DEAD GIRL WALKING: 20 YEARS TO PUBLICATION
By Linda Joy Singleton (in celebration of the release of DEAD GIRL IN LOVE)
Would you stick with a book if you knew it would take 20 years from idea to publication? In 1988 I wrote TURN LEFT AT THE MILKY WAY. Every few years I would rewrite and submit again. In 2007, I changed the title to DEAD GIRL WALKING. Here are author-editor emails that followed:
June 22, 2007 (8:30AM): Emailing my Flux editor, Andrew Karre, on another project, I added:
I also recently reworked my YA suicide/switched body story, DEAD GIRL WALKING, if you wanted to look at it.
June 22, 2007 (10:30AM): From my editor:
If you d like to send DEAD GIRL WALKING (email, please), I d have a look, of course.
July 3, 2007 (2PM): From my editor:
Are you going to around on Thursday or Friday? If you are, I’d like to chat with you about this project. Let me know when you’ll have some time.
July 3, 2007 (3:07PM) To my editor:
I'd love to talk with you on Thursday.
July 5, 2007 (1:47PM) From my editor:
It was good to talk, as always. I’m attaching my markup of the ms (notes in the right margin), but it’s mostly what I said on the phone. I m excited to see how this develops. I m sure you’ll surprise me.
July 5, 2007: (2:03PM) To my editor:
I've been thinking it over and see the arc of at least 3 books, following her as she tries to go back to her own body. I'll work on it more and send you a basic description of the three books.
I'm playing with titles and have these ideas so far:
DEAD GIRL DANCING and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE
I think the DANCING one could stem from her desire to be an entertainment agent. I'm seeing Amber as someone who can't figure out who she is and envies others, wishing she could have their life because it seems easier or more glamorous. Getting lost, finding herself...themes I'm working on.
July 9, 2007 (10:47AM): To my editor:
I expect to send you revised chapters and a new synopsis later this week. I am very excited about your idea of a possible short DEAD GIRL series.
July 11, 2007 (10:40AM) From my editor:
I read your new draft, and I think it is much improved. This is much closer to what I was picturing, and I feel like you’ve started out on the right foot with your protagonist. I like this Amber a lot more, and I want to know what happens to her. Of course, I have comments and I’ll pass them along in a bit, but in the main this is what I was hoping you d do. Bravo!
July 11, 2007 (11:05AM): To my editor:
I'll start plotting the additional books and get this to you within a few days. By the way, I love your ideas about other people being like Amber--very cool! My brain wheels are churning.
July 16, 2007 (3:38PM) From my editor:
I will be pitching the series to the committee on Thursday, so expect to hear from me on Thursday or more likely Friday.
July 16, 2007 (4:00PM) To my editor:
Great! Thursday I'll be home but Friday I'll be camping.
Thursday, July 19, 2007: From Linda Joy Singleton’s journal:
At 9AM the phone rang. Editor Andrew...
I sucked in deep breaths and kind of stammered something like "Hi...gasp." He chuckled and said he had good news. Then he offered me a 3-book contract with DEAD GIRL WALKING; DEAD GIRL DANCING and DEAD GIRL IN LOVE. YAY!!!!!
DEAD GIRL IN LOVE is now available -- completing the trilogy about love, loss, best friends and body-swapping.