Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My First Book Deal: FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP!

Hi, everyone!

Thanks so much in advance for caring enough to read this. :)

Admittedly, this a post I've always dreamed of writing, but sometimes doubted would ever happen. Writing books is tremendous fun, it's true, but also a ton of work, and the amount of perseverance required to go from finishing a first draft to landing a book deal is staggering. If you're anywhere in the process right now, I'm sure you know that if you want to be published, the most important thing is to never, never, never give up! And to lean on your CPs when you need them. And to accept the guidance of your agent, and your author friends who've been where you are now. Oh--and did I mention the never giving up? You have to keep writing to have books for publishing!

But this is a celebration post, so now it's time for baby animals and happy dancing!!!

Ninita is pretty much the cutest baby in existence!

Even Voldie's excited!

Now, I'm not going to take you through the entire back story of how I landed my agent--that's here, if you have an interest--but I'll remind you that I signed with the dedicated and extremely hard-working Christa Heschke at M&O back in July of 2013!

The summer I became agented, I was about halfway through writing a book called FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP. That's always been the title, you see. It popped into my head one day, and I've never let it go! The idea for the story actually came to me when I saw this little guy in a news article online:


A goblin shark! What nice teeth he has.

This strange creature had been spotted by fishermen, if I recall correctly. Very few have ever been seen, or documented. And it got me thinking: people spend so much time focused on what's happening to them and around them. Or, when they aren't doing that, they're looking up--between deep space exploration and possible colonization on Mars so near, the universe is fascinating! But what about Below? What about the deep, inky darkness of the oceans' trenches? We know so little about what's down there, and don't spend much time wondering about it or exploring it. What secrets might be hiding at the bottom of the ocean?

And so, the story kernel for FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP was born! Long story short, after I finished drafting the book, I revised it with Christa until we were both satisfied, and then it was time to go ON SUB! (Oh, and I should probably mention that this wasn't the book I was signed on. But after a lot of careful thought, Christa and I agreed it would make a strong debut).

Naively, I thought (despite reading countless blog posts to the contrary) that submission wouldn't be stressful. Oh, how wrong I was! And of course, submission is the thing we're Not Supposed to Talk About. So even when I was wallowing in self-doubt and having a hard time (or a great time! Because there were so many valuable learning experiences), I couldn't talk about what I was going through. The best way to put it is, being on sub often felt like this:

What? I just really like Harry Potter, okay? ;)
Still, it all worked out in the end, because my fantastic agent, Christa, never gave up on the book! Not once. She encouraged me all the way. And so did my husband Chris, who has a never-ending supply of patience, and who started me on the path to a writing career by turning to me one day and saying "You know what? I know you're unhappy at your job. Quit and write a book. I believe in you. Whatever it takes, we'll make your dream happen." Thanks for your constant and unwavering support, babe. <3

So in November, when I got THE CALL (that's the "WE HAVE AN OFFER!" Call) from Christa, I was attending an event called FaerieCon in Baltimore, MD. It's where people dress up in the most fabulous costumes, and come together to celebrate fantasy art, music, and writing! It's one of the only places I know where running around in fairy makeup and wings won't get you crazy stares. And where I got to meet the one and only Tamora Pierce!

Moi, at FaerieCon

The one and only Tamora Pierce!
So now, if you will, please picture me running through hordes of fairies, elves, trolls, Green Men, and a few orcs as I hurried to find a quiet place to call Christa back! Watching the fae folk gather in the lobby of a hotel, I heard the good news: someone wanted to buy my debut! FEAR, the book I'd dedicated an important chunk of my life to!

That's right, friends! Kristin Kulsavage of Sky Pony Press has acquired FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP for publication in the spring of 2016!!!


Here's a screenshot of the announcement:


In case you can't read that tiny little snippet, it says:

"Sarah Glenn Marsh's DEAR THE DROWNING DEEP, a historical fantasy about a 17-year-old girl who knows there's something sinister in the waters around her Isle of Man home; together with the mysterious boy who washes ashore, she must face the danger before the ocean claims everyone she loves, to Kristin Kulsavage at Sky Pony Press, in a nice deal, for publication in Spring 2016, by Christa Heschke at McIntosh & Otis."

A huge thanks goes to everyone who's been with me from the start of this roller-coaster journey (like my parents, who've always made sure I had plenty to read!), and everyone I've met along the way so far--all the wonderful people who've never let me stop chasing this dream-come-true. There are too many of you to name, but reach out to me soon so we can celebrate together; I owe you a big hug! And thank YOU, all you book-reading types, if the idea of buying a book called FEAR THE DROWNING DEEP ever crosses your mind!

Hopefully more good news to come soon. :)