I just signed the contract for my first YA book! Finally, finally signed it. So now I get to tell you more. 🙂
I’ve already written the manuscript and did one edit, and attended 3 meetings with the publisher and two other writers. I signed the contract on Sunday, got back my edited manuscript from the publisher (edited by him), which I now have to read over and edit where it needs it–and I got my advance. I also got to see some roughs from the illustrator. It’s real!
My book comes out in September of this year with HIP Books. It’s called Dragon Speaker: Brom’s Quest. It’s a hi-lo (high interest, low vocabulary) fantasy for reluctant readers (especially boys, but I think girls would like it, too. I do. 🙂 ). It’s about a boy whose talent is telepathy with birds (which is seen as bad) and who is put down because of his weak leg. He is the only one who can save the last male dragon from a wizard and a lord who want to rule the kingdom.
I think my author name will be appearing as C. A. Rainfield–I think it’s in the hopes that boys will be more likely to read the book if they assume a male wrote it. It also seems to be the thing often done by authors of fantasy, to have initials for their first two names.
Two other writers are writing the other books in the series–Debbie Ouellet is writing the second book, A Hero’s Worth, and Erin Thomas is writing the third and final book is the series, Draco’s Fire. I’ve read them both and enjoyed them. Charlie Hnatiuk is illustrating the covers for all three books, as well as the interior black-and-white illustrations (one per chapter). I love what I’ve seen so far.
It’s funny–I didn’t expect to write this book at all. The publisher made a call for submissions, and though I love fantasy, I didn’t think medieval fantasy was my thing (even though two of my favorite YA fantasy series are medieval). But two writer friends encouraged me to submit, so I did–and here I am, with my first YA book coming out in September! And two of my other manuscripts being considered by publishers (I’m hoping for good news). This after ten years or so of writing, editing, submitting manuscripts, and working hard. Hurray!
This week I’m working on editing the manuscript I got back from the publisher. I’ve just told a number of elists I’m on, and it’s been wonderful getting the congratulations and support from people who really understand how important this is to me, and the long trek it took to get there. Writer and book lover communities are so important!