Tuesday, January 24, 2017

After The Fall Guest Post: Kate Hart's Journey to Publication!



Title: AFTER THE FALL
Author: Kate Hart
Pub. Date: January 24, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Pages: 336
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksGoodreads

Seventeen-year-old Raychel is sleeping with two boys: her overachieving best friend Matt…and his slacker brother, Andrew. Raychel sneaks into Matt’s bed after nightmares, but nothing ever happens. He doesn’t even seem to realize she’s a girl, except when he decides she needs rescuing. But Raychel doesn't want to be his girl anyway. She just needs his support as she deals with the classmate who assaulted her, the constant threat of her family’s eviction, and the dream of college slipping quickly out of reach. Matt tries to help, but he doesn’t really get it… and he’d never understand why she’s fallen into a secret relationship with his brother. The friendships are a precarious balance, and when tragedy strikes, everything falls apart. Raychel has to decide which pieces she can pick up – and which ones are worth putting back together.

After studying Spanish and history at a small liberal arts school, Kate Hart taught young people their ABCs, wrote grants for grownups with disabilities, and now builds treehouses for people of all ages. Her debut YA novel, AFTER THE FALL, is coming January 2017 from FSG. She also contributes to YA Highway, hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know series, and will soon sell inappropriate handicrafts at The Badasserie
Kate is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, and owns a treehouse-building business in northwest Arkansas, where she resides with her family.
Connect: Website | Twitter | Insta | Tumblr | PinterestGoodreads

My journey to becoming a published author has been long. In 2009, all my friends were raving about this book called Twilight, which I refused to read because I considered myself a reader of ~literature~. But with a family trip coming up, I decided I would give it a try as a beach read.

Like a lot of people, I tore through the book in hours and immediately had to get the rest of the series. I’d always wanted to be a writer, but had given up on it, until Twilight made me realize that young adult existed as a section of literature, and that my voice would be suited to it.

Of course my first manuscript was a paranormal that hit all the usual tropes: red-haired girl comes into her special powers at puberty; chaos ensues. I queried about 15 agents, and got a lot of the responses saying, “Great writing, but this story isn’t the one.”

So in spring 2010 I sat down and did an exercise in which I made a list of all the things I wanted to write about. From that came the first line of After the Fall, which is still the first line today. I finished the manuscript in about six weeks, revised within a few months, queried in the summer, and got seven offers within a few weeks. I was absolutely sure I was destined for a multi-house auction and a good deal.

I… was not.

Agents were enthusiastic about the book, but editors were wary. Two offered revise and resubmits, but they involved a major overhaul to the second half and I couldn’t see a way to make that work. Instead, I got to work on a rewrite of the original paranormal, adding a huge historical element that took years to research. That book finally went on sub in spring 2013.

It did not sell.

Again, I got two revise and resubmits. By this point, I was desperate to be published, and decided to combine the notes into one revision, even though they contradicted each other at key points. Unsurprisingly, the mess that I sent back that fall was roundly rejected by Christmas.

I was demoralized. At this point, I’d been in the YA community for four years, and it felt like my failure to publish was glaring. But working on the other project had helped me realize what was wrong with After the Fall, and sitting down with three years’ perspective made it much easier to turn that manuscript into something new. Finally, in the summer of 2014, one of my original R&Rs turned into a yes, and the book sold to Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

And from there? It only took three more short years until it hit the shelves.
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14 comments:

  1. Wow, it was a long jouney but worth it <3

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    1. Writing is hard haha but this gives me hope that it can happen, it just takes a while sometimes!

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  2. I feel that becoming a published author is such a brave and thrilling thing to do because it involves in putting your thoughts out there for everyone to read. I'm sure it's pretty rewarding. Best of luck to the author, After the Fall sounds amazing!

    Isabel @ The Reader and the Chef

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    1. I completely agree and yet I feel as if it's general thought of as easy. But I'm glad that these amazing people persevere and give us these amazing books!

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  3. Wow, I admire your determination in not giving up. I can't wait to read the book either. It has been on my wishlist ever since I first heard about it.

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    1. It's definitely admirable. I hope you enjoy After the Fall!

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  4. Such an inspirational story, thank you for sharing

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  5. I really enjoy reading author's stories about the struggles to become published. Making your way to the top is always hard, but when it is through a creative process it just seems that much more personal. Thanks for sharing this! :)

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    1. So do I, it makes me feel less alone and gives me more hope when it comes to my own writing. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. This sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the author's story here. It always is interesting to me to find out how an author goes about getting published and how they write, etc. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I also find it interesting especially since like their books, all of their stories are different! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Ohh, pretty cover. <3 Sounds like an interesting book too :) Lovely post Brittany. Thank you for sharing. <3

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