived on my doorstep, containing the first printed pages of The Star Thief. For those who don't know (as I didn't, until just a few months ago) at some point before your manuscript becomes a book, all the pages are formatted, printed out, and sent to the writer for a proofread. I don't print out working drafts of my manuscripts. I've only done it once, at the request of the agent. So to see the work as a physical thing, rather than just a file on a computer, is super exciting!

As I get closer to The Star Thief being a real live book, I've decided to go back and do a few posts about how I got here, from the beginning.

I'm one of those writers who's been crafting stories since I could hold a pencil. But when it came time for college, I picked theater and fine art instead of English as a major. Still, by the time graduation rolled around, I was starting to think I really wanted to try writing something for publication.

But... what???

I did very little writing in college, simply because I didn't know what I wanted to write about. So I did what you should do when you want to write, I started reading as much as I could. I graduated in spring 2002, and then got married at the end of the summer. On the way home from my honeymoon, I picked up a few books in the airport. One was the paperback of Prisoner of Azkaban. By the time I got through the first chapter, I already knew. I was going to write for kids. I started to recall all the wonderful fantasy stories I had loved as a kid, but had left behind when I became Serious about Art. But once I rediscovered children's books, and middle grade in particular, I suddenly had All The Ideas. I had characters and plots and settings and adventures, and I went home, got a job at a Barnes & Noble, and started trying to write a novel.

And yes, that was quite a few years ago. There was a bit of a learning curve!

How about you? Did you always know what you wanted to write? Did you find your niche? Or are you still looking?

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