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A Big Deal

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on January 19, 2012 in Books, Elixir Bound, Family, Writing |

Some months ago I posted that an opportunity had come up, a big one, one that I was very excited about. Back in October I was on maternity leave from my job at the puzzle factory and had just gotten back into subbing agents with my YA fantasy Elixir Bound.

This was the first full novel I had ever written. Back when I first thought I had “finished” this manuscript, I started sending it out to a few publishing houses, mostly to editors I had met at conferences or ones I had been following online. I got a few bites (and waited a very, very, very long time to get a heartbreaking rejection from an editor I would have loved, loved, loved to work with), but nothing came of them. I put the manuscript away and worked on a new project.

Time passed and I started thinking about that YA fantasy again. It just so happens that this manuscript was very close to my heart, originally written as a way to mourn the death of my sister. Then it became more than that and I was hooked on writing. I attended a seminar with an agent who offered a ten-page critique. She like the pages, offered some very good advice on revisions, and wanted to see the whole thing after I worked on it. She was very kind and praised my writing, but ultimately passed on offering me representation.

Another close call. The manuscript was better than ever. I was ready to start submitting hardcore. But not to editors. The world of kidlit publishing had changed since my first round of subbing and most editors wouldn’t even look at unagented material and even when they did, it took forever to hear from back, if you ever did hear back.

I said to myself, “No more submitting to editors. I am only going to query agents. That’s the route I want to take to publication.” So I did a ton of research to find the right agents. I wrote, rewrote, and rewrote my query letter. I had other writers critique my letter and rewrote some more. Finally I started subbing. Again, there was some interest, but no offers.

Then I gave birth to The Boy. And that brings us back to maternity leave and subbing to agents…only agents. Somehow, though, I ended up on the Muse It Up Publishing website. I did some research, heard some good things about this Canadian e-book publisher. They had a buzz about them. I broke my rule and sent in Elixir Bound.

A few weeks passed and I got an e-mail from Lea Schizas, the founder of Muse It Up. She wanted to publish Elixir Bound! A myriad of emotions overwhelmed me. I was excited, shocked, nervous. I still had no agent, but one offered to take a look at the contract for me. She said, “Go for it!” And I did.

You’ll be able to buy your very own copy of Elixir Bound for your Nook, Kindle, PC, or any other e-reader device in August…of this year! I first conceived of a there-and-back-again tale of two sisters nearly ten years ago. It took a very long time to get to this point of publication, and now it’s moving very fast.

My son will grow up most of his life knowing his mommy is a published novelist. My sister will live on in the pages of a story, my story, our story.

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10 Comments

  • Kelly Hashway says:

    Katie, I'm so happy for you! That's great news! Congrats, girl. I can't wait to hear all about it at the Pocono Retreat and to get my copy in August! 🙂

  • inluvwithwords says:

    Huge congratulations to you. Sounds like a project that is dear to your heart. So glad you will finally be able to share it with the world.

  • Jaye Robin Brown says:

    So fulfilling for you on so many levels. Many congatulations.

  • Mirka Breen says:

    It is a BIG DEAL. Can you see me dancing and blowing bubble over here?

  • Katie L. Carroll (KT) says:

    Kelly, we'll definitely have to swap stories at the Poconos.

    inluvwithwords, I'm so looking foward to sharing a little bit of my sister with the world.

    Jaye Robin Brown, thanks so much for your kind words.

    And Mirka, I see you! I'm dancing over here too!

  • Kelly Polark says:

    You are having a great January! Congrats, KT!!

  • Wild About Words says:

    Katie, that was a beautiful post. What a great way to honor your sister. Your son will be very proud of his published author mommy. Congratulations!!!

  • Deborah Halverson says:

    Congratulations, Katie.

  • Katie L. Carroll (KT) says:

    Congrats to you too, Kelly, on the MeeGenius PB!

    Thanks, Wild About Words. I've been telling the little guy stories about his Auntie Kylene. I hope one day he'll want to read her story.

    Thanks for dropping by Deborah!

  • Catherine A. Winn says:

    Congratulations! I know exactly how you feel. Traditional pubs seem to be closed to all of us and agents are getting harder and harder to entice. I almost gave up and then Wings accepted one of mine. I think e-books are this century's turn-of-the-century pulp fiction liket the early 1900's where famous writers got their start. This is just the beginning for you 🙂

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