So, here’s some news. Remember this manuscript I was telling you about, which I kept in a drawer for a year and only recently sent to my agent? Well, it went out on submission back in October. And…I didn’t end up getting a book deal.

I GOT A TWO-BOOK DEAL.

That’s right, folks. Candlewick Press, my alma mater, made an offer on the manuscript, a chapter book called The Infamous Ratsos, plus an offer for another book featuring the same characters. Here’s the official announcement.

I still can’t believe it’s real. I haven’t talked a lot about it, because it’s been too difficult (and honestly, humiliating) for me, but I’ve experienced a publishing dry spell over the past few years. Though I had numerous projects in the works and out on submission, nothing was selling. And then, during my pregnancy, the hormones took over my brain, which made it difficult to execute any new ideas I might have had — it’s as if I’d gone from being literally barren to creatively barren. All of this led me to question whether I should continue to attempt a career in writing at all. I’ve mentioned how easily I can succumb to fear and self-doubt when it comes to my work; these past few years have been particularly trying.

So this news that someone actually likes my work enough to want to put it out into the world (twice!) is not just cause for celebration — it’s validation and motivation. It makes me second-guess myself a little less. It makes getting up at 6am and generating those daily 1,000 words a little easier. It makes me feel hopeful again.

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