There’s a drawer I never open. It holds a picture I never look at. It reminds me of a day I hate to remember, but I’ll never forget.
I’d give anything to be like the other girls on campus. Going to parties, flirting with boys, planning for a future. But that’s not me. And hasn’t been since the day my parents died. The only thing that got me through was Griffin. Even though I didn’t have my family, I always had him. Only, now I’m not so sure I do.
It’s not just the eleven hundred miles separating us now that I’m at college. And it’s more than his band finally taking off, and all the gigs and girls suddenly demanding his time. It’s like everything is different—the way we talk, the way we text . . . the way he looks at me and the way his looks make me feel.
Griffin has been the only good thing in my life since that horrific day. I can feel our friendship slipping away—and I’m terrified of what will be left in its place…
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From a Contest to a Publishing Contract: Marie Meyer’s Publication Journey
Hello, Everyone! I’m honored to share my publication journey with the Bookish Treasures readers! Thank you for the invitation, Laura! I’m Marie Meyer. I write new adult romances. My debut NA contemporary romance, ACROSS THE DISTANCE, came out on May 5, 2015! It’s been fantastic getting to know so many awesome readers, bloggers, and reviewers. A huge thank you to everyone who has read and reviewed AtD. I’m humbled by everyone’s love and support! And if you just couldn’t get enough of Griffin in AtD, August 4th is your lucky day! Griffin gets to tell his side of the story in CAN’T GO BACK! I’m so excited to share Griffin with everyone! I love him dearly and I hope you do too!
So, I’m sure you’re all wondering how an elementary school teacher (that’s right, I’m a teacher by day) got her foot through the publication door. Well, let me tell you…
My publishing journey began back in the fall of 2008, when I co-authored my first novel, a YA paranormal romance. After sending out at least 100 query letters to agents over the course of three years, my co-author and I kept getting the same responses: there were too many paranormal romances on agents lists at the time. With the saturation of PNR, we cut our losses and shoved the YA into a drawer.
But, I wasn’t ready to give up on writing just yet. After reading Tamara Weber’s Easy, I was hooked on new adult! This was the genre I wanted to write! I loved the age (18-25), the decisions and situations characters were faced with, all of it!
In January of 2013, I sat down and began my first draft of what would become ACROSS THE DISTANCE. Four months later, I finished AtD and started polishing and revising.
And polishing and revising. And polishing and revising.
And polishing and revising…
You see a pattern, I’m sure! ;)
When I looked up from the computer screen, it was November. ACROSS THE DISTANCE was as shiny as I could make it (but not nearly as shiny as it would become). That’s when I came across a tweet from Brenda Drake, announcing her upcoming Pitch Wars contest. I went back and forth, weighing the pros and cons of entering and not entering. Was it AtD ready? Was I ready? Could I handle more rejection?
The answer to every one of those questions was, YES! If I was serious about becoming an author, then I needed to be brave and put myself out there. The only way AtD was ever going to catch the interest of an agent was either by diving into the query trenches or toss it into a contest. Throwing caution to the wind, I entered AtD into Pitch Wars, not expecting much.
But, come early December, when Pitch Wars mentors announced their teams, to my astonishment, Lady Lioness (mentor extraordinaire) had chosen my entry!
Over the course of the next two months, under Lioness’s kick-butt editorial guidance, I ripped my manuscript to shreds (literally cutting out a major character and piecing my manuscript back together). I hoped and prayed my hard work would result in some agent love during the Pitch Wars agent round.
During the agent round, the agents who participate in Pitch Wars, hop from blog to blog reading the pitches and opening paragraphs of the Pitch Wars contestants’ manuscripts. If an agent likes what he or she reads, they comment on the blog post with instructions to send the manuscript along with a query letter.
At the end of the agent round, I had two agents comment on my entry! Not only was I still blown away that ACROSS THE DISTANCE had been selected by a mentor, but now it was getting some attention from agents! I couldn’t believe it!
I sent both agents the completed AtD manuscript and a query letter, as they’d asked for (always follow an agent’s submission guidelines!!!).
In the subsequent weeks, as I waited to hear back from the Pitch Wars agents, I sent out eleven more queries to other agents. Then, a month later, on Valentine’s Day, I received an email from Louise Fury, at the Bent Agency, wanting to set up a time to speak on the phone! I was ecstatic!! A few days later, I had the pleasure of speaking to Ms. Fury on the phone, which then lead to an offer of representation!
Once I signed with Louise, she championed AtD, sending it out on submission to publishing houses. Eventually AtD found a home with Grand Central Publishing! Not only did Grand Central love AtD, they also wanted its companion novel, CAN’T GO BACK (August 2015), and THE TURNING POINT, the contemporary new adult romance I’m currently working on (releasing in November). At the end of 2015, I will have published three novels! Unreal!
Writing takes patience. I’m just beginning my publishing journey with the recent release of ACROSS THE DISTANCE. But, I’ve been working toward this goal for six years. Every rejection letter, every rewrite, every revision spurs me on, and makes me want to do better. Writing takes hard work and dedication and in order to get better, a writer must write.
If you have ever dreamed of writing a story you want to share with others, don’t give up! One day, your story will be in the hands of readers! Oh, and participate in contests! If I hadn’t done Pitch Wars, I don’t know where I would be today.
Pitch Wars 2015 is right around the corner! If you would like to know more about Pitch Wars 2015, the link with the contest schedule is below. If you have a finished, polished manuscript, the submission day for Pitch Wars 2015 is August 17th. Give it a try! What do you have to lose? J
Again, thank you, Laura, for giving me the opportunity to share my story with your readers!
Keep writing and enter contests!
Marie Meyer was a language arts teacher for fourteen years. She spends her days in the classroom and her nights writing heartfelt new adult romances that will leave readers clamoring for more. She is a member of RWA and the St. Louis Writers Guild. Marie's short fiction won honorable mentions from the St. Louis Writers Guild in 2010 and 2011. She is a proud mommy and enjoys helping her oldest daughter train for the Special Olympics, making up silly stories with her youngest daughter, and binging on weeks of DVR'd television shows with her husband.
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