Holiday Post and Giveaway with Pitch Wars Mentor, Jenni Walsh
Dec09

Holiday Post and Giveaway with Pitch Wars Mentor, Jenni Walsh

  I’m a hustler, baby. I just want you to know. This month, Brenda’s blog is doing something special. The Pitch Wars mentors are sharing specials moments of the past year and what our hopes are for the new year. Mine are about books and family. And more importantly, how books are helping me live the kind of life I want with my little family. I’m in awe of those overnight-success authors. I’m also in awe of the authors who have to claw their way to their publishing goals. *Waves* I’m clawing. The Cliff Notes version: I have some manuscripts that’ll probably never see the light of day. After participating in Pitch Wars in late 2013, I signed with my first agent in 2014. We shopped the novel for nearly a year, but only about a third of the editors even responded to my former agent. I did some soul searching. With a new manuscript, I signed with my agent, Stacey Glick, in early 2015. Then this happened, in 2015, when I was nine months pregnant with my second kiddo. I signed my very first book deal for BECOMING BONNIE, a Bonnie and Clyde origin story, with Tor Forge/Macmillan. And a few days later, my agent sold my TV/film rights! These were big moments for me. Not simply because I dreamed endlessly of becoming a published author, but also because, at the moment, I had been a stay-at-home-mama, full-time advertising copywriter, author, and domestic diva (with my husband splitting half the duties) for nearly three years. And soon, I’d be a stay-at-home-mama of two, full-time advertising copywriter, author, and domestic diva. If that sounds exhausting, it’s because it is. Some days, the only answer to my stress was tears. And wine (when I wasn’t pregnant). But those two moments meant that maybe – sometime down the road – my writing would be financially enough (we’re very much a two-income family) for me to focus on my two dreams: my babes and my book babes. At the end of 2015/start of 2016, I dove into my first-round edits for BECOMING BONNIE with my editor, Bess Cozby. I had three months to do them. The crazy thing about life, though, is that life loves complicated. My son was born in the middle of those edits. I kid you not. So, while I was on maternity leave from my day job, I took a week off to “newborn” before doing this, a lot: To make life more wonderfully complicated, my agent said she had lunch with an editor from Scholastic. The editor had a big idea for a new narrative nonfiction series...

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