Guess what!?!?! My young adult contemporary novel DOES LOVE ALWAYS WIN? is being published by Creative James Media in June 2023! This is the book I’ve been querying on and off for the past two years, and it’s finally happening. I honestly can’t believe it; my lifelong dream is coming true!
It’s all been such a whirlwind. The full request for my manuscript from Creative James Media actually came on my birthday, January 8, only a few days after I queried them! I tried not to get my hopes up, but it was kind of hard not to when the full request came on my birthday. That had to be a sign, right? Then at the end of February I woke up to an email from the publisher asking me for a Zoom author interview in early March. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Was this for real? It was the farthest I’ve ever gotten, but I also still didn’t want to get my hopes up.
I prepped as much as I could for the interview, but I honestly had no idea what to expect. I’ve had job interviews before, but never an author interview. I didn’t even know what to wear. I reached out to a friend that had a similar experience before, and they gave me some tips on what to wear and what the interview would be like. I ended up going for the business casual look; I didn’t want to seem informal, but I also didn’t want to go full on business suit mode. I also decided to re-read my entire manuscript before the interview just to be prepared.
Turns out I didn’t need to be worried. It was one of the least stressful interviews I’ve ever had. I also could tell that I clicked really well with the head of the publishing company, Jean. The next day after the interview the publishing contract was already in my inbox ready for my signature! When I found out I was finally going to be a published author, I broke down crying. How could I not? My dream was finally coming true! I of course did my due diligence on the contract, and it all checked out. I excitedly signed my name on the dotted line.
Things quickly progressed after I signed the contract. I could tell all my close friends and family (they were all so happy for me!), but had to wait for a formal announcement from the publishing company until I could post online. This is such a close personal story to my heart, but not everyone knew what exactly my book was about. I took the time to talk with each of my close friends and family members to tell them more deeply what this book means to me.
Then the day came. The day that my book and my motivation for writing it came out in the world; I was terrified, but ecstatic at the same time. The night before the announcement I think I got about four hours of sleep. In hindsight I hadn’t needed to worry; the support I’ve received after the news broke has been amazing and for this I’m eternally grateful. The whole press release can be found here.
I’ve now sent my final manuscript to my publisher to start the editing process. I also had to send along the front and back matter, aka dedication, acknowledgements, about the author, and an LGBTQ+ resource page. Now while I wait for the edits, I’ll keep up with my social media platforms and try to engage the audience that will want to read my book. I even started a Facebook author page. You can find me on Twitter at @dianebillas, on Instagram at @dianebillaswrites, or at my brand new Facebook author page @dianebillas.
Thank you for supporting me on my path to publishing. Now onto the next phase, becoming a published author!