Dear Diary (November 2013)

ddnovI kicked off November in style by attending a Billy Collins poetry reading at the Pantages Theatre.  My darling friend Elyse and I went to hear our beloved poet share his dry wit and perfect imagery and fascinating thoughts.  I asked the man beside me, “Have you seen Billy Collins before?”

“Oh, no,” he said.  “My wife and I are from Oregon, and we timed our visit to our son and daughter-in-law with Billy Collins’s visit here so we could see him.  Have you?”

“This will be my third time,” I admitted.  I didn’t mention that one of those times I actually met him and had him sign my copy of Questions about Angels.  It reminded me once again just how grateful I am to live in the literary community of Minneapolis!

Some of my favorite friends and I went to an improv comedy show for my lovely friend Ashley’s birthday.  The show was funny, but the best part was spending the entire evening with such amazing women.

I was invited to be part of a panel about sadness, anxiety, and depression at a local church.  It was good to be able to share about OCD, ERP, and the stigma against mental illness that is so prevalent in the church (the church in general, not that church specifically, ha!).

My college writing instructor and author Judith Hougen has partnered with Ann Sorenson, a local filmmaker/instructor, and Luke Aleckson, an artist/instructor to pioneer the Emerging Artists Collective, a group of young Christian artists who will gather for sharing and discussions about issues related to faith and the artistic life.  We had our pilot gathering this month, and it. was. wonderful.  I really loved it, and I’ll be sharing about this in more depth soon on my blog.

And then, of course, the book deal.  I am absolutely thrilled that Harper Collins made me a two-book offer!  It’s still a bit surreal; I need to pinch myself.  My dreams are coming true.  I have been writing since I was in 2nd grade, though I don’t think I put my goal to “publish a book” in writing until high school.  Joy.  Elation.  Disbelief.  Wonder.  All of these have been taking up residency in my chest.

November 2013 has been delicious.

I Got a Book Deal!

It’s true!

I have been bursting at the seams to announce this on my blog, but I didn’t think I should say anything until I signed the actual contract.  But I emailed my agent and my editor tonight and asked if I should wait, and Jill Davis, my [already beloved] editor responded, “No need.”

First, the short story.  Then, the long one.

Short story:

Two-book deal with Harper Collins.  Yes, two books.  That means they will publish Truest AND the next book I write!  Jill Davis is my amazing editor, and she loves my novel, loves my characters.  And I love her!

Long story:

Last week, Steven Chudney (my amazing, amazing literary agent) told me that Jill Davis with Harper Collins loved my story and would be presenting it to her boss.  My friends and family and I were all praying that her boss (Katherine Tegen) and everyone else involved would also want to jump aboard the Truest ship.  My friends who pray prayed, my friends who don’t pray aimed their positive energy toward NYC, and everyone kept their fingers crossed.  All weekend, I kept thinking, I hope that they can’t stop thinking about my story.

Monday, no news.

Tuesday, no news.

Tuesday night, I journalled about it a little bit, first that they must have decided against it, since we hadn’t heard anything in the first couple of days.  Then I thought, Well, actually, it’s only the middle of the week.  Maybe we’ll hear something tomorrow.

Wednesday, Steven emailed me and asked me to call him.

Since I work in a cubicle (goodbye, privacy!), I bundled up in my winter coat and went out on the veranda and made the call.

I was shocked and amazed and thrilled and overjoyed when Steven told me that they made a TWO-book offer!  I asked Steven what the next steps were, and he said, “I don’t know about you, but I’m buying myself a good dinner tonight!  I suggest you get some champagne and celebrate!”  LOL!  He’s so great!


Jill and I talked on the phone today.  She. is. AWESOME.  She loves my story and my characters and told me, “You’re a DREAM.”  I love her to pieces after just one 40-minute phone call.

So, when will Truest be published?  Probably not until 2015.  Sit tight and save your pennies!!!