As some of you may remember (due to all the online fretting I did) last November I was in the midst of querying hell. I'd been querying since early September and was in the throes of what would be one of many periods of query-related breakdowns. I'd never tried NaNo before, but I knew I needed to do something to keep from checking my inbox every fifteen seconds, so NaNo I did.
I loved the camaraderie of the other Bransforumers who NaNo'd alongside me and the inspirational posts by Sommer, who encouraged us all along the way. I even convinced two of my local writing group members to join me. It was just the distraction I needed. I'd had an idea for a sequel to the novel I was querying and even though I know you're not supposed to write "book 2" until you have an offer on "book 1" of a series I felt the need to tell the rest of the story for my characters. I NaNo'd my heart out and cranked out 56k by the third week in November. I was very pleased, and a little calmer since I'd finally focused on something other than the ups and downs of rejections, requests and more rejections (and the waiting....oh, dear God, the waiting...).
Anyway, over the next few months I added another 30k to the manuscript and gave it a few polishes. Plus I gave it to several of the people who'd read my first novel for me so they could read the continuing saga of the characters they'd grown to love along with me. The downside was that I feared that not just the one novel, but TWO novels with my beloved same characters would never go anywhere.
As many of you know, after 9 months and 27 days of querying and submitting my novel I accepted an offer of publication from a small press in June. I was beyond thrilled. I still am. As of this week, however, I'm (impossibly) even more excited. The same publisher asked if I had a potential sequel in mind and I was able to say I not only had a potential one, it was already mostly written. I submitted it, at their request, and last Thursday I signed a contract for them to publish it. I now have a two book deal on my original novel and its NaNo's follow-up.
I hope this encourages those of you who are compelled to write the further story of your characters in a second (or third) book. And I also hope it encourages people to give NaNo a shot---you never know what can happen!
Thanks again for all the support I've received during this long year's journey down the road to publication---I literally couldn't have done it without the support, knowledge and critique of many of the wonderful Bransforum goers. I'm eternally grateful to have you all.
Passionate Plume 1st Place Winner 2012 - ALWAYS YOU
Published with Ellora's Cave, Turquoise Morning Press & Samhain Publishing