I Have A Publishing Contract: Week 1

You may have noticed that last week, I made a little announcement. Okay, not a little announcement. A FREAKIN’ BIG ANNOUNCEMENT. The Order of the Key, my literary BABY, has been contracted for publication. The below is a stream of consciousness whackadoo commentary of my first week post-announcement. Hey, I promised you all I’d chronicle my writing journey. So…here goes.

Note: I’m neurotic.

Day 1: I made my announcement. Everyone was super excited for me, and I am too!  I have grabbed the elusive brass ring. I spent my day on the phone and internet chatting with people who wanted to know all about it and what comes next and I’m super excited to share. If there’s anything I have on this journey, it is a damn good support system. One of the people I talked to is my content editor. She told me that book 1 should be out in August and that she’d be sending me my first round of edits soon. Then she said this: “In the meantime, start Book 2.” And reality struck. I have always written on my own schedule. Now I’ll have to write on someone else’s. WELP.

Day 2: The Distinguished Press family is incredible. They are fun and a little weird and we have all kinds of private conversations at our private clubhouse and there is a lot of fun and silly jokes. I have entered a world where I can share my weird writer thoughts with the entire room and nobody gets twitchy, which is true pretty much only when I have a precious few friends in my presence.

Day 3: Returning to my day job made me realize something. I have a lot to do. The below is an actual transcript excerpt of a Google Hangout with one of my best friends, Allegra.


Me: Currently, I am:

1) Writing Book 2 of the Series
2) Writing a romantic comedy
3) Maintaining my blog
4) Contributing to another blog
5) Participating in a reading challenge
6) Beta-reading Ismael’s book
7) Beta-reading Louis’ book
8) Being a mommy
9) Being a wife
10) Being a person

Allegra: Don’t forget your day job.

Me: Ha! I totally did! I am currently laughing at myself, but it’s that hysterical, maniacal laughter that comes right before you have a breakdown.


That’s right – I’m writing two books at once because I never finished my NaNoWriMo project and I don’t want to take a break from it, because I feel like somewhere in the process of EDIT-WRITE-EDIT-WRITE for Keys & Guardians, I will lose the romantic comedy and never get it back. So I’m holding onto it until it is done. I have about 5 chapters left. But…yikes.

Day 4: Snowed in for a blizzard that turned out not to be such a big deal after all. Spent all afternoon writing Book 2 and discovered this thing isn’t as hard as I thought it would be. With six months away from Order, I assumed getting back in would be difficult. It is not. Chapter 1 DOWN.

Day 5: I have realized that people are going to read my book. Seems silly, doesn’t it? But it’s weird! Strange, completely random thoughts have started passing through my head. That gruesome death scene…the sex talk…

You probably have to know me personally to get this one, but I’m a very…smiley/sunshiney person. I seem very innocent and sweet when you meet me. I don’t like to disrupt this image because, frankly, it’s a nice way to be viewed, and that is a significant and true part of who I am. But…not always. This part of me, the darker side, the things that come out in these stories – putting them out on the page makes me feel…vulnerable, I guess?

So, there are some people who say, “I can’t wait to read your book!” And I say, “Yes, I really want you to.” And what I’m really saying is, “Yes, I really want you to and please don’t see me differently once you do.”

Because it’s all just fiction. JUST fiction. At least mostly.

Day 6: I have discovered that I am NOT good at explaining my book when people ask me about it. Okay, let’s be real. I already knew that from the Writer’s Conference adventure. I thought I would be better at this once I knew I was getting published, but when asked by my very excited boss-at-my-day-job what my book was about, I clammed up so badly that when I got to my desk, my buddies at work ribbed me for ten minutes. Here’s a hint. Starting your description of your book with, “Hee hee, it’s weird.” is probably not good. Do better next time, Justine. I am going to have to come up with a pre-packaged answer for this.

Day 7: I got to participate in my first writing event with Distinguished Press. It was a day long online party celebrating the January release of Mirror Reformed, the conclusion of K.G. Stutts’ Mirror Series and containing games, music, contests, and author spotlights. I even got to host an hour and discuss Order and the rest of the Keys & Guardians series. It was a great time and definitely got me feeling even more like a welcome part of this family. To check out the release party and learn more about the spotlight authors, click here.

All in all, it has been an amazing first week on this new journey. I can’t say I’m going to have something to write every week of this. Chances are, I’ll just be battening down the hatches and getting work done. But I can say that I intend to share this journey with you all. After all, what good is a writer without her readers?

Happy Writing!

15 thoughts on “I Have A Publishing Contract: Week 1

  1. I know it sounds strange but with the public speaking bit pretend you are an actor. You need to create a ‘character’ when up there. Most actors do it when doing appearances. Sorry if is sounds strange but just woken up and my brain is not yet in gear.

    Kriss 🙂

    1. It doesn’t sound strange. I used to ACT! I don’t know why, but this is different. I just get nervous, I think, because it is extremely personal to me. Hi everybody, this is the unveiling of this secret thing I’ve been working on for months. I have a much easier time talking about it with people who are strangers and/or discuss my writing with me regularly. If that makes sense…

  2. Wow. I am SO impressed, both with what’s been happening to you and how much you’re still doing. Please do remember to take it easy now and again — it may seem scary to stop writing and pick up your head and just look around for a bit, but make sure you’re giving yourself a chance to savor this experience. You deserve it!

    1. Thank you for the advice. The truth is, I genuinely love this experience, and I am making a concerted effort not to let it pass me by. I’m working hard, but you know me, I’m always sort of a cyclone of activity. As neurotic as I sound, I’m actually relatively unhappy when I’m not spinning. This is how I do fun. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

      But seriously, you’re right. That part was included in the “Being a Person” part of my things to do. 😉

  3. I’m a very…smiley/sunshiney person. I seem very innocent and sweet when you meet me. I don’t like to disrupt this image because, frankly, it’s a nice way to be viewed, and that is a significant and true part of who I am. But…not always. This part of me, the darker side, the things that come out in these stories – putting them out on the page makes me feel…vulnerable, I guess?
    And this is why we’re friends – because I am the same way! 🙂

    Now, if I can just get that darker stuff down without feeling so self-conscious about it, I’ll be in good shape. 😀

    1. The similarities between us are numerous, aren’t they? 🙂 Yes, I feel self-conscious every time I write something on the darker side. I guess you’ve just got to push through it. I used to gloss over things like that and it made my writing…well, it made it kinda suck. So I push through it, but I have the after effect of horror. I just wrote a scene for Book 2 and hubby was reading it and I turned bright red. What am I embarrassed about? Nobody knows me better than this guy! But still…*blush*

      1. Exactly! One of my writerly friends read a much earlier draft of The Price of Mercy some years ago and told me that I’m too nice and I shouldn’t be afraid to go to that darker place that my villain needs to go to. He was totally right. I think I’m fixing it with this rewrite, but holy cow, did it take a while for me to get to that point!

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