In spring of 2013, I was looking for constructive peer reviews and decided the best place to start was Book Country, Penguin’s writing community. I had only heard good things when it came to reader feedback. I posted my New Adult Romance TRYST to workshop on Book Country. TRYST is a sexy story about the forbidden romance that grows between main characters Skyler and Blake (check out the teaser I created for it below!).
Long story short, TRYST got the attention of a staff member on the site, which eventually led to an editor expressing interest in the story.
Enter girly scream here.
It started with, “Hey, I like your story” (Thanks, Nevena, for all your feedback!), which delighted me to no-end, and that eventually led to, “Oh hey again, your book TRYST has been selected as an Editor’s Pick!” That got me even giddier. This led to, “Would you at all be interested in being part of a Member Spotlight on our blog highlighting the New Adult genre?” The answer to this is rhetorical and I immediately agreed, stoked that I was even getting any attention at all on the site. This is where things get a bit crazy. The next question dropping in my inbox is, “Hi Alex, your book TRYST has caught the eye of an editor at Penguin, do you mind if I pass your info onto her?” *faints* It was one of those messages that you think you made up, or blame on the copious amounts of coffee you devoured that morning, and attribute the vision to caffeinated hallucinations.
Next thing I know I am getting an email from Kristine at Berkley with some questions regarding my publishing plans for TRYST. She recommended some tips for approaching my manuscript and asked me to resubmit the first 20 chapters. After reworking the chapters with her suggestions, I managed to get this bit back to her in record time. I sent it and waited . . . and waited.
There is something I learned incredibly quickly once I pressed that send button. Traditional publishing is a slow process, not because it wants to be, but because it has to be. I’d like to take a moment to say thank you to Nevena, Kristine, and Lucy for responding to my e-mails and keeping tabs on me during the months that ensued … yes, months. I consider myself super lucky that I had outlets to ask questions. Also, I was even pleased to get a surprise e-mail that read, “Hi Alex, we are working on it. Thanks for being so patient.” Yeah, no problem. They didn’t need to know I was chomping at the bit to hear any sort of news, but even these e-mails were a godsend to my nerves.
Fast forward to June 9th, 2014 (I will never forget this date). I got an e-mail from Kristine that she wanted to give me call. *cue cartwheels* I of course agreed.
I sat there waiting patiently for the call, and all I kept thinking was “Just be cool. Can you be cool? But you’re not cool. Well, pretend to be cool.” Yes, I have entire conversations between me, myself and I. The next thing I know a New York number flashes on the screen of my California-based smartphone. Be cool!
I figure Kristine must bring people to tears with the type of news she was about to give me. She had some preliminary questions and then … offered me a book deal on my novel TRYST! *cue fireworks* I almost told her to “SH-UT UP!” in Valley Girl-esque way that only a homegrown Californian could do, but she might have hung up on me at that point. Kristine offered me a place on Penguin’s digital imprint, InterMix! (Of course I accepted).
At my celebration dinner, my dad pointed to me from across the table and said, “Your life is about to change,” and all I thought was, “Oh God, I hope so.”
InterMix’s acquisition of TRYST was announced yesterday on Publishers Weekly Connect with Alex on Book Country, visit her website, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram & Goodreads.