Hey there! It’s been a hot second since I’ve written a blog. I just thought I’d write up a quick update about where I’m at with my DEBUT NOVEL. I swear, I still don’t think it’s quite sunk in that it’s actually happening. You know how you chase something for so long that when you actually have it, you sit there waiting for someone to snatch it from you instead of just enjoying it? I dunno, something like that.
Anyway, I guess we’ll start with a little backstory. I technically wrote the first version of Cuts & Bruises when I was 15 or so. It was a very different story then. It was incredibly therapeutic to write as I dealt with my own mental health issues. It gave me an outlet for how I was feeling. I had every intention of getting it published as well, but it didn’t happen, obviously. I ended up putting it aside, believing it was no good.
I didn’t think I’d ever return to Samantha and Michael. I was focused on a vampire story instead! Then, one day when I was in the cinema, watching “The Fault in Our Stars”, there was that little spark. I wondered, what if these kids had mental health problems instead of cancer? Then I remembered I had already written that. And in that moment, Sam and Michael came flooding back to me and I knew everything that needed to be changed, I saw the whole story reborn, and I knew for certain that I needed to write it.
It took a while longer to actually get around to writing it though. I wrote the first draft during Camp NaNoWriMo July 2018, I think. I hit the 50k mark in the month but kept going through August past 80k, I was stunned with how easily it flew out of me then. From there, I let it rest for a while before I started editing.
I forget when, but sometime later, I joined this event called “Pitchapolooza” which NaNoWriMo hosted with this couple known as the “Book Doctors”. Essentially, it was an event wherein they would read and critique some pitches for novels. So, I submitted mine and it was the most nerve-wracking thing ever. They read it live on a YouTube stream and it was so heartwarming to see how the pitch alone moved them both nearly to tears. It really put a boost in my step.
When I felt the novel was finally ready, I started sending it out anywhere I could. I chose to aim it at publishers directly instead of an agent, just to see if I could. I didn’t get responses from everyone but some of the rejections I received were actually very nice and offered encouragement. It gave me the belief to know that this story really was worth it.
Lo and behold, I eventually found someone willing to help me send “Cuts & Bruises” out into the world. It was unbelievable. I signed with them earlier this year. A few months after that, I received my first proof edit and went through it, accepting changes (and not). The next phase is to start getting the book cover sorted! That’s just so very exciting. They’ve asked me to submit some ideas; messages and tones that I would like purveyed through the cover. It feels like a very collaborative effort, which is great.
So, that’s where it is right now. I should be receiving more proofs of the novel soon, as well.
In the meantime, I have lots of plans to make and work to do to try and get my name out there, however I can. Not to mention, embarking on a new project as well.
It’s been a very long time in the making, but we are finally getting there.
I’ll keep you all updated as much as I can.
I really appreciate the support. If you aren’t already, don’t forget to follow me on social media to stay even more up to date!
Congrats on this, Kelly! It really is an amazing feeling to have your novel pending publication. I can totally relate to your excitement right now. Will be keeping an eye out for 2022!
Thanks so much! 😀