Leaning on this broken fence

Between past and present tense.

Hi friends! If you’re reading this, I hope you have power, and a warm place to curl up and read, and that you all are able to get the hugs, ice cream, and vaccines you deserve!

This past week was the Pitch Wars showcase for this year’s current Pitch Wars class. Although me & Pitch Wars as an organization have had a bit of a falling out since then (yikes), realizing it’s been a whole year since my own experience, unsurprisingly, has made me Contemplative. I started this newsletter when I was going through that process, and the ensuing madness of the showcase. It was exactly a year ago that I started getting calls from agents, and phew, Little Anita, I am proud of you for surviving all that, and also so very glad it’s over. I am seriously wishing only good vibes upon all the mentees currently going through the same thing, and ANYONE currently in the querying trenches. It is so vulnerable and scary.

This sentimentality also made me realize it’s been a while since I’ve actually used this Substack as a means of sending updates about my own writing process. Whenever I’ve opened up this tab recently it’s been to shout about other people’s books or vomit very random life feelings. And while I like having this space to do both of those things, I increasingly wonder what I should do with this space now. I should probably make a Professional Author Newsletter soon, which lol this space has not been. And maybe just keep all my little writing neuroses in my, like, actual journal. I don’t know.

But! If you are interested in what is going on in my writerly world, here’s an update.

  • I’m working on editing Book 1, which is now titled LOVE & OTHER DISASTERS. Oh!! If you want to add it on Goodreads, that would be a great and helpful thing for you to do! YES, I KNEW THERE WAS A PURPOSE TO THIS NEWSLETTER, not just me opening up Substack during my lunch break and procrastinating getting back to actual work, nope!!

  • I really put this book out of my mind for the last year, as it was on sub to publishers, as I started working on other projects, and delving back into it is…such a weird/nice/emotional experience. Writing is such a constantly evolving thing that knowing a final version of it will get stamped into life forever at some point in the next year feels so strange, when it’s gone through so many changes, when it will likely never feel completely perfect to me. I pretty continually run through cycles of “oh no, THIS got a book deal? oh no but that can’t be right” to “wait *I* created these characters? I made them do these things?? oh no I love them so much, MY BABIES” so, you know. We’ll see how I’m feeling by the end of the editing process!!

  • Over the next few months I’ll probably be getting more information about exact publication date, pre-order dates, more info about the cover (the above is def not the cover), etc. etc. which is all very exciting and surreal!

  • I’ve sent a draft of Book 2 to my editor and am working on Book 3. I love them both and they are both very different from Book 1. I think that’s good?? I can’t wait to talk about them more!!

  • While those books under contract with Forever are DOING THEIR THANG, I’ve also decided to self-publish some novellas. These will still be adult queer romance, but other than that, they will be very different from my traditionally published books, because they will be 1) very much shorter 2) deal with a totally different world/cast of characters 3) be written in even voice-ier first person whereas my trad books are third person which probably doesn’t matter to anyone but me but trying out different styles is actually very interesting!! Is this boring yet

  • Deciding to self-publish while also pursuing traditionally published books throws me into what we call the hybrid author lifestyle, a choice that is especially popular with romance writers. I am actually exceedingly excited about it. I could go a lot further into why I’m excited about it, or why I’m choosing to self-publish at all, but it feels like a lot of insider baseball and I don’t know if anyone cares BUT

  • I will say that self-publishing is actually (opposed to what a lot of people think) quite complicated & is like learning a whole new industry, but again, in like a nerdy-exciting kind of way, at least I think so. I’m hoping to self-pub two novellas later this year, one in summer and one in late fall, and hopefully people who like those will also like my traditional books when they start hitting bookshelves next year.

  • I LOVE BOTH OF THESE LITTLE NOVELLAS SO MUCH; they started as a pandemic-induced escape for my brain to just like…make myself happy. But I hope they make other people happy, too. Their plotlines are karaoke + feelings. (That’s it, lol, no really.) Just like my trad books, I can’t wait to share them with the world, but the idea of ACTUALLY sharing them with the world also makes me want to puke a bit, so! *fingers crossed*

  • I’m mentoring in a new program called the Write Team Mentorship Program! I’m currently reading through a handful of romance manuscripts to figure out which one I’ll work with over the next few months, and MAN, getting to read strangers’ work is such a privilege and an honor.

  • Writing is pretty much all I want to do, these days. (This is both…good and bad. And a topic for my journal, probably.)

And that’s probably enough for this little update.

Thanks again for following me on this journey. I love you all.