An Announcement!

I have something to say, to announce, proclaim, SHOUT and I'm so giddy about it I've hardly been able to sleep. Before I start I just want to establish:

This is not the announcement I've always dreamed of. In fact, it's better.

I recently finished a two-year-long bout of querying. Two years of getting my hopes up every time I heard the little honk of an email from my phone, only to be told that I'm a good writer but... Or that agents just "couldn't connect." I received four R & Rs loaded with compliments, with suggested changes (which have made the book better by far, and for which I'm truly grateful). One agent even read two versions and requested a third before saying it still wasn't quite what she wanted. My heart kept getting crushed because guess what? My story is GOOD. Amazing, even. But I kept hoping, kept trying. People around me were announcing their good news, their books, their offers, their new agents. It hurt. I couldn't even get on blogs or Twitter for a while.

But I continued writing. I kept trying, because in my little trampled-hopes heart I still knew this is what I loved and what I wanted. More than that---I KNEW I COULD DO IT. More time passed, more agents requested, more rejected. And my thoughts began to turn, and I began to hear things...

Slowly, my dream shifted, without me even being aware.

A question was posed to me recently at Storymakers by a woman who had quit her full-time job because she was having so much success with her writing. Self-publishing, in fact. And it's stuck with me.

She asked, "What can traditional publishing do for you that you can't do for yourself?"

After that I began to take action. Do research. Pray. More research, more prayer--which always gave an overwhelming confirmation of YES, GO FOR IT! I wrote to the last agent who had my story and told her how I was feeling. After two years of waiting I TOOK CONTROL. And can I just say how liberating it's been? She politely backed out and wished me luck, which was perfect. I'd even gotten a request from an editor with Tor who totally gushed over the premise of Phobic. But I wrote to her and withdrew my submission with total satisfaction. And since I did that the cogs have been turning; stories have been coming together, and I've felt so free and ON FIRE and it's like I've been stewing with gas inside and someone lit the match, setting me off. For all those years, the Lord has been assuring me, and I've just had a *feeling* Phobic would be the one. But I never imagined it would happen like this, and I LOVE IT.



I've got two other stories almost ready to go as well. I've learned and changed and progressed and my writing is all the better for it. I'm glad I had those two years to figure out what I *really* wanted. And now I love the fact that no matter what ANYONE else thinks about the market, about what sells or what readers want, guess what? Readers want to READ STUFF. Sure, there are trends, but I don't believe fantasy is out, or dystopian, even paranormal and vampires! If it's good, and it's AVAILABLE to them, they'll read it!

So I'm pleased to declare that Phobic is coming to the world. That with the help of friends (Liz, Morgan, Anne, I wouldn't be anywhere without you and all your love and help and support), with the advice of those who've gone before, with minimal waiting, with total control over the process, with the support of people who've already been cheering me on for years-----Phobic, my YA horror of bedazzling creepiness, is coming September 23, 2014!



Here's a small drool-y blurb:

Fifteen-year-old Piper Crenshaw knows her house is strange, but when an act of vandalism injures her instead of her house, she realizes the place isn't just haunted--it's alive. Piper has to figure out how to break her connection to it before becoming a part of her house for good.



I'm self-publishing Phobic!! And I've never been happier about writing than I am right this moment!!!


P.S. I just want to add that I believe in traditional publishing. I'm truly grateful to the agents who took the time to consider my work, and especially those who gave their feedback. And I totally squee over other people's successes. It just turns out that it wasn't the right path for Phobic. :)

Cortney

23 comments

Kyra Lennon said...

*high fives* Welcome to the self-publisher club!

I cannot WAIT to read your book, it sounds fantastic!!

Elizabeth Briggs said...

Yay! I'm so happy the world will get to read Phobic, which is still my fsvorite YA ghost story ever. EXCITING!!!

ilima said...

Squeeee! So excited for you, Cortney!!!

Jaime Morrow said...

This is fantastic news, Cortney! Good for you! I've been thinking a lot about self-publishing, too. (Nothing like hearing that the YA sci-fi story you've been working on for 3 years is a "hard sell" simply because it's sci-fi.) You're so right about readers wanting to read good books, no matter the genre or trends.

Anyway, I can't wait to see this all unfold for you! And I can't wait to read PHOBIC! :D

Michelle Merrill said...

Yay! Good for you! It's such a great feeling to finally know what's right for your book. Good luck with all the prep work :) I look forward to reading your book!

Dahlia Adler said...

So exciting, Cortney!!

Morgan said...

Cort, PHOBIC is AMAZING… I've read it in all its stages and have loved it EVERY TIME… It definitely needs to be out there for the world to read!!!

I'm SO EXCITED for this!!!! I'm hugging this post! What an amazing announcement!!!!!

<3 <3 <3

!!!!

Robin said...

Thrilled for you, Cortney! Taking control of your work must feel SO DANG GOOD. I'm excited to read Phobic. Hopefully I'll still be able to sleep at night:)

Carrie Butler said...

Yay! You're going to love being indie, Cortney. It's so liberating! :D

S.P. Bowers said...

Congrats on finding the right path for you! It's wonderful that your book will be coming out to the world.

Suzi said...

So excited for you. Can't wait to finally read it!!!

Tammy Theriault said...

Amazing!! So glad to see you thrive!! Prayers answered, encouraging speech from storymakers, and amazing writer friends. Total package for success! Good luck being indie and hope it is everything and more! Plus ... Loved the blurb. I would definitely read it!!

Rebecca Lamoreaux said...

That's fabulous!!! I'm so happy for you and your little blurb is intriguing! Can't wait to see this in print!

Erin L. Funk said...

First of all, congratulations on deciding to self-publish! That's incredible news, and I wish PHOBIC all the best! You've chosen a brave and exciting path, and I have to confess that I'm considering the same one. We shall see...

Secondly, I LOVE this so, so much: "...guess what? Readers want to READ STUFF." No kidding! I recently brought my querying to a screeching halt because of too many polite rejections, and I was so sick of doing agent research only to hear agents who love sci-fi say they aren't looking for it right now because of the market. Since when should literature be determined by trends?

Good for you for writing WHAT you want and publishing HOW you want! So excited for you! :D

Melanie Crouse said...

Congratulations! That is so exciting. I self-published seven months ago, and I've never looked back. I can't wait to read it!

Leandra Wallace said...

I am so buying this when it comes out in Sept. I LOVE novels where houses are sentient- like love, love! Mainly b/c I've always been fascinated by buildings. And the older, the better. Is this an old house? If so, I love it even better! =) Congrats, Cortney!

Leigh Covington said...

YAHOO!!!! Cortney, I am so incredibly happy for you, and so excited about Phobic! Way to go, GIRL! This is a fantastic post to read and I love your positive enthusiasm and your willingness to share you experience and how you found the right path for your and your book! Best.News.Ever!

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Congratulations!! Very exciting. :) It sounds creepy and awesome!

Anne Pfeffer said...

Oh yeah baby! There is nothing like taking control. I predict interesting times and much success. Will be behind you the whole way! Much love, Anne

Crystal Collier said...

Yay! Have I told you how awesome your concept is? I'm stoked! If you need any pointers or help, call on me, lady.

Lynda R Young said...

Congratulations!! That feeling you got once you made the decision shows it was the right decision.

Tara Tyler R said...

congratulations!!! that blurb is awesome! so glad you decided to go for it and are doing it right. i know it will be successful for you - such a great story and more to come!

Kristin Smith said...

Congratulations! I know I'm a little late to the announcement, but wanted to stop by and wish you the best of luck. That is so exciting! I know how frustrating querying can be and I love that you found the RIGHT outlet for Phobic. Your premise sounds AWESOME and I can't wait to read it when it comes out in September! I'm still considering blazing the indie trail myself...we'll see...

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