It started with a glass of whiskey on my back porch in Phoenix, Arizona. (Or maybe further back than that. Maybe when I walked the beaches of Florida in April, 2014.) I wrote a silly, little story about an awkward vampire, in love with the smell of her neighbor’s blood.
I sent the story to a literary magazine called Shimmer, and although they turned me down, the editor, E. Catherine Tobler, wrote, “There is a lot of awesome here, but the story doesn’t take full advantage of it. I almost think this could be expanded into a novella, or even a novel. It has a great voice.”
I had no intention of starting in on another novel, having recently given up on one. Yet, one morning, still in bed, I started typing … something. I stayed in bed all morning, but you can’t call me lazy, because I was WORKING–just, you know, in bed.
Forty-one days later, I had the first draft of a novel called Bite Somebody. I set the piece in Longboat Key, Florida, a stretch of white sand and bars my Aunt Susie and I call home for a week every April. I made the soundtrack Bob Marley. I fell in love with my vampire lead, Celia; her human crush, Ian; and even her gleefully evil, blood-sucking friend, Imogene. And I laughed a lot. I laughed and laughed and laughed.
A cornucopia of first readers descended on this first draft, and the response was immediate: “I can’t put it down … I just forgot to eat dinner … I relate to Celia 100% … I LOOOOOVE Imogene … I will need another Ian fix soon.”
I started shopping agents, but no one was interested, because vampire popularity is apparently waning in the literary world. Still, I wanted to shout at them: This isn’t the usual vampire book! This is comedy! This is satire! Why don’t you love it? You’re supposed to love it!
Then, a quiet whisper from first reader, Megan Guadino, author of Always Kiss Me Goodnight. She loved Bite Somebody so much, she told me about a publisher she thought would be perfect: World Weaver Press. I sent my query and crossed my fingers.
Then, a response …
A woman named Trysh reached across the dark internet ether and asked to see the first 30,000 words of Bite Somebody. Then, she wanted to see the whole novel because, she wrote, “I have to know how things end up.” It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship that soon blossomed into revisions, rewrites, and eventual acceptance, which is what I’m here to tell you.
Bite Somebody has been accepted for publication with Red Moon Romance, an imprint of World Weaver Press, and it’s time to tell the world–because how often do lifelong dreams actually come true?
Publishing has been good to me this year, don’t get me wrong. I’ve won contests and been published in all sorts of magazines and literary journals. Although every time an editor says yes, I’m ecstatic, nothing quite compares to this–to having a publishing house say, “Yes, we want your entire book because we love your work and believe in you.”
As my darling editor, Trysh Thompson, and I work through rewrites for Bite Somebody, the inner cogs of the publishing house roll along, soon to discuss release date, cover art, publicity, and more. The stress has been good stress, but I still, of course, have moments of freak out when I realize this is real.
Bite Somebody will be out in the world for everyone to read, not just for laughs but for romance and for the underlying message of the whole novel: Learn to love yourself, no matter what. For a full synopsis, head over to my “Books” section. Updates forthcoming! Let the celebration commence!