How Writers Made It BIG: Veronica Roth

I get really excited and anxious when I write these. My hope is that it inspires you to finish your manuscript just as much as it inspires me.

On that note, here's how Veronica Roth made it BIG!!!

For Roth, once choice transformed her.

It started at a writer's conference in Muncie, Indiana--the middle of freaking no where. 

Here, was the beginning of the beginning for Roth. She signed up for a pitch session with agent Joanna Stampfel-Volpe of New Leaf Literary Agency

Volpe requested a partial. Roth made revisions. And eventually the manuscript was turned down--BUT the manuscript that Roth submitted wasn't Divergent. Nope.

In response to the rejection, Roth wrote a new book, polished it, and submitted it to Volpe yet again. 

Then she waited, and waited, until at last: she received a phone call. 

"Okay, so you know how, while you're querying, you spend a lot of time refreshing your inbox and irrationally convincing yourself that every unknown number that calls you is an agent who will tell you that all your dreams have come true? Well, sometimes that unknown number IS actually an agent, calling to tell you that she lost power, which is why she couldn't send you an email, and PS, she's offering you representation," said Roth on her blog.

That was Divergent. Yup! Roth had submitted 56,000 words, a little less than 200 pages, and Volpe loved it. Together they worked on reversions where Roth added 49,000 more words, clocking in at a total of 105,000 words. 

During four days of submission, Roth received another phone call. This time Harper Collins wanted her book, along with the series.

Roth's response: "Okay. I'm going to cry a little now." Roth has loved Harper Collins since she was a toddler, and she never imagined being published by a company as big as this one. 

And that is how twenty-one year old (at the time) Veronica Roth made it big. 

Now she has a deal with Summit Entertainment and has a movie series, along with the complete Trilogy making New York Times best seller list. 

"It's been amazing. It's obviously not what I was expecting when I was in my rubber ducky pajamas writing this first book on Winter break. It's been definitely kind of transformative. It's definitely changed me as a writer, and it's been really exciting," said Roth in an interview.


Honestly, I'm not sure what how many rejections Veronica received. I don't think she received any from Divergent. From all that I've read, it seems that the only rejection she received was from her first book.

Why Divergent worked for Roth:

Besides the obvious relationship she had with Volpe, Roth had a great idea for a book and she put it into action. Many critiques say it's a mix between The Maze Runner and The Hungers Games, which is probably why it has so much hype. I'd say: great writing and great timing. 

Where are they now:

It seems that after writing Divergent, Roth also focused on Four. Not the number, but the actual book. I haven't read Four, but according to wiki,
 "Four is a collection of five e-Book short stories from the Divergent trilogy, told from Tobias Eaton's (Four) perspective, and written by Veronica Roth."
But, Roth has also been up to a multitude of things since the books and movies. To find out more, fill free to creep on her blog: 

Advice from Roth:

"Stop going back and reading it out loud! Don't reread at all, if it's keeping you from writing. Just push forward through the idea until you reach the end, and then work to revise it—but you'll never know how to fix the idea if you are never able to execute it."

That's it for today's post!

Till next time, blog world. 

And remember: Once choice can transform you. 

The Writing Life (Take Two!)

Coming into this life, I expected it to be easy, somewhat.

But clearly, I was fooled.

It's been almost a year since I began blogging and almost four years since I began writing seriously. (You know, with the hopes of being published someday.)

And it's not even about wanting to get published--that's a simple perk of being a writer--it's about connecting with other writers, with readers. It's about living in a world where people understand you. A world where when you say, "I think I have carpal tunnel," they don't look at you like you're crazy. It's about being invested in a community, like this one, where other writers welcome you with GIF hugs and emojis.  A world where they send you so many emails about their book that you think it's spam. But mostly, a world where they not only want to be invested in you, but in your characters, in your writing.....that's the best feeling.

So here I stand with a heart full of words and a mind filled with stuff about writing. Like I said before, I will either succeed or fail miserably in this realm. But for us, for me, for my words, I believe that I will make it far in this life someday. I might even own my own literary agency . . . ha . . . now would be the time for me to come off that high horse.

But if, and when I do publish my first book through some hardcore agent who believes in me, I want to remember you, all of you who read this.

I propose that the first fifteen people who email me with the sentence, "we are a community" will receive a signed, hard-back book from yours truly. That's a promise. Maybe that doesn't mean much to you, but it means everything to me. You all are my people--we're a community--and I want to give back.

Till then, I'll be working hard on this third book with community in mind. I'll be looking into Carpal Tunnel because, yeah, this pain is real. And I'll be diving deep into this writer's life with high hopes.

Look forward to the next post because I'm going to continue the series, "How Writer's Made It Big!" This time, we'll be looking into how Veronica Roth corrupted 2014 with her Divergent series. You don't want to miss this one!

Till next time blog world,

OH, and somehow I managed to make it on a cover of a magazine. Who would have thunk it?

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