A promising development.

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.


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.

27 thoughts on “A promising development.

  1. Wow cousin! Congratulations!! This is awesome news which we must celebrate at Christmas. Looks like it is another awesome year for you! So proud. (And I understand what you mean about being barren and plagued with self doubt…it is the story of my academic life. 🙂 xxoo

    • Thanks, GoMo! And don’t sell yourself short — given what I’ve seen of/heard about your students on your FB feed, you seem to be a well-loved (and well-nicknamed) professor. Looking forward to toasting with you in a few weeks! xo

  2. Again, many congratulations! I very much understand what you mean about the validation and motivation playing such big roles in your celebration because this can be such lonely, self-doubting work. I’m glad you got this thumbs-up from the universe. 🙂

  3. Coming back from two weeks off line to see this wonderful, wonderful news. It’s unfathomable to me that you could have an iota of self-doubt with your talents—but it’s just so easy to go there, isn’t it. This gives me a little push, too, somehow. Cannot wait to read these one day.

  4. This looks like a great series Kara, I’m looking forward to reading it! It sounds like, from this post, you had to go through what so many other writers have had to (self-doubt, dry spells, etc.) and more. That probably just means you’re doing something right. Congrats!

  5. Just catching up on your blog. Thanks so much for sharing these words of encouragement to those of us who can so relate to all the self-doubting and humbling aspects of writing. My middle daughter was born on Dec. 13 thirty years ago – thank you for posting on that date, which I have always considered a lucky day!

  6. I was so thrilled for you when I saw that acquisition in the fall at CP ~ congratulations!! I am just ‘coming late to your party’ on your blog news etc ~ left the ‘Wick last fall to move to Ohio and now am US agent for Bright : ) Anyway, I do love the voice in your Ratsos writing, Kara. Do you know who is illustrating it yet? Yay to perseverance!

    • Thanks, Anne — and hey, great to hear from you! Sorry to hear you’ve left CWP, but very happy to hear you’re starting a new chapter of your life in Ohio.

      What’s your email address? I’ll give you a Ratsos update! 🙂

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