Today I am lucky enough to host Bethany Wiggins, author of the new YA release, SHIFTING. Is that cover stunning or what?!
Published September 27th 2011
by Walker Books for Young Readers
After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she's eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she's determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O'Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it's not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.
Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.
Because we all love hearing about an author's individual story, Bethany agreed to share her journey to publication with us.
I started writing on a dare. Or a bet. My sister decided one day, out of the blue, that she wanted to try writing a book and since she was writing a book, would I like to write one too? Yes, please! I mean, why not? She told me all it took was an hour a day and a year. I could do that. So I did it.
And did it. And did it again. And again. And yet again, until SHIFTING was born (my fifth book and several years later).
Querying is a bleep. That rush of, "Oh my goodness! An agent wants to read my full manuscript!" Which quickly turns into, "Oh my. The agent hated my manuscript." Between the three books I queried (two of them prior to SHIFTING) I probably piled up well over 200 hundred rejections. Agents didn't even want to read SHIFTING. So after a lot of rejections, I gave up.
Like really, seriously gave up! (There were times before this that I not-so-seriously gave up, but this time was it. For reals.) I knew, in a sudden flash of clarity, that I was not going to be a published writer and it broke my heart and made an invisible-except-to-me dark cloud hover over my head and start raining--or maybe those were tears on my cheeks? So yeah. Dark, sad time.
The very--I KID YOU NOT!!!--next day, I got a phone call. "This is Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary. I read your book and loved it . . ." Well, thanks to Marlene (and Walker Books), SHIFTING is being released September 27th!
So, for all of you aspiring writers out there, if you want something bad enough, and are willing to work for it, then WORK FOR IT! If you can't get an agent for your book, write another. If you can't get an agent for that one, write another. Every single thing you write will only make you a better writer, so one day, you'll write something amazing that everyone wants to represent/publish.