Back in July I was looking at Twitter one morning and saw a few of my friends tweeting #SFFPit pitches. (#SFFPit is a Twitter pitch contest specifically for science fiction and fantasy writers; agents and publishers scan the feed during the day and “like” any pitch that intrigues them.)
D’oh. I’d been taking a bit of a Twitter break and had no idea #SFFPit was coming.
I didn’t think The Keeper of the Key, the MS I’d finished and had just started querying, was suitable for #SFFPit. But I happened to have a Notes file of pitches for Tidepool, my Pitch Wars ’17 dark fantasy novel, on my phone, all ready to go for such occasions. Just add hashtags!
I hadn’t done any querying or pitching for Tidepool for a while, but I figured why the hell not? I’d told myself at the beginning of this year that I was going to pursue any and every opportunity that arose until something panned out.
One of my Tidepool pitches got a like from Parliament House Press. I checked them out carefully and liked what I saw and read.
I still don’t have an agent. I know that they’re very important and I haven’t given up on getting one, but after querying more than 50 agents with Tidepool and getting several full requests and some positive comments but no offers of rep, I’d decided to move on to querying my next manuscript, The Keeper of the Key, and submitting Tidepool to small presses. Tidepool wasn’t doing anyone any good sitting on my hard drive year after year.
And full disclosure: Every time I read Tidepool over again, I thought “Goddamnit, this is a good book. It deserves a readership.”
So I sent Parliament House the requested material. Parliament House’s acquisitions editor pinged me back quickly, asking for the full. I knew enough by now to not get my hopes up, but I still felt excited as I sent her the manuscript. It had been a long time since I’d had a full request for anything.
And that was that for a while. This was an unusually tumultuous summer with many ups and downs, so I had a lot of things competing for my brainspace.
On a Wednesday night in mid-August, I saw a response from PH in my email.
I’ve long since conditioned myself to expect a rejection when I see submission responses, so I took a deep breath and steeled myself. Great. Let’s get this overwith.
My eyes bounced all over the email, which was a little long, but finally landed on a sentence that at first I couldn’t quite parse. Something about an offer to publish my work…
Wait, what? WHAT!?
I could not be more delighted to announce that my Pitch Wars ’17 novel Tidepool is going to be published by Parliament House Press in early 2021.
I know I’m biased, but I adore this novel. I wrote the first draft during a particularly tough time in my life; in September 2016, I was laid off from the company I’d worked for for over 20 years. (I got another job there the next year, so it wasn’t all bad.) I wrote Tidepool during NaNoWriMo that November. Yes, during the US Presidential elections—another reason I was feeling pretty emotionally shaken.
I was delighted when Peter McLean became my Pitch Wars 2017 mentor; knowing that a published author saw something in this novel meant the world. Having this novel accepted by a publisher makes me feel validated, like what I did while I was out of work meant something.
I am ridiculously excited. I love this story. I love my characters. I loved the process of making it a much stronger novel with Pete’s generous help. I am so beyond excited that the people who’ve told me over the years that they really wanted to read Tidepool will finally have the chance.
Be sure to sign up for my mailing list over on the sidebar so you can be the first to know more information as the publication date gets closer. I really can’t wait for you to meet Sorrow Hamilton, Ada Oliver, and everyone else in Tidepool at long last.