I'm not sure where to start.
So I'll guide you to this link on my agent's blog. Why don't you read that and come back? I'll wait.
(Did you really read it?)
(Okay . . .)
Remember that publishing timeline I posted the other day? In particular, the part where I said, "THIS IS THE FUTURE AND, THEREFORE, SUBJECT TO CHANGE"? And then proceeded to explain my work schedule on Anna for the next two years until her publication?
Welcome to the future. It has changed.
I'M BEING PUBLISHED A YEAR EARLY!
As stated on my Publisher's Marketplace announcement (linked above on Super-Agent Kate's blog, which I trust you just read), my first novel will hit the shelves NEXT FALL. Not Summer/Fall 2011.
YOU GUYS, I'LL BE IN BOOKSTORES IN ONE YEAR!
And . . . yeah. There are a few more newsy tidbits tucked into that same PM announcement. The most important:
(1) Anna has a new title.
(2) Second Novel's title has been revealed.
I've mentioned before that there was a good chance Anna's title would change during editing (most titles do), and indeed, it has. I think the overall reaction to the original — Anna and the English French American Boy Masterpiece — was "Cool" followed quickly by, "Wait . . . what?"
So now it's just Anna and the Boy Masterpiece.
I'm still happy with the title, and it still meets my goals. I won't share ALL of my reasoning behind it, but one should be quite obvious when you see Second Novel's title:
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Despite everything she's put me through, I'm VERY proud and excited about Lola. And, yes, the announcement says she's a "companion novel." This means that Anna and Lola have overlapping elements, but Lola isn't a sequel. They'll be able to be read independently of one another, though it'll be more fun if you've read Anna first.
(Of course — like everything else — that's all subject to change.)
But back to that whole being-published-a-year-early thing:
(1) Yes, it's rare. My publishing house had an opening in their Fall 2010 catalog for a book like mine, and my amazing editor, Julie Strauss-Gabel, made the push. I am lucky. Very, very lucky.
(2) No, I haven't known for long. Less than a week! It's all still new and shocking.
(3) Yes, suddenly, I have a LOT of work to do.
(4) Yes, I'm panicking. Did I mention I have a lot of work to do? Quite suddenly? And in a much, much shorter time frame?
(5) Yes, I can do it. That chai latte I had last night told me so.
And now for some tweaking on my Official List:
(1) It's a young adult novel.
(2) Hopefully it has some funny bits.
(3) There is kissing. Of course.
(4) Most of it takes place in Paris.
(5) There is an HBM.* (Well, more like an HBM plus.)
(6) It’s called Anna and the Boy Masterpiece.
(7) It's contemporary and realistic. In other words, no vampires or magic. Or magic vampires.
(8) It's set in a boarding school.
(9) It wasn't (originally) intentional, but several important scenes occur on stairs. Though I shouldn't have been surprised when it happened, because the inspiration for the entire story came from a dream (ack, yes) in which I saw a beautiful boy sitting . . . on the steps of a semi-famous monument.
(10) The main character's name is Anna Oliphant.
The Boy Masterpiece himself remains — for now — a secret. But a good one, I promise! And I don't mean a secret like he's a werewolf (see #7, above). He's a secret, because I'm in love with him, and I'm still greedy and protective.
(Not really, not anymore. But my claws are still gripping his arm, and I'm quietly hissing, "Miiiiiine.")
I think that's everything. My head is spinning, and I'm already editing, and all of those things I'd been putting off for another year — like a real website — have to be dealt with NOW. So if you don't see me around Blogville much for the next few months, I hope you'll forgive me next year.
Next year . . . WHEN YOU CAN READ MY FIRST NOVEL!
*Hot British Man, for new blog readers