With the whirlwind of edits, the release of Illusions, touring, and having kids out of school for the summer, it's been a while! It's also been a while since I talked about the business of writing, so I'd like to do a bit of that today.
Because I finally got my contract!
Or rather, I finally got a contract I've been looking forward to for a while. :) I actually have to sign contracts about once a month. The Wings series has now sold in about 30 languages--I say "about" because I know it's at least that many, but some languages sold in more than one territory (e.g. Portugese in Brazil and Portugal, French in Canada and France) and some territories sold in more than one language (e.g. Catalan and Basque in Spain). Some territories bought the whole series, some bought a book or two and then sent new contracts for later books. And many territories just get the books from other territories (I do not have a publisher in South Africa, but I know you can get Wings there). I just get paperwork in the mail from the awesome foreign rights department at Writers House, I sign it, and I send it back! As a result, I'm embarrassed to report that I've lost track of exactly how many countries and languages the series is actually available in.
But the contract I'm talking about today came from the Walt Disney Company.
Some of you probably remember this announcement from two years ago. I even blogged about it! If you don't remember: Disney optioned the rights to make a movie of Wings.
The detailed negotiations on the contract took two years.
If you are an aspiring author, or an author who has yet to ink a screen deal, or even if you're just curious, I want to emphasize that this is not typical. Most of my author friends who have deals with Hollywood took 3 to 6 months to get their contracts signed. Why did mine take so long? I would like to believe it's because everyone involved was just so excited about the project that they wanted to get every detail of the agreement perfect! :) But realistically, it probably took two years for a million tiny reasons, none of them particularly important. It took two years because that's how long it took, and that's how these things go: it takes however long it takes.
There's still no guarantee that the movie will ever be made. The deal I just signed was the same deal I agreed to accept in 2009. So, sorry, I still don't have any movie news to share. I'm excited about the project and I hope Disney decides to move forward with it.
But signing that contract got me thinking about all that has happened in the last two years, and that got me thinking about all that has happened in the years since I started seriously working toward publication. When I started this blog, I knew almost nothing about publishing. Fortunately for me, there were (and are!) a ton of great resources out there for aspiring authors. And once I graduated from "aspiring" to "contracted," I was able to find other authors in the same boat who were willing to share their experiences and increase my knowledge of the publishing industry.
Now, as I begin work on my second series (!!!) for HarperTeen, it's amazing how different everything looks. Some of that has nothing to do with me; when Wings came out in 2009, for example, e-books accounted for a tiny fraction of my sales and I had very little interest in owning an e-reader. This year HarperTeen did an awesome e-book promotion, including free electronic copies of Wings and exclusive content for different retailers, and I spent a lot of the summer reading e-books by my pool. When I went on a pre-publication tour to meet booksellers across the country, one of my stops was Ann Arbor, Michigan--home of Borders, a company that could make or break an author by promoting (or not promoting) a book. This year, Borders is closing its doors. The industry is changing.
But I've also changed. You may have noticed that I don't blog as often as I used to. There are several reasons for this; one is simply that I'm busier. I am trying to find a good way to put out more than one book per year, and that means developing more than one project at a time. I wrote a piece for Harper's Dear Bully project and I've got a short story to write for an anthology. My husband is going back to school (again). I have four children instead of three. :)
I'm still learning! I hope to write many more books. I feel like each one has improved my abilities and I'd like that to continue. I've made tons of awesome friends and met tons of awesome fans and I'd like that to continue, too. Because ultimately it's you, my readers, who I have to thank for the amazing, transforming experiences I've been privileged to have in the last 27 months or so. Your support and feedback never cease to amaze me, and looking back, I probably don't thank you for it enough.
So, thanks for reading! It's been an amazing couple of years and I look happily forward to more of the same. I'd say I will try to be a better blogger, but I'm not gonna lie--I will probably continue to blog irregularly at best. :P But I hope you will keep in mind that if I am not blogging, it's probably because I am writing something fun for you to read later, and I hope that when you remember that, you will forgive me. :)