February came and went, and now we are on to March. You know what this means?
I am officially querying my novel!!
I have been working on this book since summer 2018, and I am extremely excited to begin the querying process. As many of you know, I have been editing quite diligently the last few months, and I have had to extend my deadline by two months due to being busy and editing way more than I ever meant to, but I am so happy with the outcome that I think it is worth it.
I spent five hours today making last-minute final edits and proofreading after spending yesterday on revising my query letter. This evening, I began to send out queries, so now there is no turning back.
In light of this new achievement, I would like to share a few stories:
I have been writing ever since I can remember, and as I think about how far I’ve come in my writing journey, I can’t help but look back and smile.
The very first book idea I ever had was a children’s book called Penny, and I sat down on the family computer and wrote out the story of a penguin named Penny who learned how to fly. This story was inspired by my sister-in-law’s love of penguins. I would have been nine or ten, I believe, and I spent so much time planning out the story.
I remember sharing this story with my fifth grade teacher, Ms. McCloughan, who was one of my most loyal supporters when I was younger. She always encouraged me to keep writing, and so I did.
Throughout my first two years of middle school, I worked on a very cringe-worthy novel about a girl in high school who was always bullied for being a “nerd”, named Cindy Nooser (only so that other students would chant “Cindy Nooser is a loser!”). It was a typical nerd-jock love story, and that is all I can remember before the rest of my brain blocks it out because of the embarrassment that rushes to my cheeks when I think too much about it.
In my eighth grade year, I joined a site, missliterati.com, where I began to share stories with other writers my age, and this is where my book Undeniably Underestimated was born. I wrote under the name ElleBlondie because my parents wanted me to use a pen name on the internet, so I became Elle to many people on that website, and I still have contact with one of my friends from back then.
Undeniably Underestimated won “Reader’s Choice Award” in the summer of 2014, and it was featured on the main page for a week. I was ecstatic, and the moment it was up became such an amazing, out-of-body experience for me, and I know I will never forget it.
I have recently found out that the site actually shut down, and it seems that the work on that website was not saved or returned back to their owners, so though I do have most of my work saved from back then, it makes me sad that I will never be able to go back and look at what I had written on there and remember the community that supported me.
I worked on Undeniably Underestimated all through high school, and I finally decided to put it on hold to write my now completed and edited novel, True Power. This has been my baby for almost two years now, and I have had so much fun working on it, and I have been so appreciative that I can share some of my beliefs about the importance of empathy and kindness through it.
During the last few months, I have worked on it through exam-weeks, rough mental health days, and in spare moments between work, classes, and homework.
One of my favorite editing highlights happened about two weeks ago. I was at the library with one of my roommates, one of my best friends since my freshman year of high school, and while she did homework, I worked on my novel. As I reread the edits I had made, I did a double take on one of my sentences as I realized I had not written, “I slowly placed my hand on his bandaged arm, trying to be gentle with the skin I felt beneath my fingertips.” Instead, I wrote, “I slowly placed my hand on his bandaged arm, trying to be gentle with the arm skin I felt beneath my fingertips.”
I have never laughed so much at my own writing, realizing how creepy this sounded, and it reminded me of Silence of the Lambs. I read it out loud to my roommate, and we could not stop howling with laughter.
I knew I was very tired as I was writing, but it was so funny to see how much my brain had let go of words making sense and was working so hard to get it done.
Overall, I am so excited to hear back from literary agents–and also so extremely nervous–and I cannot wait to share updates with you all soon!
SPOILER: I’m going to start in-depth planning a new novel this week, and I am so excited to begin a new journey with some new characters and a brand new world in which I can spend my free time.
If you want to know more about True Power, I have the blurb below, and I hope someday soon, you might see it on the back of a book.
“True Power” is about a young woman named Tris, who yearns for an escape into a normal life, something quite different than her reality. After years of suffering from their abusive parents, Tris and her brothers struggle with accepting their own identities and defining their family and personal values. After an accidental injury leaves her with a concussion, Tris finds herself stuck with the power to see the worst thing that will ever happen to someone, whether it be in the past or future, just by briefly touching them. Between the distrust and misfortune, Tris must seek purpose for her newfound ability, learning more about herself, her family, and the true power of empathy.
True Power is Young Adult Paranormal novel set in contemporary times and based on true social issues happening across the United States.