It happened!

wildergirls deal announcement

That’s me! That’s my book!

I’ve known about this for maybe two weeks or so and it has been the WOOOOORST keeping it to myself but today I finally get to tell people about it. So this is me, telling you about it.

For a longer synopsis you can click here, and for some general aesthetic/vibes stuff, you can see the book’s Pinterest board here.

I can’t wait for you to read about my island and my girls. They are horrible; they are angry; they are their very worst selves, and I love them quite a bit.

Whatever Works

I’m writing this at 4:15 AM, which has somehow become the end of my regular workday.

I’m in the middle of revising Wildergirls to send back to my agent, and I’ve found myself surprised at the way my process has changed. When I was writing the very first draft, I squirreled away tiny chunks of time while at my office job. Five minutes here, another fifteen there (if I was lucky), and whatever I could manage at the end of the day to get to my 1k a day goal. While writing the second draft, I became That Person – the one who sits at the same table in the same coffee shop for hours on end.

I thought I was a daytime writer. A desk writer. An “X words a day” writer. But now that I’m in revisions, I can’t seem to get my brain in gear until I’m settled in bed at 1:00 AM.

I’m lucky, in that my day to day life can absorb a drastic change in schedule like that. Not everyone is, and that can be incredibly frustrating. In the past I’ve found myself arriving at my most productive time of day just when I need to go to sleep. But these days I have that flexibility, and if you can, if you’re able, I say take what’s working and run with it. Work with your brain, not against it. Your routine will change a hundred times over, and that’s fine.

Sure, my old routine felt more Writerly. I ordered coffee refills, and I got on a first name basis with the cashier, and I figured out which table got the best light. But that’s not working for me anymore, and my current process might not look like what I pictured, but it gets the job done. It gets the words on the page. So I’ll work with it for now.

P.S. Please consider every instance of the word “work” in this post a pun. Like, I’m not exactly sure how they’re puns, but they’re puns.

The Story So Far

After a few months of aimless freelancing after leaving the UK, I at last have something concrete to show for it: I’ve signed with an agent! In the UK, I’m represented by the wonderful Daisy Parente at Lutyens & Rubinstein, and in the States I’m represented by the equally incredible Kim Witherspoon at InkWell.

Like so many people I wrote a lot when I was a kid, but somewhere in high school I lost sight of it. When, at the end of college, I attempted to write a novella for my undergrad thesis, it went about as well as you’d expect (which is not at all). I graduated in 2014 with a massive chip on my shoulder, and that wound up being the best thing that could’ve happened to me.

I started a job as an editorial assistant and it was during my year at that company that I wrote the first draft of Wildergirls. It was a mess from beginning to end, focused on the wrong character, but it felt like me.

I quit my job, went to England to get my MA at the University of East Anglia. Took a break from Wildergirls and had the best year of my life. And when classes had finished and we all began to work on our dissertations, I opened a new Word doc and started Wildergirls over from scratch. (You can read an excerpt from that second draft here.)

Each fall, UEA publishes an anthology of work from each MA cohort. I chose a section from my draft and hoped it would get someone’s attention. In the months after the anthology’s publication, a few agents contacted me and asked to see Wildergirls when it was finished. Daisy was one of them.

I finally sent the manuscript out to those agents in March 2017, and queried a handful of American agents as well, which had always been my plan. I was lucky enough to have a phone call with some agents I hugely respect and admire. They had great feedback and were so sharp and on top of their game. But I kept coming back to Daisy.

I hadn’t expected to go with a UK agent, and I was afraid there would be complications involved, but Daisy shared the book with Kim Witherspoon at InkWell in the States, and I’m thrilled to say I’ll be working with both of them. They both have such clear, incisive minds and I feel so surely that they understand the book for what it is and will help me make it as good as it can be.