My Novel Sold To St. Martin’s Griffin! : ) Part One.
January 25, 2012

What’s been saved in my work inbox for 14 months, 8 weeks, 4 days:
This one, I wrote to myself. (A writer can dream, winks.)
Dear Emily,
 We’ve received FIVE offers from editors at amazing NYC publishing houses!
 
They love your novel and we’re looking at a significant deal, a multi-book contract and Oprah wants the novel for her book club.
 
Good work! More information to follow,
 
Agent Extraordinaire
I came across this quote below, and although I’m spiritual, not religious, I found it beautiful — both reassuring and strengthening. At times it feels like divine intervention alone is how one gets published. Maybe it is. I did do an awful lot of petitioning of my dead friend and dead grandmothers. Sometimes all we want to know is that we’re on the right path.
Hope is a golden cord connecting you to heaven.  This cord helps you hold your head up high, even when multiple trials are buffeting you.  I never leave your side, and I never let go of your hand.  But without the cord of hope, your head may slump and your feet may shuffle as you journey uphill with Me. Hope lifts your perspective from your weary feet to the glorious view you can see from the high road.  You are reminded that the road we’re traveling together is ultimately a highway to heaven.  When you consider this radiant destination, the roughness or smoothess of the road ahead becomes much less significant.  I am training you to hold in your heart a dual focus: My continual Presence and the hope of heaven. 
 
Romans 12:12; Thessalonians 5:8; Hebrews 6:18-19.
The next is just plain-old lovely.
“Be who God meant you to be,
and you will set the world on fire.”
 
St. Catherine of Sienna
I’ve been trying and trying to write this post, to no avail. I’m not one of those writers who (beforehand) imagines writing a post like this. Truth be told, I find myself feeling quite shy about it. How shy? As shy as reading your diary to a crowd. Yeah, that shy. Welcome to my head. Watch your step.
Agent Bob Diforio’s blurb stays in my inbox, also, because after years and years of rejection, I keep reading it as a reality check. To make sure this is real.

Christmas came early for debut literary YA novelist Emily Murdoch. In a spirited submission  creating buzz among dozens of editors, publishers and publicity people who quickly read her extraordinary novel, THE PATRON SAINT OF BEANS, it was Jennifer Weis of St. Martin’s who carried the day for North American Rights;  sold by Bob Diforio and Mandy Hubbard of D4EO Literary Agency.

Emily was inspired to write the novel after reading about a mother who kidnapped her son and fled to Brazil. In “Beans”, violin prodigy Carey Blackburn and her mute little sister, Jenessa, have spent their entire lives in a broken-down camper deep in the forest of a national park, forced to cope with their drug-addicted mother only sporadically on hand, until they are rescued by a father they don’t know and learn the truth about their early childhood. As they adjust to the real world of school, malls and other children – especially boys – Carey is weighed down by a dark secret that threatens the only good luck she’s ever known.

A brilliant YA novel with adult cross-over appeal, editors found the work both moving and magical.

I didn’t realize that even praise can take some getting used to. Which is how I came to realize what was holding me back from writing this post: the entanglement of personal and public feelings.
Once I agreed to publish, my book became itself — a separate entity increasingly out  of my control.
Let’s look back. I was one of those people admonished as a child for being too sensitive — as if sensitivity were a negative thing. (Sensitive child in your midst? You may just have an artist on your hands. Celebrate that fact, that sensitivity. A child could do worse than to possess a deeply feeling heart.)
I’m also one of those people who keeps my feelings close to the vest. And what I feel about selling The Patron Saint Of Beans to St. Martin’s Griffin is a feeling so personal, profound, and public all at the same time, that it remains gestational in its development. For all intensive purposes, it’s a baby novel. I’m a baby author. All the words are new.
But what I can articulate is that however many years I’m lucky to live, this will remain one of the most amazingly awesome moments of my life.
On to the story.

The two weeks preceding December 19th, 2011 (the date of my sale) were an amazing whirlwind of hope, praise, editor reads and offers, telephone conferences with editors and pinch-me-hard moments.

I was subbed to both adult and young adult editors. I had offers from both adult and young adult editors. At one point, when I thought we’d settled on a publisher/editor and my agents informed the other editors, they said no!

They wouldn’t take no for an answer!

And so more offers came in. A pre-empt came and went. Choices, choices, choices, from no, no, no’s. I felt like a character in a novel whose obstacles had been removed. Reality was so surreal, such a rocket ride, such a blessed, lucky, thank-you-Universe kind of moment, I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.

When I was seven-years-old and in the midst of reading every single book in the elementary school library, I used to imagine my books on the school library shelves, not in the bookstores. Books to transport eager, earnest children into parallel worlds of dark and light. Books poking like crocuses through the snow, opening curious hearts and minds to worlds where underdogs prevailed, where obstacles existed for good reason: to grow a person deeper, stronger, taller. Pages. Places where anything was — IS — possible.

What an amazing thing to be a part of.

If you’d like to add my novel on Goodreads, or friend me, please go here: Goodreads

I believe the good things happen to us so we can pay it forward. A portion of the proceeds of “Beans” will benefit Taylor Hendrix’s Christmas Project.

Sixteen-year-old Taylor, battling osteosarcoma, gathers gifts in backpacks each Christmas to brighten the spirits of cancer teens in hospital over the holidays. For more information, see my previous post: Taylor’s Christmas Project.

Part Two to follow …