5 words, 14 letters…I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!

“I can’t believe this is real life” has become my new mantra. If someone were to tell me three weeks ago that I’d be sharing this news with you, I’d think they were crazy. And clearly compulsive liars, and why the heck was I friends with such crazy compulsive liars?! I’d need to look into finding some decent friends…

I’m still shamefully ineloquent right now, so please forgive this rambling mess of emotions. This is a post I’ve been dreaming of, patiently waiting for five years (including query trench time) and (more than) a handful of books later to write. It will be told with a series of accompanying gifs because that’s kinda how I roll.

Guys? I have a book deal.

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Holy state of denial, Batman. Maybe I should say that to myself again, a little louder this time to be sure: I HAVE A BOOK DEAL.

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Like the time I had “THE CALL” with my agent (and was totally convinced Barbara wanted to talk on the phone because she found fancy new ways of lighting my manuscript on fire…using her eyes), I sent my pal A.G. Howard an email, panicking that MAYBE THEY WILL SAY “HAHA JUST KIDDING, NO DEAL HERE, MANIAC. WE FOUND WAYS TO LIGHT YOUR BOOK ON FIRE WITH OUR EYES.”

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Ever the reasonable one, Anita assured me that still wasn’t a thing. So now I’m back to quietly repeating my mantra. I cannot believe it’s happening. Like seriously…what dream world did I teleport to and how long can I stay?!

My editor and publisher (SQUEALS!) were even nice enough to have it announced, so I can now stare at it, all wide-eyed with tears streaming down my face, and keep whispering, “I can’t believe this is real life.”

Here’s the publishers marketplace deal announcement:

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And here’s a screenshot of the Publisher’s Weekly announcement:

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This is what it says: Jenny Bak at Jimmy Patterson Books has bought a YA novel called Of Blood and Shadow by Kerri Maniscalco. The debut gothic thriller, inspired by the Ripper murders, is about a Victorian-era lord’s daughter who defies society expectations by secretly apprenticing as a forensics examiner, and soon finds herself embroiled in the investigation of a serial killer who is stalking London’s East End. The book is scheduled for fall 2016; Barbara Poelle at Irene Goodman Literary Agency negotiated the deal for world English rights.

*jumps up and down* *faints*

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So yeah. It’s really real. I’m not sure I’ll ever wrap my brain around that, and honestly? I hope I never do. This is such an incredible blessing.

Thank you to my family, loved ones, friends, and all of my writing pals (#goatposse) and critique partners and beta readers and agent siblings. And to my superhero/agent goddess, Barbara Poelle, for making this insane dream come true.

And a BIG THANK YOU to my editor. *waves* Hi Jenny! I am ridiculously excited for what comes next!

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Also, I am so grateful and beyond words thrilled to be on this journey with James Patterson and the entire team at JIMMY Patterson Books and Little, Brown. You guys are total dream makers. Thank you forever.

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OF BLOOD AND SHADOW is in the best possible hands and I cannot wait to share these characters and this world with all of you next Fall, dear readers and friends.

And now? WE DRINK CHAMPAGNE AND DANCE.

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OR DANCE IN OUR CHAMPAGNE.

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EITHER WAY WE’RE DANCING AND CHAMPAGNE IS INVOLVED!

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Click here to add OF BLOOD AND SHADOW on goodreads!

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America’s Got (lots of) Talent with musician Rachel Zamstein

One of the kindest/sweetest/most amazing/ [insert tons more awesome descriptions] people (and musical talents) I’ve ever met, is heading to Vegas thanks to America’s Got Talent. Rachel Zamstein is the kind of person that shines her little light wherever she goes, so please watch the video, support her and cheer her on from your television screens. The world needs more Rachel Zamstein’s in it! CONGRATS RACHEL!!!!!! XOXO

Video credit AmericazGotTalents Youtube Channel

Examiner Article below:

Fans of the hit NBC television show America’s Got Talent have already been privy to the subject of today’s article: the uber-talented songstress, Rachel Zamstein. Examiner.comfirst introduced you to this artist in April of 2010, and since our last report, a lot of good things have been happening for the twenty-six year old Connecticut native.

In a heart pounding decision, the judges on America’s Got Talent voted in favor of sending Zamstein to Vegas in a two-one tally. It was a good decision. From the wildly enthusiastic response of the audience – she is obviously already a crowd pleaser. The only judge who didn’t feel Rachel was ready just yet was Howie Mandel. And he’s probably just bitter about her awesome head of hair.

Zamstein is blowing up all over the internet with support and early predictions of her going all the way in the competition. Which is more than deserved, as she’s been working on her musical talents for most of her life. She exudes a genuine warmth and vulnerability that make you want to pull for her. And really, she’s got the singing chops to pull off winning easily. Be sure to check her music out, and show your support for her by watching the show.

If you’d like to learn more about her, check out her new band Lily Red’s website. They’re  currently in the studio, so lot’s of good things are expected to be happening there.

More information on Rachel Zamstein:

Twitter: @iamrachelbeth

Wish you were here.

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.”
— Neil Gaiman

Video credit: MajestyofDT’s youtube channel

*For the inquiring minds who’ve asked: All the posts on love are because I’m currently writing about it. That’s really all there is to it. <3333333333

Top Ten: Quotes for Writers and Word Nerds

Unfortunately, I don’t have time for a super long post today because I’m spending the weekend putting the final (okay the sixth, or seventh FINAL) touches on my latest project. I started it at the end of December, shelved it in early January – wrote another book in between – and brought it back out a few weeks ago, to really edit it into perfection. I really like it, and I even made a video trailer for it. (Visual aides are my weakness, you should try it sometime!) But that’s staying underground for a bit, I’ll put it up on Youtube eventually.

The first round of query letters are going out SOON(ish), so I’m super excited. That’ll bring my submission count up to three novels circulating at once. Two projects are still under consideration by some mighty fine agencies, so we’ll see how this lil’ guy does. Soooo, since I’m editing and doing all that fun writerly stuff, here are some quotes for all you writers out there doing the same thing this weekend. Happy Friday! XOXOXOXOXO

Top Ten Quotes for Writers and Word Nerds

1.) “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” — Ernest Hemingway

2.) “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison

3.) “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.” — Robert Frost

4.) “We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.” — Kurt Vonnegut

5.) “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” — Stephen King

6.) “Writing is like sex. First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money.” — Virginia Woolf

7.) “Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.” — Neil Gaiman

8.) “Write the kind of story you would like to read. People will give you all sorts of advice about writing, but if you are not writing something you like, no one else will like it either.” — Meg Cabot

9.) “This is how you do it: you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until its done. It’s that easy, and that hard.” — Neil Gaiman

10.) “So what? All writers are lunatics!” — Cornelia Funk

Smiles like sunbeams

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“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” 

— Roald Dahl

I posted this quote on twitter yesterday afternoon, but some things are worth repeating. Growing up I adored everything Roald Dahl had to offer, from Matilda to the BFG, James & the Giant Peach, The Witches…Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, and…you get the point. Basically I think his books are awesomesauce.

His words touched me then, as they do now. Kinda like the way I hope this little excerpt inspires, or touches you today. At the very least, I hope it makes you smile. BTW, I hear they’re contagious, so spread ‘em around. Happy Wednesday! For all my writing friends a special #WW shout-out as well.

If you have a favorite author, or quote that you’d like to share, let me know in the comments or on twitter. I look forward to hearing what inspires you!

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Song of the Day: Watching the Wheels

Today’s song is by the fabulous John Lennon; a man who understood just how important peace, and love are in this world. Enjoy! XOXOXOXOXO

Artist: John Lennon

Song: Watching the Wheels

Video credit GeorgeHarrisonLuver’s Youtube Channel

My friend Rachel reblogged this quote, and it’s one of my absolute favorites. It also seems kind of perfect for today, so I thought I’d share it with you too. 

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

~Martin Luther King Jr.

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Song of the day: I Got Mine (the Black Keys)

If you haven’t listened to the Black Keys yet, you’re definitely missing out on a great band. So here’s a song just for you <3333’s! Happy Friday, and for everyone celebrating Easter, I hope the bunny’s good to you!! 🙂

Video Credit FUDHEAD’s Youtube Channel