As announced two weeks ago, Marion Jensen signed with HarperCollins. I asked Marion to tell us about his successful journey. Here it is:
Four years ago I had an idea for a superhero story. The idea seemed to just slide into my mind. It was a strange, exciting experience. Sometimes you have to pull at an idea. Tackle it from all angles. But this was something more akin to channeling. It was like the idea was already out there, and demanded that I sit up and pay attention.
I remember being so excited I paced the room. I had a notebook and by the end of the evening I had names, arcs, powers, and a plot.
That was the easy part.
I started writing. The book started out as a chapter book. About the length of a Magic Treehouse book, if you're familiar with those.
I sent the book to a local publisher who said they didn't do chapter books, but he'd send it to an editor he knew in New York. That got me excited. The editor said they loved the book, but wanted it longer. That got me more excited.
I extended the chapter book to a full length novel. I sent it to the editor, and she wrote back and said it wasn't quite what they wanted. This was depressing. At the same time, I happened to meet two writers at a conference who were in a critique group. They invited me to their group, and then next thing I knew I had seven other writers giving me incredible feedback. My writing improved by leaps and bounds, and so did Almost Super.
Over the course of a year, my book went from being pretty good, to much improved. I polished the book, and sent it to my dream agent . . . Sara Crowe.
After a few short and long weeks, I was sitting in my office. My phone rang, and I saw it was a New York number. I jokingly said to myself, I better get that in case it's Sara wanting to represent me.
Well, it was. A few hyperventilating minutes later, I hung up, and realized I was represented by my dream agent.
Sara gave me some great feedback on the book. I made some changes, cut a lot of words, and we were ready to send it out. By we, I mean Sara. She's amazing.
It wasn't long before we had a two-book offer from HarperCollins. I got to talk to my new editor Andrew Harwell over the phone, and he's great. He had some very good thoughts and suggestions, and I'm excited to work with him.
So there it is. It's been a long four years. I've learned a lot. I'm even more excited to keep learning. I've already started Almost Super II, and I have to tell you, it starts off with a bang.
One chapter has ended, and the next one is unfolding. Can't wait to see where things go.
I can't wait either. Good luck, Marion. Almost Super is going to be a great read. We should all buy at least 37 copies each when it comes out (okay, at least one). Thanks for sharing your story, Marion.
And to the rest of us, keep on writing. You never know who could be next to break through.