I have new books coming! And yes, that’s books plural!
But let me back up for a minute. I don’t want to keep talking about 2020 because it was awful for many of us in many different ways so this will be the last time. On the positive side, professionally I had two books release in 2020: EVERY OTHER WEEKEND in January, and GIRL ON THE RUN in October. What you don’t know is that I also had three books fail in 2020, in three different genres, with three different publishers, at three different stages in the publishing process. To say I was devastated is putting it mildly. I’m not going to go into all the various reasons those books didn’t happen but I was convinced that my career as an author was over and that I would never sell another book.
That feeling swirls around authors a lot, at least for me it does, but it was never this bad. Three failed books in one year, three! And not just any books, for one of them this was the first time I was writing about a main character who used a wheelchair in a story that revolved around something other than disability. That’s something I’ve been wanting to do since my very first book. I’ve tried so many times only to give up because I couldn’t find the right character or it was too difficult for me to write. So I’d stop and move on to something else only to later try again, and again, and again. But last year it finally happened, and to my utter shock, it was easy, fun, and I loved my characters and my story. I was Christmas-morning excited about that and it was so different than anything I’d written before.
And it didn’t happen.
It took me a while to get over that. But the more I thought about that failed book, the more I thought about what I’d been able to do in it. I’d written about a character who was a wheelchair user in a story that wasn’t about disability. I’d proven to myself that I could do it and more than that that I could love it. So I let my mind consider new stories and new characters and it wasn’t long at all before Rebecca and Ethan began filling my thoughts. And once I started writing, I…could…not….stop.
Fast forward six months and my agent is telling me words that I’ve dreamed of hearing as an author: We’re going to auction!
If you don’t know what an auction is in the publishing world, it’s when multiple publishers all want to buy your book and end up bidding on it. It’s unreal and wonderful. And what’s even more wonderful is that the offer I accepted came from my longtime publisher, Inkyard Press. And they didn’t just buy one book, they bought two!
Connolly Bottum at Inkyard Press has acquired, at auction, an #ownvoices YA contemporary novel by Abigail Johnson. In Every Time You Go Away, so much happened in the three years since childhood best friends, Rebecca and Ethan, last saw one another. Rebecca learned to navigate life from a wheelchair and Ethan became caregiver to his addict mother. But in rediscovering one another, they risk losing an enduring friendship on a love that neither feels they deserve. Publication is scheduled for winter 2023; Kim Lionetti at BookEnds Literary brokered the two-book deal for World rights.
I feel like I’m flying when I think about this book and sharing it with you. I wish I could have written it years ago and that I didn’t have to go through so much personal rejection to get here. But I think that’s how I got here. Without that failed book, I would never have realized I could write something like EVERY TIME YOU GO AWAY. So I’m thankful and hopeful, and right now unbelievably grateful. I can’t wait for you to meet Rebecca and Ethan. I think you’re going to love them.
Pre-order links aren’t up just yet but you can add EVERY TIME YOU GO AWAY to your Goodreads shelf here: