Thursday, August 15, 2013

Part of the Family

Well, y'all, today Publisher's Marketplace has made it official: I've accepted a contract from Mr. Jonathan Oliver at Solaris Books to publish One Night in Sixes and its sequel.

And let me tell you, I'm pretty dang stoked about that.  If the Blue Fairy herself had come down and asked what I wanted in a publisher, Solaris would be it.  (Granted, that is likewise true of my agent, Jennie Goloboy - really not sure how I got so lucky twice in a row, but I will take it!)

Anyway, I understand that tradition calls for a .gif-laden recounting of the epic tale.  I've never been very good at those (though I can heartily endorse Jamie Wyman, Annie Neugebauer, and Nathan Bransford for all your animated publishing-saga needs.)  Still, I was out for the weekly post-session carouse with my workshop peeps tonight, and this about sums it up:

IHOP Funny Face Pancake: the emoticon you can eat.

With that said, I would like to put some more words here.  I'll try to make them relevant.

See, it just so happened that while this whole thing was going down, I was in the Pacific Northwest to attend the PNWA and Willamette writers conferences (highly recommended!)  I also have family in both Seattle and Portland, so I set aside some extra days to catch up with the clan.

And guys, I just can't tell you what it's like to get some of your life's best news while surrounded by 12 or 15 of your nearest and dearest.  My mom and aunt squealed in perfect high-school-girl synchronicity when I first read them the letter from my publisher.  Cousins were called.  Phones were passed.  And every time we added a new person into the fold of what eventually became a giant impromptu family reunion at my grandma's house, the whole story had to be told again from the beginning, peppered with dramatic e-mail readings and supplemented with exciting new tidbits about cover design or contract clauses.  Shoot, we even had an expedition to the local big awesome indie bookstore to track down Solaris books.  (Verdict from mom and auntie: VERY good covers.)

I have never felt so little, or so loved.

"Well, of course you do," you might reasonably say.  "It's a big freakin' deal!"

And it is!

But here's what you have to know about my family.  We are a tribe of Addamses and Weasleys and Incredibles.  We are teachers and judges and Harvard grads, athletes and veterans, GIS specialists and mathematicians and actuarial super-geniuses whose jobs I barely understand.  Hell, my baby sister - the kid I relentlessly harassed from the back seat of the family minivan! - is already a kung fu national champion who dual-wields bachelor's degrees and dismembers dead giraffes at the Dallas Zoo while she works on her vet school application.  It's like our gene pool is equal parts mutagen, antimatter, and Diet Coke.

The same is true of my posse at the DFW Writers Workshop.  It is, like, a veritable Justice League of literary superosity.  We've got Rosemary Clement and A. Lee Martinez, Jenny Martin, Russell C. Connor, Pamela Skjolsvik and Kirk von der Heydt and a whole cadre of phenomenal writers who are getting ready to burst on the scene like so many juicy talent-swollen authorial zits.  (You might not be able to see 'em yet, but you can feel them coming in!)  I wish I could convey how much these folks have done for me over the past year and a half, or how loud and heartily they clapped for me tonight.

So I guess what I'm trying to say is, people see me as having done this amazing awesome super-impressive thing, and objectively, it is.  But I'll tell you this right now: I have spent my life surrounded by love and encouragement and about eight dozen models of hard work and jaw-dropping talent, and there is VERY little of this particular victory that doesn't belong to someone else too.

This does not make me sad.

On the contrary, I am delighted to add my little star to the great Thompson-Mayhugh constellation, and to hang my cape and mask next to the others on the workshop wall, and I absolutely can't wait to show you guys what all the fuss has been for.  Stay tuned for One Night in Sixes, coming in August 2014 to a bookstore near you!

And in the meantime, here's to my two phenomenal families - the one I inherited, and the one I found.  I couldn't have done it without you.


All we need to strive to be is part of the Apple family.

28 comments:

  1. OMG THAT IS SO AMAZING!!!!

    I cannot say how proud I am of you and how excited I am that Sixes found a great home and will be shared with the wider world. It's SUCH an amazing story, and I am SO STOKED for the sequel!!

    Congratulations, Tex. You worked hard for this, and you deserve it. :)

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    1. Aw, thanks so much, Sarah - coming from a supremely enlightened voracious librivore like yourself, that is high praise indeed! (Hope you don't mind if I look you up soon - been thinking it's about time I made you another business proposition!)

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  2. I read this without really understanding what was happening till I saw 'coming in August 2014' and then I sucked in a breath that hurt.

    And after that I started crying.

    I am not a crying sort of person, Tex. I knew you could do it, I ALWAYS knew you could do it, but I got this flutter in my chest and my eyes filled up and I felt so RELIEVED that your wait was over and your dream was coming true that something must've busted and I just leaked all over the place.

    I am so happy for you you cannot imagine, Tex.

    WAY TO FREAKING GO. YOU DID IT.

    Much, much friendlove to you, good buddy.

    Frankles

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    1. Frank, buddy, I've always known that you would ugly cry for me when the time came, but this comment still made my whole dang year. Thank you SO MUCH for slogging through the long haul with me. You have made this SUCH a better book, and I am absolutely a better person for knowing you. Huge giant e-hugs, dude - it's been a long road for sure, and I am so lucky to have had you with me!

      (With that said, don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon. We are just getting started, now!)

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  3. Woah! That's amazing, congratulations! I can't wait to pick it up (and I'm even happier that means I'll get a conclusion to the story :-)

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    1. Thanks, dude! And let me tell you, your fingerprints are all over this latest version - I am excited for you to see what your critique did for it, and REALLY excited to make a fresh start on part 2!

      (Speaking of which, let me know if you ever want to be beta buddies again - I dunno what irons you've got in the fire at the moment, but I gotta have book 2 done in a matter of months, and would love to try and help you out at the same time!)

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  4. The one night I miss workshop because Erik's truck broke down and I miss your big news. Heck, I would have even gone for pancakes.
    Congratulations, Tex! I am so excited for you!

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    1. Thanks, Pam! Funny how we missed each other's good news bombshells, but I for one am not going to lose a wink of sleep over it: we are moving up in the world, girlfriend, and I am so excited to have a fellow partner in perseverance!

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  5. Ok I admit I have been checking your blog a bit obsessively this week for this post. I just wanted to say again how proud I am of you! I've known since we were teens that eventually you would get published. You are too amazing to do otherwise. You are constantly an inspiration to me my friend. Congrats! You deserve it.

    Much Love.
    Stacey

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    1. Well, let me tell you, dudette: anybody who would look at the weird kid who couldn't drive herself to Japanese class without getting lost and think "yeah, that one there's gonna be a winner" is kind of hugely amazing all in herself. Or slightly cracked. Possibly both.

      Regardless, I am so, SO freakin' lucky to have you for my friend, and absolutely delighted to return your confidence. You are going to MAKE IT, ma'am! You are gonna get there! It took a lot of anime and a lot of Nutella to get this far, but I daresay we are going to live the dream together!

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  6. Tex! I read this at work and peed all over my chair! I've got to put up with this all day, but I'm so excited for you I don't care!

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    1. Dude! Not to be competitive, but I think my wet spot's even bigger than yours!

      (Yours is by far the more virtuous stain, though: experiencing sphincter failure on somebody ELSE's behalf is a far more moral act.)

      Seriously though, thanks so much for making me an honorary part of the Papercuts crew last month - I'll get hair and toenails in the mail directly so that you guys can have your share of the magic mojo!

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  7. Aw, this made me tear up! Wonderful news, beautiful post. I'm so happy for you! And thanks for the shout-out. =)

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    1. Any time, Annie! You keep giving me unmissable reasons to help other people notice you, and the very least I can do is keep taking advantage of them!

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  8. Congrats, Tex. It was great hearing you make the announcement last night at DFWWW. Having never heard any of your reads of this work for critique, I look forward to buying a copy of the book (autographed, of course, when you have your first book signing).

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    1. Thanks, dude! And if I haven't said so yet, thanks also for your awesome advice at workshop last week - it's a great group for a lot of reasons, and you are one of the biggest!

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  9. Congratulations! And now I shall be forced to combat the evil demon known as fellow-writer-jealousy. Kudos, kudos, and a happy-feet dance to you.

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    1. Ah, I'm sorry to bulk up the green monster, ma'am, but for what it's worth, that makes your well-wishes even more touching. Keep at it, no matter what: if there's one thing I've learned so far, it's that you're a million miles away until all of a sudden you're RIGHT THERE - it's impossible to gauge distance in this business, but you are absolutely doing all of the right things, and you WILL make it!

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    1. We did, and are, and will continue until everyone's absolutely sick of me - thanks so much for adding to the love!

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  11. Super news! I particularly like the look of the pancake. That just about describes the look on Aunt Molly's face (and mine) when you were reading us the emails in the car. Just in case anyone wants to know, it feels really great when your kid "makes it" after a long, hard, arduous journey. What more can a Mom ask for?

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    1. A clean house?

      No, but really - thanks for getting me here, Mom. I think it's safe to say that Sesame Street, Discovery Toys, and enlightened parenting really came through on this one. To say I owe you would be the understatement of the century!

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  12. I am so happy for you Tex! I've been lucky enough to hear a bit of your work and can't wait for August 2014.

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    1. Thanks so much, Helen - I wish I could say the same! About your work, I mean - you've been tantalizing me with those Pitmad tweets for ages now, and I am dying for this sinister intrigue at the state fair cookoff to find a home so I can READ IT!

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  13. Great work, Arianne! What a long, long road it's been; decades, unless my memory is failing me (again). I can hardly wait to read them.

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    1. Thanks, Uncle S - and yes, it has! Thank you for being there for all of them - so stoked to see you and the newest Thompson-family-initiate in October!

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  14. I am spit-taking over here in my cozy Olympia temporary office. Dizzy with congratulation! You are wonderful! Can't wait to send a high five all the way to you in a few months' time. -Jay

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