Wednesday, March 19, 2014

IN REAL LIFE Book Deal News!

I know three blog posts in three days after months of almost complete radio silence is a little extreme.
BUT.
You guys, I have some news. Big news. Major news. 
YES, it's true. IN REAL LIFE, the book I have been working on and trying to get right and pouring my heart into for what seems like forever, is going to be published. 

This book has all of my favorite things in it. The internet. Romance. Road trips. Best friends. Sisters. Las Vegas. Hot musicians. Live music. Late night phone calls. Secrets. More Las Vegas. Korean girls. Boys with glasses. Girls and boys behaving badly. Oh, and kissing. Of course. I am seriously so excited I can hardly see straight. 

It's been a long, emotional road for me and this book. I wrote it and I struggled and struggled to get it just right. There were things off here and there and I worked and worked and worked to get it perfect because I truly love this book, this story, these characters.

After about a year of work, I sent it to my agent last January. And she told me it wasn't quite right.
I was at a pretty low point after that. I thought this book was perfect, so getting these comments from my agent felt like a rejection. This book was so personal, and I got it wrong. How could that be?

I was letting it sit, trying to figure out what to do and how to fix it, when I got the deal for PUSH GIRL. So I had to put fixing it on the back burner while I worked my butt off on this new story. But Hannah and Nick were never far from my heart. 


It wasn't until pretty late in the year that I was all done with PUSH GIRL and was finally able to go back to IRL. Let me tell you, having the time away from it did worlds of good for my perspective. You hear that advice a lot - put a ms away for a month, three months, six months. I always scoff at it; who has that kind of time? But when the time is forced upon you, well, the advice turns out to be right on point. Thanks to the clarity that comes with distance and some brilliant new readers, I was able to see the problems in the story...and I was able to fix them.


I'll admit...I was a little nervous about sending it back to my agent. What if I didn't fix it? What if I can't? What if I have to give up on this book that feels like it's the best of me?

But, luckily, there is a happy ending to this story. She loved it. (And she was totally right about the issues it had.) And the editor I have been working on PUSH GIRL with at St. Martin's loved it. And after two years of work on this book (with a very long break in the middle there...WE WERE ON A BREAK!), the whole thing was wrapped up in just a few weeks. 

And now it's real! And Nick and Hannah are going to be out there in the world...next year! I'm thrilled!

So, I'll leave you with this photo that has been on my Scrivner corkboard for the past two years... 


Thank you all so much for your support! I'm so excited for you to read this book!

34 comments:

  1. Congrats! I just saw the PW announcement this morning.

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  2. This news makes my whole week. So happy for you, Jess, and I can't wait for the world to meet Hannah and Nick! Congrats!

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    1. Thank you, Katy! :-D You helped me so much with this book...it wouldn't be a book without you!

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  3. Did I mention how happy I was about this? :-) SO HAPPY :-))))

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  4. Congrats! I can't wait to read it!

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  5. <3 All about all the things I love too!
    So excited!

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  6. YAY! I've been waiting for this for SO LONG! Super happy for you, Jess! This book made me feel FEELS! <3

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  7. I can't wait for IRL to snuggle with Eleanor & Park and John Green on my favorites book shelf!! Hannah and Nick are EPIC and this is the BEST news! I'm beyond excited for you!! xoxo

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  8. It's so inspiring to see how you were able to fix all the issues your agent had with IRL and turn it into a story that sold so quickly! I loved the earlier version of IRL and can't wait to read the new one. Congrats again!!!

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    1. Thank you SO MUCH for your help on this book, Ghenet! xoxo

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  9. Jessica, here are all the reasons I love you:
    1- we have the same first name
    2- I wish I had your last name
    3- you're beautiful
    4- this book! Set in Vegas?!! Kissing?!!
    5- your perseverance. I adore this pub story.
    6- the Friends reference. Girl, we are so on the same wavelength!
    7- there's more...but I'll stop here :)

    congrats!!!!!

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    1. Yessssss! I can't top your Burbs reference, though. That was THE BEST!

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  10. I am so insanely happy for you. I can't wait to read this! It sounds similar to an MS I'm working on for fun, which is to say I love the friends meeting in real life storyline and am even MORE excited to read yours. I love that this has been your baby and all that hard work has paid off. A big, huge CONGRATULATIONS!

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    1. YAY for friends meeting IRL! :-D Thanks, Tracey!

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  11. How very exciting!! Can't wait to read it when it comes out. :) :)

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  12. I seriously can't put into words how excited for you I am. Nor can I put into any additional words how proud I am of you and how inspiring you are. You deserve this Jess, I'm so happy that I was able to watch your dream come true!

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    1. Aww, thank you, friend! *squishy hugs*

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  13. I am so excited for you but I can't believe I have to wait so long to read it! :)

    And 1000 points to Ravenclaw for the Friends reference :)

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  14. Ahhhhhh! I am so, SO excited for you! I mean, I've BEEN excited about Push Girls. But I am REALLY looking forward to reading this story you've been dying to tell! Congratulations!!!!!!

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  15. Woo to the hoo! So excited for you! Can't wait to read IRL!

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  16. So excited for your news, and I LOVE the premise. I think we will (should?) see more stories where online and real life universes meld. (I would also personally like to see more YA stories with video games as part of the plot, specifically with young women who game, but that's a side note). I've been following your blog for awhile and remember you posting about writing diverse characters. Very cool that your book has Korean characters. I can't wait to read it.

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  17. I just bought your book on Barns & Nobles and its so romantic from what I can see but the bad thing is that ks not an AR book but I just start reading it and its so beautiful.

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  18. I just bought your book on Barns & Nobles and its so romantic from what I can see but the bad thing is that ks not an AR book but I just start reading it and its so beautiful.

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