2009 in review

2009 was one of the best years of my life.

I gave up poetry at the beginning of the decade because let's face it, there's no money in it (but I still write poems. I can't help it!). I turned to fiction and wrote my first novel in 2002. It's a raunchy book about a consensual sexual relationship between a young woman and her step-father. The woman eventually murders her mother so she can be with the step-father. No wonder no one would touch it! Since then I've written another book and a collection of stories, but no luck with publishing outside of lit journals. Until summer of 2009!

I'm a realist, though, and I know this: I lucked out considerably. First, I wrote a zombie novel at a time when zombies suddenly became hot again--especially in literature. When I started the book, there weren't many novels about the living dead, just those darn sexy vampires. My book went for sale right about when Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was selling well. That was just serendipity. Nothing to do with me.

My other stroke of luck was snagging Janet Reid as an agent. Not only did she sell the book, but she made it better! Plus she knows what's hot, and zombies were heating up.

This year I also received an Arkansas Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship--which came with a nice chunk of cash. This was for short fiction and was awarded on the basis of my short story, Stuck on a Truck, which is still looking for a home. Hint, hint.

What was so good about all this was I've spent years writing--and nothing came of it but rejection, rejection, and more rejection. I'm not gonna lie: I was getting to the point where I was wondering if I should just give up and watch CSI full time. Or drink all day. Or take up golf. Or have a baby. But I didn't.

Bottom line: I feel extremely lucky and grateful. And if you're in the boat I was in for the last decade, don't despair. If it can happen to me, it can happen to you!
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8 Response to 2009 in review

December 30, 2009 at 7:22 AM

I consider myself damn fortunate to be snagged!

December 30, 2009 at 7:41 AM

That does make me feel better. Sort of. Except I haven't even tried to get published, so if I start now, I might manage by the time I'm 52?

December 30, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Wow congratulations! Janet Reid is on my list of agents to query as soon as I make my ms perfect. Or as perfect as I can. LOL

Awesome to hear of your success, thanks for sharing and here's to many many more in the coming year!

December 31, 2009 at 5:50 AM

good luck Kristi!

January 1, 2010 at 10:53 AM

Congratulations, you! I know I've said it before, but I'm loving the cover. Minimalist Zombie Chic.

We need to throw ourselves a self-imposed NaNoWriMo so you can get to steppin' in the next one! Trailer park zombies, maybe. In the movie, Kris Allen could play the hero.

January 1, 2010 at 1:12 PM

I have written some good short stories that people seem to like, but I am not sure how I would do in the long format?

January 2, 2010 at 5:30 AM

There's only one way to find out, Otin! Write it!

January 30, 2010 at 11:02 AM

Really enjoying your blog this morning! Your path was very much like mine - I'm a literary fiction refugee, too. But now I'm finding the genres really fun and invigorating! Good luck with the release. It looks like a great read.

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