OK, let me explain.
It all started when Alyssa Roat and I created parody accounts on Twitter. She was a cliche YA villain, I, a cliche YA hero. We would playfully insult each other and interact with the other parody accounts.
Then the inevitable happened when I read a book of love letters back and forth between two unlikely characters (and my best friend hopped onto one too many dating apps).
Why not merge the two?
So I sent Alyssa this text message:
We decided, after about an hour's worth of thought, to do a dating app instead of letters, and upped the ante with super heroes.
Both of us were working 7+ jobs (combined) that summer and didn't think we'd even get it done by the time we returned to Taylor University that fall.
So we hopped on a Google doc and planned to write it in 60 or so days.
Nine days later we'd finished, "Dear Hero," where a superhero and villain meet on an app to find their future nemesis.
That never happened before. I usually don't co-write well with others, but we just clicked. It just worked.
Recovering from our lack of sleep, we got to work on editing and preparing the manuscript to pitch to editors.
Caption: Alyssa and I cosplaying our characters.
Yeah, here's how that went.
In person and over email, editors turned it down almost immediately. Because of the text-message/chatroom format it was too out of the box. It didn't really fit conventions or set formulas.
The age group seemed tricky, too. Cortex and V, the two main characters, were on the edge of YA, being 18, but too young for New Adult or Adult.
So we figured no one would pick it up after a while.
Fifteen months later, something strange happened.
A publisher actually loved it. They loved how quirky it was and the out-of-the-box plot ideas.
That publisher was and is INtense Publications.
After Alyssa and I fan-girled over their team and mission, we waited for our agents to do a long process of negotiating (two months).
Lo, and behold, as of yesterday, we signed the contract with INtense, and anticipate a January 21, 2021 release. We cannot be more thrilled:
So in short:
- We wrote a book in 9 days
- The editors said "Bleh, no."
- One editor said "Amazing!"
- We got a contract
And we cannot wait for you to meet the characters.