What was the process of getting Losing Faith published?
I’ve been writing seriously for about seven years. Although I have had no formal training, I have devoured books on writing craft and attended workshops and conferences since the day I became interested in stories.
I queried two other books unsuccessfully prior to the writing of Losing Faith. In November 2007 I made my first attempt at NaNoWriMo (writing a novel in a month) and had a first (really crappy) draft of Losing Faith in 21 days. I revised and revised and then revised some more, getting feedback from all of my many critique partners along the way.
I began querying in July, 2008 (paused querying to revise after getting some great feedback at a conference in October). I queried again in November and had offers of representations later that month. Even though I had a few different offers (which I’m still blown away by – it doesn’t seem like it could be real after enduring so much rejection!), that first offer is still saved on my answering machine. There’s nothing better than the first moment an industry professional validates all your blood, sweat, and tears.
My new agent, Michelle Humphrey, did a line edit for me over Christmas and we sent LOSING FAITH out on submission in mid-January. We had an offer by early March. The offering editor was from Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster, and she was one of the editors I had met with in the conference back in October. We had a phone conversation, with my agent listening in, so she could explain her vision for changes in the manuscript. When I agreed, she made an offer, and the rest is history!
I sold in March of 2009 and my book hit the shelves in September, 2010, so about a year and a half from sale to publication. It felt like forever at first, waiting for revision letters, cover art, back text copy. But then the last six months flew by. I’m still pinching myself that this is actually happening and my book is really out in the wild. Every time I walk into a bookstore and see it on the shelves, my heart stops for a few seconds.Thanks so much, Denise!