So I woke up this morning to the best news of my life – a full request from one of the best literary agents in the industry, someone who I never in my wildest dreams would imagine being granted the pleasure of sending my materials too. Yesterday was amazing too, as a wonderful new literary agent who worked as an acquiring editor for a major speculative publishing house also requested my manuscript. Sitting pretty, my manuscript is now with six agents – three at the top of their game and three stellar ones that are up and coming. To say I am over the moon is an understatement, and it is all thanks to the amazing feedback I got from two agents in particular who helped shape my Firebird retelling into the 80,000 word creation it is now – my finest work to date. Through Beth Phelan’s #DVPit contests to #PitchMadness, #PitMad, #SFFPit and other online contests, I have learned so much and met so many writing friends. In only the past two years – since 2015 to be precise at age 22 – I went from a naive writer that couldn’t write a query to save her life to one that has learned from the grace of mentors and lovely feedback from agents and friends how to craft a novel, sell it, and publish poetry and short stories in some of my favorite literary magazines, anthologies, and journals. I have grown so much from senior year of college, when I finished my first novel at the ripe age of 22, to now at 24 still growing ever stronger as a writer and chasing threads of dreams across the page. I have been rejected about a hundred times, with monster queries and stories that did not deserve to see the light of day. Now I have two novels that are polished that I love and am working on my dream projects, a Zora Neale Hurston inspired novel about Marie Laveau’s heir in Snake’s Hollow, Louisiana, and a punk space opera about a David Bowie cover band in space, complete with stoner aliens.
Just two months ago I was laid off and working on revisions, at a loss to where my life is going. Now I am getting straight As in graduate school, have my dream job saving lions, elephants, and rhinos with my writing, and a literary agent is just around the corner. My dreams have, for the most part, come true – I have found a spiritual family in my Heathen kindred and am now a gythia-in-training and learning to control my spiritual powers and work with my beloved kindred members on environmental service projects and rituals that make me a better person, my best friends are all so successful, from having gotten into Cornell’s Ecology Doctorate Program to U Michigan’s Corporate Psychology Doctorate program, from Georgetown Law School to Columbia Law School, raises around the board, jobs in Penguin Random House, and many with stellar novels that will hit shelves someday soon to much fanfare. I am blessed with a family that has supported me through the low points of bipolar disorder and struggles with psychosis, mania, anxiety, OCD, panic disorder, depression, and suicide.
Life handed me a tarnished spoon when I was born in terms of mental health, but I was also blessed with a silver tongue and gods and spirits that have helped me through the highs and lows of my life. Same goes for my friends and family, scattered across the US and the world, and without everyone’s support – including you, lovely readers, I would be half the woman I am today.
So here’s to future successes and failures, and whatever may come. I’m excited for the ride.