Wednesday, 24 June 2009

From Here to Eternity

So let's say I decided I liked writing sometime in middle school (thanks C.S. Lewis and Judy Blume!)

Then let's say I decided I wanted to be an author in 9th grade.

Next we'll grant that my high school class prophecy stated that I would someday be an author.

What took me so long????

Decades after the fact, that prophecy was haunting me. It wasn't that I had given up the dream. More that I was fiddling around with it in a pretty non-committal way while also trying to run a decent high school English classroom and be a wife and mother. But there was something about the (very unpleasant prospect) of nearing forty that made me take the whole process a million times more seriously. What would be the universal cataclysmic result if I reached the age of, say 50, and had still failed to fulfill my class prophecy?

Obviously, the world as we know it would end.

Okay, I didn't take my new commitment quite that seriously, but I took it seriously enough to join SCBWI. There I met a wonderful local critique group who spurred me on to write The Everafter. This story was, quite surprisingly to me, about one teenage girl's journey to Eternity (named in the book, The Everafter).

Five months and two or three drafts of the novel later, I started shopping it to agents. What a discouraging process that was. I wasn't getting much interest in it from my queries. I sure learned how hard it was to stand out among the hundreds of queries agents were getting every month.

One of my critique group members, though, has an agent who agreed to look at my novel (then named Life Hopping) for me. She told me that while she couldn't offer to represent me, she thought my work was publishable and just needed to get into the hands of the right agent.  She referred me to Adams Literary.  A few months later, Adams offered to represent me, and Josh Adams navigated the remainder of the journey into the hands of an editor (Donna Bray) who made an offer on the book. And then put me through the wringer on revisions, I might add (for which I will be "eternally thankful," as the saying goes)

Total time from story conception to publication? Three years, much rejection, and lots of reminders of how hard it was for Margaret Mitchell to sell Gone with the Wind.

Total time from first dream of being an author to success? Umm....more decades than I want to admit to. It often has felt like an eternal trip. 

But the arrival is worth the journey.


  1. Great to see your blog up Amy! (saw your link on facebook)

  2. So wonderful to see it all coming together. We're counting the days until September 29 right along with you!

  3. Thanks Deb and Lori! You guys are so sweet!

  4. Look forward to reading more and more and if only I could remember what my class prophecy was.....I'm so incredibly happy for you. You deserve all of the success life can bring.


My Good Reads...

Amy's bookshelf: read

The Other Boleyn Girl
The Twentieth Wife: A Novel
Conrad's Fate (Chrestomanci, #5)
Circle of Friends
The Handmaid's Tale
Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter
Dairy Queen
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Classic Regency Romance - Now With Ultraviolent Zombie Mayhem!
Possession: A Romance
The Call of Earth
The Scarlet Pimpernel
The Lovely Bones
What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-The Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England
The Hunt for Red October
To Kill a Mockingbird
City of Bones
How to Be Good
Great Expectations
The Thirteenth Tale
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Joy Luck Club
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Wives and Daughters
Howl's Moving Castle
The Kite Runner
Nothing But the Truth
Anne of Green Gables
About a Boy
Doctor Thorne
Romeo and Juliet
Among the Hidden
The Color Purple
World Without End
The Children of Men
Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Sarum: The Novel of England
Doomsday Book
The Golden Compass
Year of Wonders
Memoirs of a Geisha
Flowers for Algernon
The Subtle Knife
Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The Valley of Horses
A Tale of Two Cities
Bridget Jones's Diary
The Serpent's Tale
Angels & Demons
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Among the Impostors
The Frog Princess
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
The Nanny Diaries
The Ships of Earth
Charlie Bone and the Beast
Spanking Shakespeare
Ender's Shadow
A Farewell to Arms
The Outsiders
Witch Week
Allegra Maud Goldman
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School
Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Charlie Bone and the Shadow
Among the Barons
The Name of the Rose: Including Postscript
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Crucible
Charmed Life
Ellie McDoodle: Have Pen, Will Travel
Framley Parsonage
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Man Who Was Poe
Girl with a Pearl Earring
Little Women
The Shadow of the Wind
The Pillars of the Earth
Ender's Game
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
The Clan of the Cave Bear
The Secret Life of Bees
The Shifter
An Inspector Calls

Amy Huntley's favorite books »