Welcome to the first day of #14Debuts, all about great 2014 YA debuts and their amazing authors! Stay tuned for guest posts, interview, dream casts and some great giveaways. Today I’m featuring:
Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. JensenPublication Date: April 1st, 2014 Publisher: Strange Chemistry
For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy…
For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.
Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.
But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.
As Cécile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.
I have always loved fantasy of any and every kind. It is (dare I say it?) my favorite genre. (Fantasy-action-adventure the most, but that’s beside the point). When I heard about Stolen Songbird, I was beyond excited for it. I received an ARC copy and LOVED it. You can read my review here and enter to win a signed copy and SS swag below!
Guest Post — Danielle L. Jensen: The Course of True Love (And Publication) Never Did Run Smooth…
We’ve all heard stories about authors who wrote a book, sent out a couple of queries, got picked up by a major agent, and signed a huge publishing deal (after an auction) within a week of going on submission. We’ve also heard stories of authors who have twenty finished manuscripts in their electronic desk drawer, but never a book deal have they found.
My story falls somewhere in the middle.
I’m going to skip the particulars of why I started writing and those early struggles, and jump right to the point of having my first finished manuscript that I was convinced was ready for publication (spoiler alert: I was wrong). I sent my first query letter out on April 1, 2009 for an adult epic fantasy novel, and WOOP! had my first partial request a couple days later.
I was quite convinced that this was it, but two weeks later I got a form rejection. You can imagine how well I took it. HOWEVER, I kept sending out query letters, revised the manuscript, wrote the sequel to the novel, went to the Backspace conference, etc. But I had pretty much zero luck. So I started working on another book, this time a YA post-apocalyptic novel. I had lots and lots of full requests for this novel based on queries and pitch contests, but every one of those agents rejected it. All for different reasons. While I was going through that process, I started working on a YA fantasy novel about trolls. This would have been in 2010. It took me until the fall of 2011 to finish drafting and polishing the novel before I deemed it ready. I then sent a bunch of queries out into the world.
All were rejected.
So I went back to revising, and while I was doing that, I entered MSFV’s Baker’s Dozen contest. Low and behold, my little manuscript was aggressively bid on and won by my now-agent, Tamar Rydzinski. She read the manuscript within the week, then sent me an email saying that she really liked it, but that there were a bunch of things that she thought needed to be changed. She invited me to make the revisions and resubmit in the future. This was December of 2011.
University, life, lack of creativity, and my ego muddied the writing waters for me in the first part of 2012, and I didn’t get back to her with a revised manuscript until that summer. It was around that time that I really began questioning whether publication was ever going to happen to me – it was without a doubt the lowest moment of my writing career. BUT, in August of 2012, I got THE CALL offering me representation. A week later, I was signed. Then began the revisions…
FIVE months and SEVEN rounds of revisions later, STOLEN SONGBIRD (under a different title) went out on submission in January 2013. It sold to my wonderful editor, Amanda Rutter of Strange Chemistry, in March 2013. A few months later, I learned that it would be published April 1, 2014. Which you may have noticed is exactly five years after I sent out my first query letter.
April 1 has come and gone, and I’d like to thank everyone for helping me welcome STOLEN SONGBIRD into the world.