Okay, here’s the skinny. I’ve got a contract and everything. Can you believe it? [No. –ed.] You shut up.
So it turns out that my initial hope in entering the ABNA paid off! An agent (Jaime Auvant from It’s Literary! Agency) scanning through the list of the thousand Young Adult finalists (honestly, though she didn’t say so, I’m sure her assistant did the dirty work) found that my entry corresponded with one that was already in their slush pile. Lucky for me, she pulled it out, read the first thirty pages, and liked it enough to e-mail me a request for more, I e-mailed her the full manuscript, she read it straight-through, and offered me representation.
AND THAT’S NOT ALL…
Ms. Auvant contacted some publishers who she knew were looking for Young Adult novels that are a little offbeat and, at auction, sold the manuscript (currently titled The Dream Thief) to Scholastic for a tidy sum. I won’t say how much (as my mom would be afraid of thieves coming to ransack my place) (as if I withdrew the entire advance and have it holed up under my bed) (which is totally not the case) (don’t come over, I mean it) (I have a really, really mean cat) (friends, please don’t pay attention to the last two parantheticals) but it’s enough to allow me not to work for the next year and focus on writing.
Not enough to move to New York and not work for the next year and focus on writing, but you can’t have everything. And I live cheap.
BUT THAT’S NOT ALL…
What’s amazing about the whole thing – besides how fast everything’s moved along – I mean, really, only a few days ago I was complaining about how not easy everything was – is that my agent (Thank you, Jaime!) finagled my publisher (how strange it feels to say that. Okay, to write that.) into a multi-book deal, which means, fingers willing and buying-public approving, I won’t have to work for a living after all!
Well, except for writing. You know, ‘cause writing’s work. Though the ease with which this has all come down makes it seem more like the lottery or a dream than real life. So, expect, after The Dream Thief, in quick(ish) succession, Kingdoms of Good and Evil, The Underground Empire of Joseph Wunderkind, and The High School of the Damned: A History, as told to Randy Carter, Self-Appointed Historian of the Ninth Grade.
YET THAT’S NOT ALL…
Ms. Auvant (with great achievements come great respect) is also in talks over movie rights and though she knows nothing as of yet (knowing equaling a signed, sealed, delivered contract) things look good for a movie.
Granted, I’m sure I’ll have little or nothing to do with the movie (except to accept money), and the plot might be distorted out of all proportion and recognition, but. But. But but but.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE…
While writing this post, I received an e-mail that says, in no uncertain terms, that “Arnold Schwarzenegger is interested in The Dream Thief both as a producer and as an actor” (sidenote: it’ll be a year, at least, before the book comes out, years before the movie) and “Gilliam wants to direct.”
Also, I have a house waiting for me in L.A., an apartment in New York, and a flat in Kraków. Pre-orders (already!) have been through the roof as well as the stratosphere, and some days I want to just sit back, in relative peace and quiet, and think about how it used to be (scrounging for money, eating at non-fancy restaurants, wearing the same clothes two days in a row because all my clothes are dirty and I can’t afford to wash them) and what I’ll miss. Yes, it’s nostalgia, I know, but nostalgia is the sweet syrup over the present that keeps fantasy in check by providing an eager fantasy of the past (though we know the past was never really like that).
Can you believe that today I hear this, of all days? [No. –ed.] Shut up.