Today, I have fabulous news to share. I'm thrilled to announce that CATALYST: DECAY CHAINS is going to be published. After one year of querying, which culminated in over a month of negotiations, I have decided to self publish CATALYST: DECAY CHAINS under the pen name, Kate Wars.
A long journey comes to an end
Though the querying began a year ago this month, the book itself was years in the making. This was due to the fact that I had to write and edit around my teaching schedule. That meant that even though it only took me two months to write the book and four months to edit it, the project spanned years. It was a spring break here, winter break there sort of agonizing speed that I had to endure because I like electricity and running water.
I finally managed to finish the manuscript, the synopsis and query letter and heard nothing but crickets. All the agents that had requested fulls and partials at writer's conventions passed on the book. It was okay though, I knew from the outset that CATALYST: DECAY CHAINS wasn't really "Big 5" material. It's about zombies and they believe that train has left the station.
However, I saw a flash of hope here and there. I participated in a Pitchmad contest and got a full request. CATALYST made it all the way to the editorial board before being rejected by that small publisher.
Last Autumn, three or four small presses had full requests out, but one by one, they all passed, except for Winlock Press, who kept pushing their response date back a month at a time.
Enter the literary agent extraordinaire
And then Jaimie M. Engle became a literary agent. After she negotiated a book deal for a friend of mine whose novel is in the same genre, I asked her to consider representing CATALYST. She agreed and touched base with Winlock Press while submitting the book to another publisher she thought might be interested.
In the end, I ended up with two offers on CATALYST, something I would never have believed could happen. Ultimately, Winlock Press and Black Rose Writing weren't good fits for CATALYST.
CATALYST is set to release on 5-5-16 and I couldn't be happier about it. However, I have to say that I don't think it has really hit me yet. I often imagined this moment being filled with shouting and crying. You know, like what happens on the "Ellen Degeneres" show or "American Idol." My actual response was much more muted, which leads me to believe I haven't truly wrapped my brain around everything that is going on.
The future holds a series
That brings us to the next chapter in this story, which I honestly wasn't prepared for. At the beginning of our negotiations, my agent reminded me that I needed to be working on my next book.
It wasn't long after that conversation when Winlock Press showed interest in CATALYST becoming a series. During our negotiations, I mapped out the complete four-part series, which would include a prequel. In addition to this, I started working on a standalone horror manuscript.
I'm not publishing with Winlock Press, but that doesn't mean that I can't stay on course with my original plan. My goal is to work on the sequel to CATALYST and the horror manuscript while preparing for my book launch. As it turns out, a book launch is an incredible amount of work, so I'm in the process of carving out a realistic writing and marketing schedule that has also has tiny blocks of time devoted to a thing called "sleep."
The start of this all
When I started this blog, my goal was to share my journey from rough draft to published novel. Here are we are, just a few years later, contract in hand. It's so incredibly surreal and I can't wait to start all over again and share the next chapter, the next round of edits and the next batch of query letters with you. Thank you so much for reading and for being a part of this experience. My hope is that one day, I can share in the celebration of your book contract as well.