distraction no.99

Nova Ren Suma | On Writing & Writing Distractions

Not an Author Newsletter… something else.

Saying Yes to a Yes

I am so flattered and surprised by the outpouring of support from my announcement about my tween novel. How can I say thank you enough? Thank you!

I formally accepted my formal offer from S&S* on Friday, so this whole publishing-a-book fantasy is real. (I think. I’m still in shock about the whole thing.) I never imagined that my first published novel would be for young readers, but—not to sound hokey—this is where fate has led me, and this is the story I’m telling right now. The voice of the story is a 13-year-old girl, so it’s only fitting girls her age would read it. There will be other stories, I hope. I really do have a lot to say.

Saying yes to the yes was a beautiful moment for me. I am so used to getting this-close and then seeing a no.

Next time, though, I’m getting** an agent. In fact, it was recommended to me that I shouldn’t answer the formal offer right away and instead run out and tell an agent I have an offer on the table and to please come on board right now. I decided not to do that. I’ll be seeking an agent once I finish my YA*** manuscript. I will probably WISH I had an agent when my contract for this book comes, though. I have no idea how to read a contract.

So here I am—about to publish a book that I haven’t even finished writing yet. I didn’t know you could actually sell a book based on 30 pages and a plot summary, but it happened, it really happened. I will get deadlines from my editor soon. I can’t wait to keep writing it. I love this book! Here’s proof.

All I’ve wanted to be all my life is a writer. And it’s funny—now that it’s more official—I feel just the same about myself as I did before. I was a writer before this, and I’ll keep being one. You are a writer when you admit to yourself that you are one. Why has it taken me so long to face that?


* To the wonderful Courtney: You were right about the imprint. And they’ll be publishing mine in hardcover! Can you deal? (p.s. Courtney, thanks for your advice about that publishing board… so helpful!)

** I should say trying to get. I’ve never sought out an agent specifically for YA writing, but I will in the near future when my next manuscript is done. I’m dreading seeking an agent, but I’ve realized that, for me, so unsure of what I’m doing, it really is a necessity.

*** I still don’t know if the other novel I’ve been writing is YA, but the fact that S&S accepted my tween novel makes me think it should be YA, like this is the path I should be on, these are the voices I write the best. Maybe. I wonder… is it a sign?

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4 responses to “Saying Yes to a Yes”

  1. I’ve been a bit out of the loop so I missed the initial announcement. Congratulations on the book deal, you’re living every writer’s dream. I think some writer’s guilds or organizations would let you look at a sample contract, wouldn’t they (?) or perhaps there are some on-line forums where someone can talk you through the dos and don’ts. Mainly it’s common sense and not being intimidated by the language. Make sure you get a piece of future electronic/digital rights, a decent royalty rate, an advance that will let you pay off a few bills. And keep writing, working on the NEXT project. Good fortune to you…

  2. I wish I could adequately express in this little box how happy I am for you but I can’t because this little box is too little and words are not enough! Just exclamation marks say it best:


    I have caught myself smiling over this several times since you announced. I knew 2008 would be your year!!!!!! And you’ve totally earned it and just worked hard and and and


    The Aladdin line puts out such fantastic novels and I just think it’s perfect that YOU will be one of their first hardcovers and and and and and AND!



  3. Wow, what a glorious thing to read, what fantastic news!!

    Life has a funny way of happening without our messing with it. It just goes and runs off all by itself and often in a surprising and wonderful way. Congratulations, Ms Nova.

  4. Path, shmath! I read an interview recently by a well-respected author describing her judging a fiction prize, and at one point she said something along the lines of: “And then there were all the YA books… I was opened to new worlds, and most of them were much more exceptionally and beautifully written than the adult material.”

    You’re in that category, Nova: Exceptional, beautiful, opening new worlds for the rest of us. I’m excited about the directions YA takes, and admire you all the more for having such a broad—and multitalented—scope. Many happy cheers to you!

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