I’ve talked about it often: my long road to publication, that is. Took seven and a half years to reach that first acceptance. And let me tell you, seven and a half years is an excruciatingly long time—especially when you have multiple close calls but not a single deal, and you have no idea when the hunt for that first acceptance will end. When you’re in the midst of the hunt for the first book deal, that hunt starts to feel endless…

Enter the holiday season of ’08. That’s when my YA, A BLUE SO DARK, was under submission at Flux. I spoke to Brian (Farrey, acquisitions editor at Flux) for the first time just before Thanksgiving, and though I tried to play it cool, I spent Christmas on pins and needles, tied up in knots, hoping that finally the acceptance I’d been working toward for so long would appear.

Appear it did, just a few days after the new year. And literally two hours—I swear it’s true—two hours after I accepted the offer from Flux, the phone rang. On the other end of the line was an agent who was raving about a middle grade book I’d sent earlier that fall. With an offer of representation.

I accepted (Deborah Warren later sold my debut MG, THE JUNCTION OF SUNSHINE AND LUCKY, to Dial, and is still my agent). After that initial phone call, though, in the winter of ’09, I just stood in my kitchen, dazed, wondering how it could have happened. Seven and a half years I’d been seeking a book deal, seeking representation. And in the course of two hours in one day, I had both.

Needless to say, I’ll never forget what the holidays brought that year...

But the thing is, you never know what’s just around the corner. One moment, I was a writer trying desperately to just get started. The next, I looked down and found my pinky toe in the door of the publishing world. It’s pretty cool, how that happens…

Here’s wishing all of you equally fabulous gifts from Santa!



  1. Love this post. It gives me hope :) Thank you, and happy holidays!

  2. Good things come to those who wait, Holly!

  3. Love that story, Holly!

    Happy holidays!

  4. Congrats on all of your success, Holly! It's well deserved. Merry Christmas to you and your cute pup, Jake (it looks like someone's ready for a nap).

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  6. I love hearing stories about the paths that authors travel to publication, Holly! I really enjoyed this one. Thanks for sharing it. Wow--two hours apart. That's amazing. Congrats on your success. It's very well-deserved.

    I enjoyed you and your pup's happy holiday video!

    Happy holidays to you and your family, too.

    ~ Joan

  7. Thanks, guys! And that's so true, Trudi! (Jake can't let a video be taped or a picture be snapped without him, though. He seems to know he's on camera!)

    Happy holidays!


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