I wrote a post similar to this last year, and if you want to see it, click here.
So. This time last year, I was turning twenty, without an agent, and taking a semester off from college. I had written a book called THE WAYWARD DARK and was editing it to pieces, preparing to send off my queries for it. That October, I had visited my first ever critique partner and super close friend Sarah Glenn Marsh in Virginia for the first time.
The first query for THE WAYWARD DARK I sent on December 1st, 2014. On January 23rd, 2015, I got the offer of representation from my agent Emmanuelle. A few months later, we took the next step and sent the manuscript out to editors. And then I became a Pitch Wars mentor, something I had dreamed about since I was a wee writer in Pitch Wars as a mentee back in 2013. It was utterly, completely insane to be the one mentoring rather than the one being mentored. And now I'm so close to finishing the second manuscript I've written since signing with Emmanuelle, and it will be the second manuscript she reads (after THE WAYWARD DARK).
And it is absolutely, 100% surreal to look back on this year and think about everything that's happened. I never once thought I would be this successful. That I would make it into the 1% of writers who are represented by agents.
I never thought I would be a mentor in Pitch Wars, that I would receive 182 amazing submissions, that I would get to work with the irreplaceable Jo Hathaway, who has become such a close friend.
I never thought I would somehow be lucky enough to make so many more amazing friends in the writing community, or that I could become friends with so many fellow Pitch Wars mentors, or that I would be part of my amazing Word Girls group, or make so many Twitter friends I could never name them all.
I never thought I would meet Leigh Bardugo at a book signing, the author who inspired my books so much I would not be where I am now without them, and that she would recognize me!
I never thought I'd meet my soul twin, aka my literal other half, Hafsah Faizal. If people can be two halves of the same coin, that's what we are. She's more than a best friend to me. I would not be complete without her.
Looking back on everything that has changed since my twentieth birthday exactly one year ago today, it's no wonder 2015 has literally flown by. And writing this has reminded me to be so, so grateful for everything I have and everything I've done, even if that's hard to remember on a day-to-day basis.
I made it this far, and I'll make it even further, because I refuse to give up .The book world is my home. It's where I have finally found I belong. So here's to another great year and every single surprise it will bring.