Well, the announcement came out yesterday, so I can finally talk about my big news! Here’s the quote from Publisher’s Lunch, which covers the latest sales of books to publishers:
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semi-finalist Alex Hughes’s first two books in a dystopian thriller series featuring a telepath forced to assist a hostile Atlanta police department, to Jesse Feldman at Roc, by Alexandra Machinist at Janklow & Nesbit (World English).
In other words, my book Clean and its sequel (as yet unwritten) sold to Penguin! This is a lifelong dream for me and a chance to see my books on the shelf in a real bookstore. Plus I’ve always liked the Roc imprint – the idea that I could be a part of such a great brand is just an amazing thought.
So, how did it all happen? I got a call from Jesse Feldman from Penguin the first day of Odyssey, in the afternoon. “Penguin?” I stammered, “As in the publisher?” Yes, indeed, Jesse said. She wanted to buy my book, you know, the one I submitted to the ABNA? I sat down.
I spent the next few days (after freaking out in front of all the other writers there) talking to my agent, Ms. Alexandra Machinist, the most patient person in the world and very smart. I talked to Jeanne, the head of Odyssey, who at one point was a book editor, and asked lots of questions. And then, when I had absorbed as much information as my head could hold, I sat back while Alexandra and Jesse talked about details. For several weeks.
Fortunately, there wasn’t much time to freak out. I had work to do for Odyssey, after all. But by the time I finished the program, we had an agreement. I was going to be a published author! At Roc! With two books! Needless to say, I did a very wild happy dance all around the dorms.
Then I settled down to business. As Jeanne says, you only get one chance to be a first-time novelist. There’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of things to think about. I’m still over the moon, despite the time that has passed. But I’m also very aware this is only Step One out of twenty or so to reach my goal: a real career as a writer.
I’ll keep you informed as all of this shakes out.