Aesthetic Book Series: Meet Noah

Welcome back to another Aesthetic Book Series blog post.

Today, we get to meet the main character of Rubatosis, Noah. 
Noah Dean Turner is seventeen when he leaves home to find the true meaning of life.

Noah. The MC. The boy that walks around with his heart outside of his chest--in more of a literal way than figurative way. The story chaser and adventure seeker. The one on the hunt to discover the meaning of the world and the truth behind it. The book requisitioner and superhero of his own story, though he hasn't come to terms with it yet. The one we're rooting for

"Noah considered taking off in that instant. He could easily leave through the back door and run as far as he could till he hit the woods. No one would find him—he would be perfectly lonely. 
But he paused at the back door, letting his hand rest on the knob. Noah could see all the land from where he stood. He could see the rows of vegetables that would never be picked and weeds that would never be pulled. He could see his life out there, his future, and his granddad’s words ran through his head."

That's all for this one!
Stay tuned for next week to meet the next character! 

Aesthetic Book Series: Meet The Book

Writerly friends and readers from all around,

Due to my constant Twitter distraction, (that and being on submission) I have been inspired by the #ThursdayAesthetic hashtag. This has fire-started a pretty cool series to introduce you all to my debut novel, Rubatosis: The Unsettling Awareness of One's Own Heartbeat. 

That's a complete mouthful, I know. 

Though the title may be subject to change, the characters, and so on and so forth . . . I thought, what the heck, might as well get you all excited for this book since that's all I've been talking about on here for the last few years or so anyway. 

With this series, you can expect to see some stellar book aesthetics for each character in the order that they're introduced in the book. 

To kick it off, I will start by introducing the book with an excerpt from my query and #pitmad tweet that got me my agent. 

Find the goodness below. 

(Fun fact: this is actually take two of the main aesthetic, go here if you want to see the original.)

#PitMad Tweet: A boy with a timer on his heart tries to overcome his death sentence by making sense of the world through books.

At eleven-years-old, Noah Dean Turner learns that he has ventricular tachycardia, a potentially life threatening arrhythmia that causes his heart to beat twice as fast.

With the support from his granddad, Noah makes it to year seventeen. Long hours in the garden and reading thick books has provided a distraction to his inconsistent heartbeat. But when Noah's granddad passes away, and he's forced to move in with his promiscuous aunt, he hops on a bus in hopes of finding a place that he can call home. Instead, Noah is dropped off at a retreat center called Camp Neodesha. There, he realizes two things. One: everyone's story parallels to a book he's read. And two: falling in love with a broken heart is, in fact, as deadly as it seems.

RUBATOSIS: THE UNSETTLING AWARENESS OF ONE'S OWN HEARTBEAT can be summarized as Alice in Wonderland meets The Fault in Our Stars. This story isn't just about a boy with a death sentence, it's an adventure story about growing up, a story about finding love and meeting radical characters that help Noah make sense of the world, including a boy who steals, a kind stranger that smokes hookah, a domineering mother figure that owns a smiling cat, and a girl with wild hair and heterochromia eyes that makes Noah forget about every good book he's read.

*Wipes off sweat* 

Phew. Alright guys, that's the overview for good ol' Rubatosis. 
I hope you like it. I'd love to see any that you may have as well! Drop your links in the comment section below, or tag me on Twitter!

Next week, you'll get to meet Noah, the main character. 
Andd if you didn't know . . . Noah's pretty great. 
*wink, wink*

Before I forget, if you want to know more about my query, and those that helped me form it, check out my AQC link:

Till next time!

The Book Process: Beginning to End (Traditional)

It has recently dawned on me that many of my close friends and relatives have no idea how the book process works.

Now that I'm represented by a literary agent, I get random emails and comments that go something like:

"Hey, Britney, when can I get a copy of your book?" or, "Hey, can you send me a copy of your book cover when you get the chance?" or, "It's so cool that you have an agent, when can I expect to read something of yours?" or "Oh, are you still writing? I thought you got published months ago?" Or "Are you sure you're still getting published? I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure the process doesn't take this long. You should check in with someone, like, seriously." Or, "You're sure--like absolutely sure--that this is still happening, right?"

My response to these questions vary, and I struggle on how elaborate I should be when it comes to informing someone on how this process works.

Then I find myself getting agitated when I have to constantly repeat myself; my tongue literally triple folds into knots, and at some point, I finally realize how glamorized media has made the publishing process. In movies, writers go from drafting a book to being multi-millionaires over night.

That is not how it happens.

So today, I have decided to dedicate my morning to writing about how this whole book process works when someone has decided to take the traditional route of getting published.

This might be a long one, guys, so buckle in.

First, and foremost, a writer must have a finished book. And by finished, I mean it's been edited a gazillion times by beta readers, critique readers, and possibly many random people they may have met in a writing forum going through the same experience as said person.

When the writer feels like their manuscript is free of errors (as much as it can be), they begin doing research on literary agents who might like their manuscript and who represent their genre. (Click here for an older post on how I used to research agents. Also, click here if you're thinking, "what the heck is a literary agent?")

This can take anywhere from a couple of hours to a few weeks, depending on the writer. 

But before they can send their book to a literary agent, they must complete a query. As many writers already know, queries can take form of the devil sometimes. It's a one page summary of the manuscript condensed into 400 words or less. This query has to be concise, appealing, and close to perfect. (Perfect: an ever-changing adjective that differs from person to person--so yeah, good luck on perfecting that query, my friend.)

I'm not going to lie, though, I've developed a soft spot for queries overtime, and they're not as scary as they seem. (For more about queries and how they haunt writers' nightmares, click here.

So once they have a polished manuscript and query, they can send it out to literary agents. 

This is where rejection hits hard. Depending on the agency, some agents receive hundreds of queries a day. Many of these queries never even see the agent because they might be filtered by the agent's assistant, and most queries will receive a form rejection (for many different reasons) that goes something like: 

Dear Britney,

Thank you for your query. While your project does sound interesting, I'm afraid it's not quite right for me at this time. I genuinely appreciate your email and wish you luck finding an agent who can successfully champion your work.

All best,

Yes, this is an actual rejection that I have swiped from my inbox.

To be quite frank, many writers fall under the weight of rejection, and they lose sight of why they began writing in the first place. Some writers stop writing all together, or they choose a different route of getting published.

But, some writers actually hear back from an agent, and if a literary agent is impressed and confident in their work, they will offer to represent them in this crazy world of writing. (For more on how I found my agent, click here and here.)

And yet, that's still not the end of it.

After contacts have been signed, the agent and writer work hard together to shape the manuscript into greatness by going through more rounds of edits. These edits will vary depending on the agent and what condition the manuscript is in. Some will ask to re-work a few chapters; some might ask for a synopsis if one isn't written yet. This process can take a few weeks or a few months.

Once the manuscript has gone through more edits, the literary agent will begin to submit to editors in publishing houses. (You've probably heard of Random House, Penguin, or Simon & Schuster, to name a few.)

Hearing back from editors can take a long time because, just like literary agents, they are getting multiple submissions in their inbox on the daily. They are also looking for specific works that they feel confident in and that they believe will make a hit in the market.

This can be a doozy for many writers because they'll probably find themselves refreshing their inbox on multiple occasions, hoping they've heard back from their literary agent with good news.

And when the time finally comes, the writer will be get a phone call from their agent stating that some editor wants to publish them! (This is, of course, after the agent has negotiated the author's work.) Soon, another contract is signed, and there is it, they have officially began a whole new process.

Even after a writer has signed a book deal with a publishing house, it could still take up to two years before they ever see their book in print form! *gasp*

With an editor, a writer goes through a few more rounds of revisions (and then that version of the  book gets edited by many other people in the publishing world) before a final draft is created.

I promise, though, this process grows to be a great one because while all this insanity is happening, many people are making sure the book looks phenomenal across multiple formats, and there's a whole team of people who are working on how to market the book and tailor it to whom they think might be the perfect audience for it. All the while, there's another group of people reading the book and creating a stellar cover for it.

Finally, the book is complete; the book release date has come; and the author finally gets to hold their book in print form.

And this, friends, family, who ever has made it this far into the post, is why I still do not have a book in print form to give you.

I promise, something is happening.
It just takes time. A lot of it, to be exact.

I hope this answers your questions on how the book process works; this whole publishing thing is a bit bonkers.

Still have more questions? Leave a comment below.
Like these posts? Share them in your writing community; it helps me know that I should make more.

Till next time!

How Writers Made It BIG: Gillian Flynn

“Every author kind of secretly wants their book to be made into a movie,” said New York Times bestselling author, Gillian Flynn.

Gillian and I have two things in common: writing (but of course), and Kansas City. So it's no surprise that I wanted to do a post on the kick-ass, story guru from my hometown.

Like most aspiring writers, Gillian found herself writing between working. At the time she was employed as a film and book writer for Entertainment Weekly Magazine.

“I would write for a while and get busy with work and not write for awhile,” she said. “I was covering movies at the time so I was flying all over the place to film sets everywhere."

By 2006, she published her first book, Sharp Objects. In 2009, she published her second book, Dark Places. And by July 4th, 2012, her third book hit No 1 on NYT bestseller list after only a month of its release. If you ask me: she was gone, girl. (ha, get it?)

Okay, okay, dad puns aside, Gillian sky-rocketed with her novel, Gone Girl. With the unexpected twists and turns, and the enticing tale of her main characters' toxic marriage, the book was picked up as a movie and projected to hit over $300 million before its release.

And that, my friends, is what I call real-life goals.

Now at 47, all of Gillian's books are optioned for film, and she has officially clocked in at one of the world's top-earning writers. Can someone say, cha ching?

Why Gone Girl worked for Flynn:

Well, Gillian says, "Oh, I finally figured out how to write a book." That, and she was able to tackle the push-pull dynamics between a long-term relationship from a woman and a man's perspective. This story wasn't exactly a happy story, and I think the realness of it contributed to its success. 

Who is Gillian's Agent?

I couldn't find a ton of information on Gillian's publishing/querying story. I imagine, since she already had some great credentials under her belt with her prior job, she was seen as a pretty legit writer. She was picked up by the Leving | Greenberg | Rostan Literary Agency--try saying that three times fast--and was agented by Stephanie Rostan. Her books went on to be officially published by Penguin Random House. 

How can we learn from Gillian?

We can learn from Gillian by knowing that even if our debut novel doesn't do as good as we hoped, we can still make it to the top by continuing what we love: writing. 

We can also note that killing our darlings isn't a bad thing--it's a superb move. 


That's it for this blog post, friends!

Drop a comment below on your reaction, or an author you'd like me to cover next time.  

Till next time, blog world. 
And remember: don't stop writing. 

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