Today when I logged onto Facebook, I was shown a picture of me and my best friend Rach celebrating the sale of my first book, and told that it had been six years since that day. Six years. I’m finding it difficult to believe it’s been six years.
I actually went back through my old journals and discovered that the actual date I found out that Simon Pulse was publishing my first book was 2/27/2009. So Facebook screwed up the dates a little. Still, it’s been six years since I sold The Deathday Letter and in June it will be five years since its release.
If you were to go back in time and ask 2009 me what he was going to be doing six years from now, I don’t think he could have predicted the journey he was going to be taking. Back then, I thought I was hot shit. That every single thing I was going to write would be gold. I thought I’d be quitting my job and selling a ton of books and that my lifelong dream had finally come true.
Reality, he bites.
Though, that’s not to say that where I’ve ended up is bad. In fact, even though reality taught me some difficult and important lessons, I’m in a far better place than I could have ever imagined. Let’s go over what the last six years has brought me:
• I published The Deathday Letter.
• The first agency I signed with closed, and I followed my agent to a new agency.
• I wrote multiple books (and parts of more books) which were rejected at various stages.
• The Deathday Letter was sold for translation in Germany.
• Simon Pulse bought FML on spec.
• I struggled writing FML.
• I left my first agent over creative differences (though he’s still an awesome guy and I can’t ever thank him enough for giving me a chance).
• My FML editor left Simon Pulse.
• My new editor (who was actually my first editor) pushed back my publication date for FML so that I could rewrite it from the ground up.
• I began searching for a new agent, querying with The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.
• I signed with my new agent (who is WONDERFUL!)
• I had a short story published in the GRIMM anthology.
• We sold The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley to Simon Pulse.
• FML was released to the world.
• I sold Violent Ends (an anthology about a school shooting) to Simon Pulse.
• The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley was sold for translation rights to Brazil.
• I sold WE ARE THE ANTS and another story to Simon Pulse for publication in 2016 and 2017.
• The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley was released to the world.
• My day job laid me off, and I made the (scary) decision to write full time and freelance.
Honestly, these last six years have been some of the best and most difficult of my life. There were times when I wanted to quit writing completely. Times when I thought my career was over.
I can’t wait to see what the next six years will bring. In September, Violent Ends will come out. Then in January, WE ARE THE ANTS. In September, I’ll also be going to Europe for 2 months to research and travel. When I return, I may end up having to get another day job. I’m working on two different books—one of which will likely be the 2017 release…though I’m not sure which one—and preparing to write an adult book. I’ve got ambitions to write a graphic novel. I’d love to take a stab at writing a fantasy novel (since I grew up reading them). But who knows what’s going to happen.
Six years. Damn. Thank you all for riding this crazy train with me. I couldn’t do it without you.