January 26, 2013

GIVEAWAY! The Archived by Victoria Schwab

Several months ago, I heard that the lovely Victoria Schwab had a new book coming out in January 2013 called The Archived. As soon as I read the blurb, I was basically obsessed. See for yourself.
Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books.
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous-it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da's death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
I mean, right?! I love this concept so much. SO MUCH, that I pre-ordered as soon as possible and then promptly forgot that I'd pre-ordered it. I ran to the bookstore this week when it released to buy my own copy.

For those of you keeping track at home, this means I have two copies now. Which means one of you is about to capitalize on my scattered brain.

So let's talk about this giveaway. Since a person's history plays such an important part in this book, I want you guys to tell me something funny/interesting about YOUR history in the comments. I'll use random.org to pick a random comment for the winner. It'd be super great if you follow me on twitter (@meganwhitmer) and follow this blog....but I'm not gonna make it a requirement.

I'll go first!

I was just reminded of this story tonight, so I'll tell it. It's an Embarrassing Megan Moment. A couple months ago, I went to Knoxville to hang out with Sarah Blair, Angi Black, and Megan Orsini (Um, this was AMAZING on all the levels).

So you guys know how I can't hear very well? (If not, you haven't watched my first vlog.) So this kind of thing I'm about to tell you happens a lot more often than I care to admit.

At the hotel, I'd just arrived and we'd all done the squealing and hugging and professed our undying love for each other. Someone knocks at the door, and I open it. There's a super nice maid there, letting me know that they hadn't cleaned our room because the Do Not Disturb sign was on the door. Very sweet. Then she says something else and before my brain processes it, I reply, "I'm Megan."

She stared at me long enough for me to realize she had not been introducing herself. She was asking if we needed towels.

SHE SAID, "Do you need more towels?" AND I SAID, "I'm Megan."

WHAT IN THE ACTUAL?

I don't know guys. But I'll never live that one down, as evidenced by the following....


Okey dokey. Leave a comment with quick story from your history, and make sure you leave your twitter handle or email or some way for me to contact you if you win!

This giveaway will close at 11:59pm EST on 
Monday, January 28, 2013. 
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED.

ALSO! I'm opening this up to international readers as well--however, if you win and the shipping is absolutely insane, I reserve the right to send you the e-book instead....just fyi (and if that happens I'll pick a second (stateside) winner for the physical book.)

Update 1.29.13:  Random.org chose #2 as the winner, and the second comment belongs to @boundiali! I'll get in touch with you about sending you the book!

To everyone- this was such a fun giveaway. I loved reading your stories and getting to know you a little more in the process. We'll do it again soon.

January 21, 2013

Between + Spencer Hill Press = LOVE 4EVER

First off, back on October 24 I was like, "I'm gonna do a vlog every week!"

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Past Me is so cute.

Alrighty. If you were on Twitter Monday night, you got to experience the most incredible thing with me. I announced that my book, the book that I've been working on forEVER and have rewritten a silly number of times all because I'm so addicted to the characters I can't let them go, is actually going to be published.


And here's how it all went down.

Last summer, I pushed through the third complete rewrite of BETWEEN. It was a major one--changing from past to present tense and getting rid of a couple of main characters. I sacrificed a LOT of sleep, and finished it just in time to post pages in the WriteOnCon forums. (That was the first time I'd ever participated in WriteOnCon--if you never have, DO. It's a completely free online writing conference. I cannot possibly say enough good things about it.)

Based on the pages and query I posted in the forums there, I received a few requests from agents and editors to read the full manuscript. I sent it off to them, and waited. In the meantime, I'd also sent the rewritten draft to a few beta readers. As their feedback started rolling in, I started revising again.

The rejections came in slowly. "Too fast-paced." "Not fast-paced enough." "Not for me." "Fairy stories are out." (I take serious issue with calling my book a "fairy story" but WHATEVER.)

And then I got a rejection from Danielle Ellison with Spencer Hill Press, with a (heh, fairly lengthy) list of the reasons they were rejecting it. Now, we all know it's super fun to see a long list of the problems in your manuscript, right? But at the same time, it was sooooooo awesome to see, right in front of me, what they did and did not like.

Luckily, many of the problems in the email were things I was already working on in the latest revision (because my critique partners are BOSS, right?!) So I emailed Danielle and thanked her for the specific feedback because I was working on revisions and the notes would be so helpful.

It was just a rejection. And all I said was thank you. I didn't expect to hear anything else.

But then Danielle emailed me back, telling me to resubmit after I finish my revisions.

So then I forwarded all of that to Leigh Ann and we were all, "HOT DAMN! That's sort of an R&R!"

When revisions were finished around mid-November, I sent the new and improved manuscript to Danielle and sent out queries to agents from a few contests I'd entered. And then I didn't send out anymore. I'd queried a previous version of BETWEEN (3 drafts ago), and while the current BETWEEN is way different from that one (in that I'd feel completely comfortable re-querying agents with it), I just....didn't want to. I decided that for this particular book, I wanted to go with a small press or self-publish. (And I'll do a separate post on why.)

As you already know- I heard back from Danielle in December with an offer on BETWEEN, and I signed my contract right after the first of the year. Then I waited for what seemed like an eternity for it to post in Publishers Marketplace.

I don't have the patience to make it bigger. You know what it says anyway.


So then finally, FINALLY, I was able to announce it on Twitter. And then Twitter exploded.

It. Was. Awesome.

So many of you have been with me since I entered my very first contest with BETWEEN (A Cupid contest, February 2012), and you've all been so great--whether you've read my book, helped with my query, or just cheered me on through lots and lots of revising. I love the little community we have, and how we're all there for each other to share in the highs and lows that come with this crazy thing we all decided to do with our lives. Thanks so much for being as awesome as you are. I can't begin to tell you how much you guys mean to me.

And now for the numbers.

Query Stats: (Across all drafts, obviously...)
I used Querytracker for everything. I love that site and can't recommend it enough.
Total queries sent: 52
Partial/Full Requests: 6
R&Rs: 2
Offers of Rep: 0
Offers of Publication: 1 (YAY!)

AND HOLY MOTHER OF ALL THAT IS PRETTY MY BOOK IS ON GOODREADS. Click here to go gaze at that beautiful page.

Love you guys.