Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pub Story: Elizabeth Scott

Author guest blogs + publication paths = Pub Stories. It's a Tuesday thing. Click here for more info (esp. if you're an author wanting to participate). Click here for a list of all participants.

A bit about Elizabeth: Elizabeth Scott grew up in a town so small it didn't even have a post office, though it did boast an impressive cattle population. She's sold hardware and panty hose and had a memorable three-day stint in the dot-com industry, where she learned that she really didn't want a career burning CDs. She lives just outside Washington, DC, with her husband; firmly believes you can never own too many books; and would love it if you visited her website, www.elizabethwrites.com.

The Story

Here's my pub story. The first young adult novels I sold were actually the second and third ones I'd written--but they didn't come out until years after my first novel--which was the third novel of mine that sold--had been published. (In fact, that third novel comes out this June!)

What happened was this: I'd been writing for fun for about five years when some friends talked me into sending stuff out. I had a few short stories published and wrote up a query letter for my first young adult novel, Bloom. I didn't do anything with it though, until I ran across an agent's blog entry about email queries back in April 2005.

I thought-- "Hey, email query! I can do that! I'll send it off, get rejected, and then boom! I've tried and can tell everyone so! Hurrah!"

And then the agent wrote me back six minutes later and asked to see the first three chapters.

About five hours after that, she asked for the full.

The next day, she sent me a note asking if we could talk that night, and I ended up signing with my first agent. I'll call her Agent Q, and she worked for a small agency that has since become part of a larger agency.

Agent Q sent Bloom out to an editor on an exclusive and I settled in to wait.

Fast forward a few months, and I'm at an SCBWI conference and have arranged to have the first ten pages of my second novel critiqued. I figure it can't hurt to have an editor read them and tell me what needs to be fixed, you know?

So I get to the conference and I'm staring at all the published authors and trying to guess who my critique editor, Tara Weikum, is. I spot her right away--she's gorgeously dressed and just looks like someone who knows so much about books.

I'm instantly terrified. What was I thinking sending in those ten pages? Will she at least like something? Maybe the first chapter? A little bit?

I'm one of the first people to be critiqued, and so I go, trembling, to meet with her.

And she likes the pages! In fact, she says she wants to see all of the novel, which is called STEALING HEAVEN.

Tara ended up buying that novel and and my third novel about a month after that conference. STEALING HEAVEN came out last June and will be out in paperback this July and that third novel, LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU, will be in stores on June 2nd, almost four years after the book sold (So you see, when people talk about how productive I am, it's more a matter of timing than anything else :-) )

And remember that first novel, a little story called BLOOM? I asked Agent Q to send it out after STEALING HEAVEN and LOVE YOU HATE YOU MISS YOU sold, and she did, and it sold to an editor at Simon Pulse. That editor actually ended up leaving the company, and BLOOM passed to another editor. Orphaned before I'd even been published, but at that point--having parted ways with Agent Q and signing with a new agent, Robin Rue at Writers House. who took a chance on me after her then-assistant (and now agent herself!) Diana Fox decided she liked the query I'd sent, I thought, "Bring it on!"

And then S&S did some reorganizing and I ended up with another editor.

That's right. Editor number THREE.

I was so nervous--at this point, I was afraid the book would never be published!--so I arranged to go and meet Bloom's new editor.

That editor was Jen Klonsky and the moment I met her, I knew Bloom was in great hands. And it was--Jen and Simon Pulse have been AMAZING to me.

So that's my story. Sold my second and third novels before my first, had my first novel come out first, and my second and third come out after later novels!

I figure there's only one way to finish this story - you know who I really have to thank?


All of you who've bought my novels and told your friends about them, sent me emails, and just generally remind me every day that I am the luckiest girl ever.


Further: Hey y'all, back to Steph. I'm just tacking this here at the bottom (maybe tackily so, but so it goes) to say that Elizabeth is one of the classiest authors I've ever talked to and her books are addictive fun. My favorite is still Bloom, so if you're looking for a place to start: You're welcome. ;)


Reader Rabbit said...

Yikes! That's a lot of editors! Great pub story, though!
And I agree with Steph, Bloom is a terrific one to start with!

Amee said...

Awesome story. I've only read Stealing Heaven so far, and I love Elizabeth. I can't wait to find time to read the other two I have. And then I'll go out and buy the rest! lol

Thao said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Thao said...

I've never had a chance to read Bloom but I really like how it sounds and looks. The pub. story is interesting. So the later children left her to shine before the first child. Anyway, I guess Elizabeth is equally proud of them : )

Cinnamon said...

Great story! Man, the perseverance that you all have to go through. 3 editors? Good for you! I'm glad things worked out because if they didn't we'd never get the chance to read your very hyped up books. Yay for meeting those shining lights along the journey!

Cinnamon said...

Sorry, did some staring and now I have to come to the realization that I'm in love with the Bloom cover. Seriously.

pepsivanilla said...

That had to take sooo much patience! I'm so glad you are published now :)

Anonymous said...

wow...thats some story. We are all glad that everything worked out after 3 editors. I like the cover for Bloom too, it's very vibrant and fresh.

ellie_enchanted said...

Can I just say that I'm glad it worked out? I've only read Stealing Heaven, but I'm looking forward to reading more when I get the chance.

Kelsey said...

What a great pub story, and really different. haha.

Alea said...

Nice! I've always wondered how she managed to have so many books come out near each other!

halleyjane said...

I loved STEALING HEAVEN! Great pub story and I'll definitely have to pick up the other two books asap.

Melanie said...

I only just started reading Something, Maybe. It had me from the first line! You're an amazing author!

Unknown said...

Elizabeth Scott is one of my favorite authors. And she likes Arrested Development. That makes her full of awesome. :)

Cindy said...

Love the the pub story, awesome author :)

Anonymous said...

Wow, great pub story! What a topsy-turvy ride it must've been. ;)

Chelsie said...

I adore Elizabeth Scott... she is one of my favorite authors, if not my favorite at this point. All of her books are amazing. :)

And this story was entertaining... it sounds like it was very stressful, but very worth it in the end!

<3 Chelsie

amber d* said...

You know after reading Elizabeth's blog for a while now, a crazy pub story like this doesn't suprirse me. (I mean that in a very good way because I love reading her blog!) I've read all her books besides the newest one coming out, and I adore them all! She is such a talented author and very fun to read about!

Diana Dang said...

Great post! I have yet to read Elizabeth's books but she's awesome as is! =)

Gaby317 said...

Thank you for sharing these details! It took a lot of luck and perseverance. I'm glad that you kept at it.

I'm eager to read these new books!

Unknown said...

That was really interesting. I haven't read any of her books yet, but I plan on it.

Carrie said...

That's an awesome story. I just shelved Love You Hate You Miss You at work today and it looks fantastic.

Anonymous said...

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Hey! For some reason, this embedded comment form makes most people click twice before the comment is processed and published. It's not you - it's just that it's a new Blogger feature with kinks and all that. (But I adore it and don't wanna get rid of it!) I removed Captcha to make the process easier. You don't have to rewrite the comments twice; just click on SUBMIT twice and it should work. If not, email me. Thanks! -Steph