A Little Stubborn Can Go A Long Way
by Jeanne Arnold
Call me crazy, but I loved everything about high school and being a teenager. I hung out with a great group of friends so I have lots of stories to inspire my writing. I married my high school sweetheart and when I sat down to record our story a few winters ago; the factual account of how we met morphed into a full length paranormal novel about a mystical underground world. I was bitten by a writing bug and penned a sequel. And since that day, I haven’t stopped writing.
In the beginning, publishing seemed complicated and confusing. I found out that I couldn’t submit manuscripts to all publishers on my own. Many editors won’t read unsolicited submissions from writers and only read subs from reputable literary agents. I didn’t want to handle contract negotiations if I did receive an offer. And I didn’t want to deal with multiple rejections from editors.
After I completed my first novel, I set out to find a literary agent to represent my work to the book gods. I became proficient at writing the query letter and sent out samples and pitches to agents. During my first year writing I completed one middle grade novel, four young adult novels, and accepted an offer for literary representation from Sharon Belcastro and Ella Marie Shupe at Belcastro Agency. My debut young adult novel STUBBORN will be released in January 2014. It feels like a lifetime away. But in the publishing world it’s about as long as a coffee break.
For me, there are two sides to writing. There is the actual writing process…and there is everything else. Everything else consists of research, agent searches, query writing, waiting, correspondence, submissions, waiting, rejections, waiting, offers, revisions, editing, waiting, and decisions. Did I mention waiting? Publishing requires a fine balance between persistence and patience.
Navigating the publication process is like living in publishing purgatory. The publishing contract is signed, but the book isn’t released. In the meantime, the cast of characters in my life has grown from family and friends to agents, publishers, editors, mentors, fellow authors, new and experienced, published and unpublished. And let’s not forget my fictional characters. Sometimes they get rowdy in my head and fight for my attention.
While hanging out in purgatory awaiting my first round edits for STUBBORN, I have joined SCBWI and continue to write, edit and polish manuscripts. I’m currently penning my sequel to STUBBORN. The characters are fresh in my mind and their stories haven’t ended. If my fourteen year old self read STUBBORN, she’d want to know what happened after The End. I’m channeling my inner-teen and giving her a follow-up novel she’ll love. I have two new paranormal YA titles that I aspire to sell before anything else, and I’m brewing a contemporary YA that I’ll start later this summer. My plate is so full it might crack, but I love it this way.
Seventeen year old Avery Ross is unwittingly tossed out of the frying pan and into the fire when she’s sent from New York to the vast nowhere land of western North Dakota, with a train ticket, a bad attitude, and an unfortunate scribbling of obscenities across her forehead. When a green-eyed boy with a sultry Texan accent comes to her defense against a train passenger, she has no clue that their chance encounter will lead her into a stormy summer, full of temptation and loss where she ends up imparting sweet revenge on her parents and winning the boy of her dreams.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeanne Arnold grew up in small town Central New York, swimming in the Finger Lakes, scavenging the hills for arrowheads and cheering on the Orangemen. She found her creative outlet in art and declared to everyone that she was going to be a children’s book illustrator in the first grade. By junior high, she was painting and drawing everything and anything. She illustrated through college and earned an art studio degree with a focus in education, but never became a teacher. And it never occurred to her to write a book until much later in my life.
Jeanne writes predominantly middle grade and young adult fiction. Her debut young adult novel STUBBORN will be released by Champagne Books in January 2014. You can learn more at jeannearnoldbooks.com.
Thank you to Jeanne for stopping by the blog today! Readers, has a stubborn streak ever rewarded you? Tell us!