Back in the summer of 2012, my friend Sabrina needed jaw surgery. Because Sabrina is a wonderful person with a lot of friends, there was a groundswell of support and an Indiegogo campaign to help raise money for the surgery.
To help matters along, I offered to critique the first 50 pages of an author’s manuscript if the author contributed $250 or more to the Sabrina fund.
And somebody did make that contribution.
And if you know me, you know I was glad that Sabrina was getting support, but there was probably a little bit of dread going on because, as it turns out, I’m surrounded by words and books and authors and “hey I wrote a book!” and “hey, I’ve got a neighbor...!” and sometimes I’m a little worded out once the work day is over.
But, I also try to be a man of my word, and the manuscript was sent over to me and the money was donated and, well, sometimes you just have to do things.
It should also be noted that I am a huge fan of strangers helping strangers.
Anyway, because I’m bad with time management sometimes, it took me a little longer to get to the manuscript than I originally hoped. So much so that to make up for my embarrassingly slow turnaround time I offered to critique the whole thing.
The details are a little lost to me right now as far as the timeline goes, but that’s not what this is about. It was about this time last year.
The important thing is that I did read the whole book and I did have feedback and I did talk to the author and we had a solid conversation about some of the things I thought might need to be addressed in the book. It’s sometimes scary for me to give feedback to authors because 99% of them love having real conversations about their work and can listen to honesty and opinion and not freak out if a guy like me says something isn’t working.
But 1% lose their shit and it gets messy and emotional and then you swear that you’re never going to do anything like that again.
Earlier this year I swung through the South and I made tentative plans to do an open mic event with the author, but I didn’t make it to that part of South Carolina it didn’t happen.
But then last week the author—in the middle of a move from South Carolina to Los Angeles—swung by Madison and we had dinner. During dinner she told me how she tore the book apart, getting rid of all the hard work she’d already done. She dug deep and wrote from new perspectives—including the ugly truths of her antagonist—and then she put it all back together and went looking for an agent.
She found an agent, Mandy Hubbard. The book went out on a Monday and a week later was acquired by Simon & Schuster
Awesomely enough, the deal was announced today.
From Publishers Weekly –
Annette Pollert at Simon Pulse has bought world rights to Carolyn Lee Adam's debut novel Ruthless, in a pre-empt. In this YA thriller, a teen must fight for survival as a serial killer stalks her through the wilderness. A summer 2015 pub date has been set. Mandy Hubbard at D4EO Literary Agency brokered the deal; film rights are with Brandy Rivers at the Gersh Agency.
To read more about Carolyn’s journey, click here.
Benjamin LeRoy talks about publishing and other things on his website www.benjaminleroy.com