I know what you’re thinking: a blog series about EXPECTING A BOOK
should have nine posts.
Me too, actually.
But guess what? Like parenting, and writing books,
my book-baby blog has taken on a life of its own–
with more fabulous guest bloggers, like KATHERINE LONGSHORE:
Katy is the book-mom of three historical YA’s, the first two of which are
set in the court of Henry VIII:
GILT arrived May 2012 (Viking), and
TARNISH, (also Viking) released last June.
Here’s a look at her third novel, Manor of Secrets, due out January 28th from Scholastic.
A “Downtonesque” story set in an Edwardian country house, Manor of Secrets follows the lives of two girls whose very different worlds collide.
What did Katy expect when her career as an author began to take off?
Katy admits she “had no idea what to expect. That’s the great thing about the beginning of this adventure. Many, many people had done this before me but my own path was yet untrodden.”
On CHOOSING AND WORKING WITH YOUR PRACTITIONER, Katy recalls: “I took the informed advice of my agent. She knew more than I did and I trusted her judgement implicitly.”
On NEGATIVE results (rejections): “I wasn’t sure if I wanted my agent to send me rejections, so she didn’t. I do think I could have handled them, but ultimately all you need is one positive result.”
Yes, Virginia–remember our motto:
IT ONLY TAKES ONE YES.
But back to Katy… On getting that POSITIVE result: “I’m so glad that I had my agent and my writer friends (The YA Muses–check out their great blog!) to help me out. I knew that the contract/meaning the advance could take months. And I knew there would be still a lot of work ahead of me.”
On What You Can Expect From Your Editor: “My experience with my editor has been very collaborative. She sends a long editorial letter, gives me time to digest, and then we schedule a call to talk about any questions I might have. We talk through concerns, discuss ways to move forward, and make alterations accordingly. Any disagreements have been minor and easily resolved.”
On naming the BABY: “After a few fits and starts we ultimately decided that GILT was the best title, and then the designers came up with a gorgeous, eye-catching cover. It was an incredible experience to see the book through someone else’s eyes.”
On WAITING: “I was lucky enough to have another book under contract. I had finished the first draft (and even the second) of TARNISH before GILT came out. I’m terrible at waiting but I do well with distractions and deadlines, so I had plenty to keep me busy. And lucky for me, some of my closest writer friends were going through the same thing and we could commiserate.”
Especially in the third Trimester when she started to panic.
Pre-GILT, Katy worried, “What if people hated it? Even worse, what if no one read it at all? What did I know about marketing? Publicity? How could my tiny Twitter following make any difference whatsoever? And though I was excited about my launch party, I was terrified about trying to set up any other events on my own. Totally nerve-wracking. My agent put me in touch with some of her other authors who talked me down, gave me advice, and assured me everyone goes through the same thing.”
What she didn’t know:
Katy: “I was surprised and saddened to learn that some books just don’t get reviewed by Publishers Weekly. That Kirkus is notoriously harsh. And that only those with thick skin should visit reviews of their own books on Goodreads. Because out of an average of ten reviews, most of us will only remember one. The negative one. I learned that everyone reads differently, looking for different things, judging by different standards. And I’m glad that I’ve had more than one book out now, because I see the merit in some of the criticism, and it no longer cuts me to the bone. But in those first few weeks it hurt like hell. Kind of like my Cesarian scar. “
“Unlike parenthood,” Katy adds; ” I feel like the book is no longer mine once it’s finished gestating and is out in the world. It now belongs to the readers, who may do with it what they will. I don’t need to coddle or feed it anymore, like you do with a baby. It’s kind of like giving birth to a teenager. Hard to let go even though you know you have to. And remarkable to see how it fares in the wider world.”
“Ultimately though, it was the work that was the best experience. That intimate bonding experience. I had to come back to the blank page and start another book. That’s why we’re here, isn’t it? Because we’re writers.”
Perfect words to end part10 of WTEWYE–a BOOK!
Be sure to follow my friend Katy on Twitter @KALongshore and check out her books!
And who knows? Maybe there will be a part11 next week…
“Because we’re writers.”