On Being Published Without an Agent (& Some Other Things!)

Heyy, everyone! I know—it feels like it’s been forever since I last blogged, so this post might be quite long.

To begin with, I’m going to be SUPER self-promo-y and share a FANTASTIC review of Frayed from SLJ: “Gripping, raw, and intriguing… This is a plot-driven, suspense-filled spine-tingling tale that ends with an unforeseen twist… Give this book to students who enjoy a thought-provoking, mind-boggling mystery with twists at every turn.” I’m SO insanely pleased with this review, and you can read the entire thing here. (Thank you, School Library Journal!)

And to everyone who’s told me they’ve bought/read/enjoyed Frayed so far: THANK YOU. You are awesome.

Okay, so today I wanted to talk about something I’ve been thinking about for awhile—and that’s the fact that I am, currently, a published author without being represented by an agent. It’s not unusual, but you’ll find that the large majority of authors out there are represented by an agent. I was found through an online writing website—Wattpad—after winning a completion there, so I completely passed over the querying stage and went straight to my debut being acquired by a publisher. So why am I bringing this up now? Because my debut was a contemporary mystery/thriller . . . and I’m a fantasy/sci-fi writer. Frayed, for me, was an anomaly; I’m not sure I’d ever write something like that again. (I’m definitely not going to say no—I’m always open to my ideas—but for now, I don’t.) Don’t get me wrong, though—I LOVE Frayed. I love the characters, the story, and more importantly, I believed in it. But wanting to change genres, especially as a new writer, is a difficult thing.

Basically, it means I’ll have to start at square one again. Write, revise, polish a manuscript, and send it off it agents. So, yes . . . frustrating? Definitely. But in the long run, I know that it will be worth it. Putting it simply: I’m nineteen, and I have the rest of my life to write and craft my career. So right now, I’m not in any hurry to publish again (however much I do want to be.) I ADORE sci-fi/fantasy, and it’s what I want to be writing.

That aside, I’ve spent the last few days in the Blue Mountains—which are stunning (but . . . cold. A little disappointed it didn’t snow, though. Fun fact: I have NEVER seen snow up close.) and was a lovely break.

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What I’ve been reading: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard—Guys. GUYS, I LOVE THIS BOOK. Badass female characters & epic worldbuilding & lovely writing. SO recommend. The Children of Hurin by J. R.R. Tolkien—Obviously, I adored this book, like I have of everything by Tolkien. This was no exception. Ruined by Amy Tintera—this was such a great YA fantasy. So much sass and sarcasm, and I loved the fantasy world that Amy Tintera built. (Can I PLEASE have the next one . . . like now?!)

What I’m currently reading: Saga: Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples. I’m heard so many great things about these graphic novels, and so far, the art & story is fabulous. I also plan on doing a Throne of Glass reread (as well as giving ACOTAR a read, finally) as I’m dyinnngg to read QoS but it’s been FAR too long since I read HoF to remember anything.

What I’m watching: Game of Thrones. Soooo, I finally caught up and have now finished season 6 of GoT and no spoilers, but DAYUUMMMMM. Season 6 seriously has to be my favorite so far. So many things I didn’t see coming, and I’m SO in love with Dany’s dragons.

What I’m writing: At the moment, I’m revising a YA sci-fi novel (I’ve mentioned this one before as being a cross between White Collar/Leverage and Star Wars—so basically heists in space with an ass-kicking thief & intergalactic battles) which is actually untitled right now . . . but hopefully I’ll find a fitting one soon. Recently I finished yet another draft of TEoS and I’d love go through it again soon & give it another round of edits.

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14 thoughts on “On Being Published Without an Agent (& Some Other Things!)

  1. As someone who reads quite a few Wattpad books and occasionally posts things (most of them were eventually unpublished but I’m still optimistic that I’ll eventually finish + edit something), I think it’s really cool how you got discovered through Wattpad! As for being unagented, I guess it could also be a good thing since you’re not going to be writing more mystery/thrillers and this will give you a chance to start over! Also, your current WIP sounds awesome! I love White Collar (I’m watching the last season right now and so sad the show is almost over..).

    – Rachana @ Spun

  2. Ohhh, I wondered if you had an agent or not! Gah, I feel like that would feel a bit frazzling to have to go back to square one. But then, you like HAVE A PUBLISHED BOOK so I’m sure that’ll go well with querying right?!? *flails for you* And omg your new book sounds amazing. I’m writing a lot of contemporary at the moment myself even though my heart is permanently in fantasyland. <3 But I also like to stretch myself, so we'll see.😂 hehe.
    ALSO CONGRATS ON THAT GLORIOUS FRAYED REVIEW!! YAYYYY. You totally deserve it!! *flings confetti*
    And pretty mountains omg. I've never seen snow either although it's freaking cold in northern NSW right now. 😂

  3. Congratulations on your publishing journey! And even if you go for an agent in the future, you have a major advantage in being able to tell them you already have a published book and that it was reviewed positively by major outlets. Just mentioning that in your query will be enough for agents to consider your manuscript more seriously.

    And yes to The Children of Hurin! It’s a little bleak, but so good!

      • Yes, it was so unlike the rest of Tolkien’s work! I guess The Story of Kullervo is kind of dark too, but still don’t count it among his major works since it’s an unfinished thing he was playing around with in college.

  4. Thanks for the insight – already having one published book under your belt would definitely help with future books I hope! I’m so glad you enjoyed Truthwitch and Saga, some of my favourites and those photos of the Blue Mountains are gorgeous.

  5. It is great to see that one can get published without an agent (I know it’s possible… but sometimes you just get so discouraged)! Thank you for sharing this, and congratulations on the super epic review by SLJ!

  6. Wow. You are like a modern day CINDERELLA..in a sense. I guess I just want to say: you are an inspiration, to say the least. So congratulations! As to the genre change I think you are SPOT ON. Follow your dreams, always. That is my motto!

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