_The Reunion

Back in April of last year when I announced that I had completed my novel, there was an optimistic little part of me that thought, Hey, finishing a book in 2018 could mean that I’ll be publishing a book in 2019. 

And guess what? I am!

Plot twist: not that book.

I know. I’m as surprised as you.

Here’s what happened.

After I finished the book, I wrote myself a decent query letter and throughout the spring and summer submitted it to a bunch of different agents. I received a lot of very polite but impersonal rejections. Then I submitted to a bunch more agents and received a bunch more rejections. Fun times.

By the end of the summer, I had submitted to just under two dozen agents and received rejections from the same. By that point, I wasn’t feeling great about the whole process (this, I realize, makes me a total wimp–getting 20 or 30 nos before getting a yes is pretty much the norm). I was beginning to suspect that something I thought might be a minor hindrance to selling my book might actually be a major impediment. Truly fixing it (rather than minimizing it like I had done before I started sending it out) would require rethinking what I was trying to do entirely, and that was going to be a lot of work. Work I didn’t really want to do because, honestly, after seven years of working on the book I was kind of done.

Meanwhile, of course, I had a couple of new projects going, but neither one of them was holding my attention or really lighting me on fire. I was making okay progress, but at the rate I was going, it was going to take me another seven years to finish either one of those.

Then September 1st came, and a novel downloaded itself into my brain.

I know that’s a weird way to put it, but that’s what it felt like. One minute I was thinking Hey, you know what would be a fun novel to read and then within a couple of hours I had characters, a complete plot, key scenes, lines of dialogue, all right there in my head just waiting to be written. I bailed on the idea of doing basically anything that weekend and instead pretty much locked myself in my room and wrote (sorry, kids!). By September 3rd, I had written more than 20,000 words, something I have never even approached before. And they were good words! The vast majority of them made it into the final draft. And since it was going so well, I just kept writing. Not at that furious pace, obviously, because, like, life still had to happen occasionally. But by the end of October, I had a complete 70,000 word novel.

The Reunion was born.

And it was good. I mean, I know I’m biased here. But honestly, it’s almost certainly better than that novel I completed back in April. It’s not as ambitious, certainly, and it’s a lot less sprawling (instead of taking place over the course of a year, the bulk of it takes place over the course of four days), but it’s sprightly and fun and not nearly so self-serious.

The next obvious question was: what do I do with this? Despite how proud if it I was, I had a feeling that finding it a home with a publisher or an agent was going to require that I make some changes that I didn’t want to make. Plus, obviously, I wasn’t feeling super keen on going through the whole rejection process again. More than that, though, this book felt like something that had just fallen into my lap. I had so much fun writing it and it fell out of me so quickly that I didn’t really feel like I had so much invested in it that it had to turn into something real. Maybe I should just continue having fun and do whatever the heck I felt like with it.

So, that’s what I’m doing. I’m self-publishing it, because I can and this feels like an adventure. The Reunion will be available in ebook and paperback in April. I honestly cannot wait to introduce you to these characters, because they’re some of my favorites I have ever written. They feel like friends, and I hope that they’ll feel like friends to you, too.

There’s a lot more details to come in the next few months: pre-order listing, cover design reveal, back cover blurb, sample chapters. But for the moment I’m just excited to revel in this moment. 2018 didn’t take me to the place that I thought or hoped it might. Maybe it’s just that optimistic little part of me again, but I think it might have taken me somewhere better. So I’m feeling hopeful and excited about 2019. I hope that you are, too. I can’t wait to go on this adventure together.

To ensure that you don’t miss any updates about The Reunion in the journey it’s about to go on to publication in a couple short months, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook and Instagram.

Let’s all get excited for an awesome 2019!

Published by Inga Gardner

Writer, mother, reader, cooker of delicious things, wife, friend, repository of absurd bits of information, watcher of television, daughter, sister, lover of life

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