Monday, June 25, 2012

What I'm Working On

It's been a REALLY long time since I wrote about my current book projects or what I'm working on/researching/revising at the moment. Like, a LONG time. And maybe you don't really care!:-)

And then again, maybe you're curious. I personally like reading blogs where the writer *leaks* a few juicy tidbits of their current WIPs or manuscripts they're working on with their editor or crit groups, and how they work, etc. Actually, any real juicy stuff will have to come in a later blog post because this one ended up super long.  The past year has been one of the craziest of my writing life so far so I thought it would be an interesting exercise to do a quick timeline of projects and see how much I actually accomplished.

Here's my last year, approximately 18 months since January 2011- in shorthand: 

1. During the time I was revising CIRCLE OF SECRETS with my editor at Scholastic and doing copy edits and all that fun, painstaking stuff, I wrote a synopsis and First Chapters of a new MG idea during the spring of 2011 (February/March) which then sold a few weeks later to my editor. That's the book, WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME. 

2. Once more, I revised the first book of my YA trilogy (the title keeps changing so it will remain *unnamed* at the moment) during the summer of 2011. (This book has been about 8 years in the making with research and rewriting the manuscript so many times that I've lost count. I really have.)

3. Write Synopses for Books 2 & 3 in the trilogy.

4. Begin drafting BUTTERFLY over the Summer of 2011 too.

5. Trilogy goes on submission last week of September, 2011.

6. Launched CIRCLE OF SECRETS with book events and charm bracelets and castle cakes and a book trailer and bookmarks and postcards to hundreds of schools. (Scholastic, October 1, 2011)

7. Sold my YA trilogy to Harpercollins (October 15, 2011 - wild month!)

8. Finish drafting and revising - turn in the full manuscript of WHEN THE BUTTERFLIES CAME to my editor December 7, 2011.

9. Editorial letter for BUTTERFLY arrives in January (well, actually right before Christmas, but I have no time to look at it.)

10. Editorial revisions during January, February and March of 2012. 

11. Revisions for an ancient Egyptian thriller for middle-grade readers. (I researched and wrote it originally about 3 years ago.) Did a major overhaul during February, March, April of 2012

12. Attend the Tucson Book Festival in March 2012 and present two workshops and have two signings.

13. Turn in the Egyptian thriller to Scholastic in April, 2012

14. 3x5 Card Plotting/Outline for Book 2 & 3 of the YA trilogy, April 2012

15. Egyptian Thriller rejected May 2012. Looking at career trajectory, but maybe it will fit somewhere else at some other time . . . still thinking.

16. Begin brainstorming for new MG ideas.

17. Attend International Reading Association in Chicago as a Presenter.

18. Attend LDStorymakers conference in May 2012

19. Copy edits for BUTTERFLY in May, 2012

20. Begin drafting synopses for two new MG ideas; one a magical realism contemporary story and the other an historical set in 1926. (Yes, my Scholastic editor wants to see both proposals.)

21. First Pass Pages for BUTTERFLY in June 2012

22. Finish drafting and revising two proposals for Scholastic in June 2012

23. Make plans and book and ticket my trip to the Middle East for Fall 2012

24. Turn in two MG Proposals June 20, 2012 - well, my, my, that's today!

25. Receive Editorial Letter from Harpercollins later in June. 


 26. Begin Drafting Book 2 & 3 of the YA trilogy. My Goal is to finish before October 27th - because that's when I leave the country for 3 weeks and then it's Thanksgiving and the holidays. (This is where I'll be jaunting off to the Middle East where I will get to see Petra in person, ride camels, and stay with a Bedouin family as well as see the Holy Land and Cairo/Pyramids and Luxor and Queen Hatsheput's Temple -. (SO very excited!!!)) But I digress . . .

27. I also want to draft the new MG project, too, (whichever proposal gets accepted that I turned in today) and turn that manuscript in to Scholastic by December 2012 so I'll be on target for a Spring 2014 book. That's how much ahead we have to work.

28. Editorial Revisions this summer, too, for the first YA with my new Harpercollins editor - very thrilled to work with her! She keeps telling me that she's "over the moon" about my book. Wow. And Gulp!

So . . . if you're not lost yet . . . I will have drafted 4 new books, revised those plus 2 others, launched a new book and turned in several new proposals within a 20 month span. 

I also won the Whitney Award May 2011, visited various schools locally and around the country, did several Skype visits (a new thing for me!) was a contributing member of FROM THE MIXED-UP FILES OF MIDDLE GRADE AUTHORS and co-wrote SPELLBINDERS: A Newsletter for Teachers and Librarians on a weekly basis.

After twenty years working toward becoming a Published Author (selling dozens of short stories as well as three books a decade ago that were all orphaned, changing agents, writing my derriere off, studying my craft, getting a new agent, I'm finally back on track again. 

Beginning in 2013 I will have a MG title published each Spring and a YA title launching each Fall - and writing two new books each year so they can be launched in 2014, 2015, etc. What a whirlwind of a ride! Big Highs and Major Lows. But I survived. I didn't give up. I became a better writer. I get to work with amazingly wonderful and generous and talented people and maybe now . . . now . . . I can begin to call myself a Career Writer.

The Career Writer by Donald Maass is one of my favorite writing books and one I reread frequently for advice and hope and information. (The link takes you to a listing of all of Maass' books - ALL of which are simply brilliant. If you want a career in writing, you simply must read his books.)

Happy Wednesday! And now fingers are crossed and my stomach is nervous as I wait to see which proposal my editor likes. 



storyqueen said...

Wow! That's one whirlwind of a time span!

Congratulations on your success. It really sounds, though, as you work really hard for it. And I think that is the lesson. If you want something very badly (like being a Career Writer) you have to be willing to work incredibly hard to get there and to stay there.

Well done!


Caroline Starr Rose said...

You submitted? Hooray!

What's the difference between The Career Writer and Breakout Novel? Is it worth having both?

Christina said...

I love reading about the Rock Star life! :-)
Really though, what really impresses me is the amount of work you have to put in before you can see a glimmer of success. (It reminds me I have a lot more work to do.)
You ARE awesome! Oh, and have a great time on your trip - hugely green with envy over here.

Barbara O'Connor said...

Wow! Just call me "slacker."

You are amazing.

SA Larsenッ said...

Holy WOW! You have accomplished a ton. Congrats on the award, too!

Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm exhausted just reading that, Kimberley. I'm going to have to go take a nap. I think you've got Kevin J. Anderson's popcorn theory working very well in your life.


Someday . . .

Carolee Dean said...

It's making me dizzy just reading this list of accomplishments!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Holy bazooka you've been busy. Congrats on getting so much done in so little time! And oh my word, you're headed to the Middle East? Amazing. Just wonderful! Looking forward to seeing how everything goes for you for the rest of 2012!

Theresa Milstein said...

Wow, I knew you were busy while you were in the midst of some of it, but to see it all listed here + what you still plan to do... Wow!

I'm excited you're back on track. You're truly an inspiration for how hard you've worked and persevered.

Sorry about your middle grade. I hope it finds a home.

I like that you have a mix of old and new projects. You seem well organized.

What a wonderful trip you have planned!

Debra Erfert said...

Yes, very inspiring. Thank you. I needed to see that this "full-time writer" or Career Writer can actually be done and actually pay more than shoe allowance. I mean, I consider what I do a career already. I "retired" from being the "stay-at-home-mom" when both of my sons finally got married. Now it's my turn.

Congratulations on the Whitney Award last year. I attended the conference, but not the banquet. This next year I hope to have a book nominated (since I will have one published before the end of the year. (Shout out to Walnut Springs Press!!)).

Elana Johnson said...

Yes, this. This is the post every writer needs to read if they want to become a career writer.

Congrats, Kimberley!



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