The journey to writing this book started at a lecture at Bakersfield's Beale Library in February, 2012. After dozens of drafts, I felt I finally had the narrative arc structure in place in early 2019. So, in February 2019 while searching for a new agent, I decided to pitch the manuscript during #PBPitch on Twitter hoping to catch an agent's eye. Knowing I would be busy on #PBPitch day, I learned how to schedule my tweets on Tweetdeck. Then I forgot about it until someone contacted me about my tweet. It turned out my pitch didn't get any agent interest, but I had an email from someone who wanted to read it--my editor at Capstone heard about my Twitter pitch from a colleague and requested it. Woo-hoo!
After reading it, my editor Michelle told me she really liked the . . . back matter . . . you know, the author's note in the back. Yikes! Perhaps I didn't have that narrative arc structure in place after all! But, she said, if I wanted to revise she'd take another look. We had a video meeting in which Michelle graciously talked over ideas and explained why some things wouldn't work from the publisher's perspective. Immediately after the meeting, I got to work revising, refocusing the story, and re-envisioning the whole concept. After reading the revision, Michelle told me she liked it . . . the back matter and the story in the front! Woo-hoo!
Capstone made an offer and with the help of the Author's Guild I negotiated the contract myself. The road to this point had a lot of twists and turns, but ironically, the theme I adopted for this year is "Pivot Confidently."
Thank you critique readers Allison Crotzer Kimmel, Mary Ann Fraser and Anastasia Suen for urging me to get the manuscript out there, and thank you #PBPitch for giving me the platform to pitch it. Big thanks to Michelle Bisson for her patience and guidance (and for reading all the way to the back where the good stuff was) and Jennifer Glidden for following pitches on Twitter.