Abs Writes A Lot

My name's Abs… and I write a lot.

BIG news!!!!

on May 1, 2013

I have waited so long to be able to post this blog. I’ve gathered GIFs. I’ve tried to gather my thoughts. But, after more than four years spent working on my beloved romantic women’s fiction manuscript, GOING HOME AGAIN, most of my life spent dreaming and many, many, MANY queries, rejections, rewrites, rereads, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, I can FINALLY say: MY NOVEL IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!!!!!

My emotions go something like this:

Okay, but before I go overboard with the GIFs and you all say:

Let me continue. 🙂 The story began long ago in a galaxy not so far away… I’ve been writing novels since I was about twelve or thirteen years old. First inspired by the AMAZING Dean Koontz, my first works were more in the horror genre, and the writing itself was probably simply terrifying. As I grew up and worked day job after day job (usually in the journalism field), my writing evolved into more “real life.” I still read Dean Koontz, but I also read more contemporary female authors, women who write funny, heartwarming stories that were once referred to as “chick lit”– Jennifer Weiner, Emily Giffin, Sarah Pekkanen.

In 2008, I experienced something of a dream come true–for the first time ever, I actually interacted with the love of my teenage life, Jordan Knight of New Kids on the Block. 😀 (This is him, btw…. still gorgeous at 42!!!)

GODDAMN!!!!!

I was in love with this man from the time I was thirteen until I was about twenty-one. And when New Kids reunited in 2008, I was part of this insane event we later called “a mutual attack,” in which Jordan ran TOWARD a crowd of screaming fans underneath Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte after the concert, rather than running away from us and seeking solace in his tour bus like a smart New Kid. 😉 When the screaming subsided and the bodyguards peeled overenthusiastic fans off him and rushed him toward the waiting tour bus, he came right by me. I was thirty-something at this point, but fifteen-year-old fangirl me took over and I jumped into his arms. JUMPED. Whilst squealing, “Jordan!” To his credit, he gave me this adorable little laugh and said “Hey!” and hugged me briefly, before continuing on to his bus.

OMG. Finally. After “loving” this man for more than twenty years, he knew I was alive, at least for a brief moment, and the idea for GOING HOME AGAIN was born. What if that unattainable guy was suddenly very much yours for the taking, twenty years later? What would you do? What would he do? How would that work, world-famous singer falling for a “normal” girl? What if he’d married someone else more than a decade ago?

This is the premise for GOING HOME AGAIN. Not that I think Jordan Knight will ever leave his wife for a fan like me (HA!!) but this experience I had with him for about twenty seconds in a parking garage inspired this beautiful story that I hope a lot of you will love.

I finished the first draft in late 2011, after many false starts and stops. The original version was something like 150,000 words, which is just CRAZY. I later whittled it down to about 115,000 when I started querying. Mostly, I received form rejection letters, which broke my heart every time.

But I refused to give up and kept trying, tweaking my story, rewriting my queries, whatever I could do. FINALLY, a wonderful agent requested the full manuscript, but unfortunately, she ended up passing. However, she gave me some invaluable feedback. Number one: 115,000 words is still too long. So, although it physically and emotionally hurt me, GOING HOME AGAIN went from morbidly obese to a healthier 98,000. But, even that was too long, and I kept rewriting and editing, rewriting and editing, until now, the manuscript is a manageable 80,000-ish words.

Still, however, rejection after rejection. I finally decided to shelve GOING HOME AGAIN for a while, but my characters refused to die. “Keep calm and query on!” they told me.

Alas, my persistence did finally pay off, though not in the way I expected. In early April, Swoon Romance hosted a pitch contest on Twitter. I decided what the heck, I could pitch GHA and see what happens! So here’s my pitch:

Reporter Alyssa always dreamed of pop star Michael Day. But is he worth her name in the headlines rather than the byline? #PitchSwoon

Within minutes, they tweeted me back that they’d like to see my query and first 10 pages. That was followed shortly thereafter by a full request, and before long, the greatest email EVER from Swoon Romance/Month9Books editor Georgia McBride!!!!!

A week or so later, I had a fantastic phone call with Georgia, a few emails and back-and-forths later, and GOING HOME AGAIN is scheduled to be published as an eBook by Swoon Romance/Georgia McBride Books THIS FALL!!!!!!!!!! It’s funny because during our wonderful phone call, Georgia told me she imagined Alyssa shutting herself in a closet and SQUEEing, and that’s pretty much what I did when I received word the announcement would be made in Publisher’s Marketplace. The noise that came out of me was akin to a dying mouse.

Can ya blame me? This is a dream come true!!!!!

For that, to Georgia, editor Mandy Schoen and the rest of the Swoon/Month9 team,  I say:

And to those who have read GOING HOME AGAIN in any of its draft forms, Amy Cavenaugh (wombie/best friend/my first critique partner), Angi Futrell, Pennie McLeod, Kim Rutka, Karina Tabron, Julia Easterling, Masumi Furukawa, Verena Grube, Cynthia Hill, Tanya Dorsey, and my FABULOUS critique partners extraordinaire, Kyra Lennon, Karma Brown, Roselle Kaes and the OffBeats– Cat Scully, Fiona MacLaren, Lizzy Charles, Katrina Sincek and Kelley Harvey… I LOVE YOU GUYS AND YOU ARE ALL SO AWESOME AND SUPPORTIVE!!!!! I wouldn’t be here without you!!!

PS- Buy lots of copies of GOING HOME AGAIN when it releases, mmmkay? 😉

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14 responses to “BIG news!!!!

  1. Roselle Kaes says:

    I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!! GOING TO BUY ALL THE COPIES! Well, at least one. XD EEE!! So proud of you Abby!!!! ❤

  2. Dahlia Adler says:

    HUGE CONGRATS, ABBY!!!!!! So exciting!!!!! And that is a GREAT TwitPitch, by the way!! (Obviously!)

  3. LOVE the gif’s!!! YAY!!!! CONGRATS!!! So happy & proud to have been w/ you every step of the way. #verklempt Gonna go cry now. xoxoxo

  4. David Richards says:

    Congratulations on getting your romance published. I like Dean Koontz too. He’s an original.

  5. So proud of you, Abs! Dreams do come true : )

  6. Kay Kauffman says:

    Yay! Congratulations! I’m so excited for you! This just perked my Wednesday right up. 😀

    Incidentally, I wrote a famous-musician-falls-for-normal-girl story once. Actually, now that I think about it, I wrote a lot of them. They were soooo bad! And yet, thinking back on them, they made for some of my happiest teenage memories. Even better, the Backstreet Boys are back together again, too! 🙂

    Seriously, though, CONGRATULATIONS!!!! *squee*

  7. 8thcyn says:

    I remember that pitch, and saying that I thought it was a great one – obviously they have excellent taste!

  8. I am SOOOOO OVER THE MOON for you, my CP-Friend! I know Going Home Again will be a HUGE success! HUGE! GIGANTIC! AMAZING! All the words! Congratulations! *drops confetti bomb*

  9. Rachel Schieffelbein says:

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear more about your book. It sounds great!

  10. Marcus Parker says:

    Truely the path of a dream follower…making it come true and sharing it with the world.

    I knew you would do it.

  11. fmclaren says:

    How do I write the movement I am making right now in utter happiness? I’m kind of squiggling, wiggling, dancing, jumping up and down, and bobbing my head. Yes…I look like a weeble! I am SOOOOOO happy for you!!!!! 🙂 ❤

  12. YES!!! So excited for you – CONGRATS!!!!!!!!

  13. Alice Stone says:

    So proud of my sister Abby! I knew one day she would have a book published. I can’t wait to read it! Now it’s Amy’s turn.

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