Wednesday, January 4, 2012

New Year, New News!

So this is something I've been sitting on for months. Partly because I kept waiting to wake up and find out it's not true. Partly because I wanted to make sure I dotted all my i's and crossed all my t's. And honestly because I was painfully nervous about putting it out in the world and seeing what the reaction would be. So what is this news, you ask?

You might remember this announcement from author Saundra Mitchell about the new anthology she's editing, DEFY THE DARK, a few months ago. Here's a little more info:

DEFY THE DARK is an all-new anthology coming Summer 2013 from Saundra Mitchell and HarperTeen. It features 17 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark.

So here's the thing. One of those 17 authors is me. I know. I can't believe it either! My short story, STILLWATER, about a town that's just... not quite right (and kissing), is going to be published. In a book. By HarperTeen. Right next to some of my ALL-TIME favorite YA authors. It still feels like it's not really happening.

Me with my publishing contract!

I can't give you the full list of authors yet (trust me, it will blow your mind), but here's a little taste of the authors who have also announced or posted that they're contributing:

  • Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Tessa Gratton
  • Malinda Lo
  • Saundra Mitchell
  • Dia Reeves
  • Beth Revis
  • Jon Skovron
  • Courtney Summers

And that is just the tip of the amazing author iceberg. Basically, if I could have hand-picked a group of authors to all be in one anthology, this would be that group. When I look at the full list, I sort of feel like I stumbled into someone else's surprise party.

And so as 2012 gets started, I just want to say to everyone out there who might be reading this and feeling frustrated with their own progress, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU TOO. I'm living proof that if you keep working hard on your writing, put your heart in it, and put yourself out there, someone will recognize it. They really will.

Being invited to contribute to this anthology was the last thing I expected. It was one of those dream goals I hadn't even put on my list yet because I felt I had so many other things I needed to accomplish first, before I could even dare to imagine it. And now here I am, hoping to survive the apocalypse and make it til Summer 2013!

There will be much more exciting news about DEFY THE DARK coming in the future - including one really awesome surprise. And I'm still trying to figure out what to do to celebrate and share the love. But for now I just want to say thank you to everyone in the YA writing community who has ever taken the time to share their journey, because without all of your blogs and forums and tweets I would still be trying to figure out how to get started writing a book. I hope that my little bit of good news can help spur you on your path to your own.

I'll do a post later on about how I managed to finally get over my fear and actually write the story. (It was not pretty.)

Also, if you haven't yet, go congratulate my CP Kristi V. Helvig on signing with an agent!


Kelsey said...

That is so amazing :) Huge congrats! Can't wait to read it.

Anonymous said...

CONGRATS!!! What a GREAT way to start the new year!!! And I know exactly what you mean about dotting the i's and crossing the t's; I'm always afraid of jumping the gun with an announcement and jinxing myself in the process. Best to you and your writing in 2012; I'll be looking for this anthology!!!!

Lynsey Newton said...

That's awesome news Valerie, congratulations!!!! x

Rebecca L Sutton said...

Sooo awesome! Congratulations on this huge news. I can't wait to hear more about it. Cheers to a great 2012!

Suze Reese said...

Wonderful news! The sky's the limit!

Charlie Rice said...

I LOVE reading good news! I'm thrilled for you. Congratulations Val.

Anita Saxena said...

Wow, congratulations! How exciting! And that is a spectacular list of authors contributing!

Kristi Helvig said...

YAY--so glad you could finally announce it because it's so awesome! Your short story is amazing and deserves to be among such other great talent. Congrats!!!!

Natalie C Parker said...

I was beginning to think you would sit on this until the book was on shelves. And I'm so happy to see that's not the case.

Now, I shall go and spread the word with wild abandon. ;)

L.J. Boldyrev said...

Woot! I can finally brag about you and this! Congrats, Valerie! You totally deserve it!

Frankie Diane Mallis said...

That is AWESOME! Congratulations!

Valerie Kemp said...

Thank you SO MUCH everyone for your kind comments! It makes me so happy to be able to share this with you!

Celeste Loring said...

Congratulations :)

Jess (The Cozy Reader) said...

OH! How awesome! Congrats Valerie! :)

A.J. Mullarky said...

Wow, congratulations! :)

the story siren said...

YOU ARE AWESOME. that is all. :)

Marisa Hopkins said...

Wow, YAY! Congrats to you!

Ainsley Shay said...

Congratulations! That's a great way to start off the year!

Tyhitia Green said...

Wow! Congratulations, Valerie. :-D Those are some impressive folks there.

Will you post how this all happened? Every detail? :-D

Valerie Kemp said...

Thank you so much!

@Tyhitia I will post more about the opportunity and my experience soon, although there aren't so many exciting "how it happened" details to tell.

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