Oh, where to start with this one? SO MUCH has happened over the course of one weekend, but I can’t really talk about a lot of the details as nothing may come of it and I don’t want to jinx myself. I guess I’ll start with this:
ANTIGONE’S WRATH IS A PRIZE-WINNER!
No, really! Here’s the story from the beginning, in case you missed the post where I talked about some of this before.
Back in February, after about of month of listening to my Yoda, Kerri-Leigh Grady, badger me about entering Antigone’s Wrath in this contest, I finally relented. My big hangup was that it cost $35 to enter. Yeah, I know, but I’m cheap, okay? Anyway, after listening to KL talk about this thing forever, I submitted… about two hours before the deadline. I did this expecting nothing to come of it. Yes, the final judge was James Frenkel, a senior editor with TOR/Forge, but I figured I had an average chance at best to be a finalist.
Fast forward to March 30 and the phone call that left me a shaking, sobbing mess. I was informed that I was, indeed, a finalist (and why had I not expected it? (F/SF-130 is me)). I had a week to revamp my pages & synopsis based on the initial judge’s feedback, at which point I would resubmit and they’d be off to the eyeballs of Mr. Frenkel. No pressure though, right?
I promised myself I would not drive myself crazy thinking about it. I had a cross-country move and a crapload of Balticon prep to do in the meantime, so that kept me sort of sane.
Well, it was a different sort of insanity anyway. LOL
Okay, so now fast forward to the weekend of the conference. We’re going to skip the part where I miss my first flight at six a.m., battle with Delta to no avail, am saved by the awesome of United, but still have to drive until 1 a.m. Friday morning to get to Crested Butte, CO. Friday I’m given my conference program and, there, in black and white, I see this:
FIRST PLACE! And those two little asterisks next to my name? Only two finalists in ALL the categories had those. They indicate the final judge is requesting to see THE FULL MANUSCRIPT.
*jaw hits the floor*
*head explodes again*
Jim Frenkel introduces himself to me after the awards luncheon on Friday. He confirms that I’m not delusional and does, in fact, want to see my manuscript. He gives me his email address for doing this. He walks away.
The weekend only got more “Wait, what? Me? Really? You’re ABSOLUTELY SURE?” as it went on. I spent Friday night’s dinner sitting between agent Hannah Bowman and Jim Frenkel. Not only did I listen to their stories and experiences, but I got to ask TONS of questions, which they answered honestly and without ridicule. You know, like real people. I was astounded. They were SO NICE and SO SMART.
Saturday went similarly, but I sat next to author Brad Parks at dinner that evening. He was very gracious and answered all of my burning questions about author-agent and author-editor type relationships and things. It was incredibly educational and I thank Mr. Parks for allowing me to pick his brain for the entirety of the meal. Even with his random bursting into song, he was articulate and very helpful.
By Sunday I was exhausted. I straggled into breakfast 15 minutes before the first panel was set to start, but at this point I kinda thought I couldn’t fit too much more information about the publishing industry or writing into my head before it really did explode. As everyone else rushes off to the 8:45 panel, I’m starting on my second cup of coffee when Jim Frenkel sits down across from me with his food.
Yeah, no WAY am I leaving at this point. MOAR COFFEE!
And so began a 90-minute conversation with me and James Frenkel. Did you know Asimov once made up an off-color limerick on the spot about Jim’s wife? I didn’t. It was just one of the many things I heard that morning, along with “So did you send me your manuscript yet?”.
HE WANTED THE MS LIKE, YESTERDAY.
At this point, I scramble off in search of Hannah Bowman because OMG WHAT IF THIS IS FOR REALZ? While she passed on AW back in Decemberish (she did remember me, however, and liked AW), I thought maybe she might know someone who might take me on should this go to the next level. She did know someone (!). Two someones (!) really, but one in particular who she would tell I was going to contact her.
Hello, door! Meet my foot! I’m just gonna hang here awhile, if that’s cool.
So, yeah. THAT happened.
Now, as much as I hate to do this, I must leave you all hanging there. I had another OMGWTFBBQ moment Monday morning on my way back to Denver, but that one I’m holding on to for now. I need to know some more Things before I’m ready to share All The Things with all of you. This is probably more for me than anything else as, like before, I don’t want to jinx any of these Things by yelling them from the mountaintops. Needless to say, they are very exciting Things, but any or all of them could fall through at any second. It’s the waiting that kills you, you know. Should one Thing, or All Things, come to pass, you will get the whole story here as soon as I’m able to share.
If only my house would magically clean itself, I might be the happiest person on the planet right now.
*refreshes email for the hundredth time in the last hour*
Oh, if you’d like to read the 20 pages I submitted, you can view those here.