My husband keeps asking me what I want to do for my birthday, and I have no idea. Texas de Brazil will probably be getting money from us this weekend, in which case I will consume a cocktail with a Portuguese name I will butcher when I attempt to pronounce it. And I won’t feel bad, because, yeah…I’m 40.
Honestly, I’ve been claiming 40 for a while now, because what difference does a few weeks make, really? And I really love the looks I get when I tell people that I’m 40. That started when I was 36 and sitting in a pitch session with Jenny Bent, from The Bent Agency. I could see the doubt and confusion fighting in her brain.
She’s lying. There’s no way she’s 36. Why would a woman over 21 add years to her age? She’s really that old?
I love Jenny Bent, by the way. She doesn’t represent my genre but asked to see pages anyway, told me I was a good writer, gave me some advice about dialing down my vocabulary, and gave me a recommendation to the YA agent in her office. All this in the span of five minutes. I seriously wanted to send her chocolate to say thank you for the boost of confidence, which came at just the right time, but I was advised of the many ways that could be taken as more than simple gratitude.
Where was I? Oh yeah, 40.
Maybe it’s the amount of time I’m spending in the heads of upper teenagers because I write YA, but I don’t feel much different than I did at 20. I consume more alcohol and I have a different opinion of both MTV and God, but otherwise, I don’t think I’ve changed much. I’m much too concerned with what I want to have done in the next 20 years to worry about where the last 20 went.
Recently, I spoke to a writer friend about Jennifer Armentrout. If you’re not familiar with her, she’s a big deal in publishing as a hybrid author. Multiple series with multiple publishers. She’s got contracts for books she hasn’t written yet. She’s the poster child for “successful” author. She has an impressive backlist, a rabid fanbase, and writing novels IS her day job. I couldn’t tell you the first thing about Daemon Black, but I want to be Jennifer Armentrout when I grow up.
What am I doing to get myself there?
First, while waiting to hear back from agents and editors about GLITCH, I’m working on a to-do list for a self-published launch. It’s a longer list of tasks than you might think.
Second, I am starting the outline for VIRGO. Glitch and Virgo share the same universe, so there’s a lot of world building I have to do to keep the world consistent, because I’m intending to write the series in tandem. (Yes, you may call me insane.)
Third, I’m starting to put together an idea for a standalone magical realism. It took me a good two months to wrap my head around what magical realism is exactly, but I think the idea I’ve come up with is pretty good on both the genre front AND the diversity in YA front.
Four, I’m stalking #MSWL on Twitter, and you know what I’ve discovered. Dystopian is out. High Fantasy is back IN. I have a two volume High Fantasy sitting on my self. May have to drag that sucker out. Would require editing though…a lot of editing.
OH…if you’re reading this and you just happen to write High Fantasy that is based on non-European cultures, there are agents looking for that.
So, if I get off my ass…I should be able to complete 2 series, 2 stand alone novels, and a 2-volume epic, for a grand total of 11 published novels before I’m 50? Ask me again in 2024 how I did. If I manage to get it done, I will certainly have been too busy to care about the big 5-0.
That reminds me. My driver’s license expires today.