Monday, January 27, 2014

Some Sad News About Goldfish

So I've known for a while that I would have to share this news, but I've been dreading it. In part because there's still a lot of personal sadness that goes along with what I'm about to share, but mostly because I absolutely hate the thought of letting anyone - especially those who have been so kind and supportive of me - down.

But I'm also an advocate of honesty. I think sharing experiences - the good and the bad - is helpful to the community as a whole. So, with that in mind, it's time I finally answer the many, many questions I've gotten about when Goldfish will be coming out.

The short answer is - it won't be.

But anyone who reads this blog knows that I am not a short answer type of girl, so here's the longer explanation.

I started writing Goldfish my freshman year of college, about four and a half years ago. It's a project I worked very hard on and was very, very proud of. I worked on it for a long time on my own before ever showing it to my publisher, and even then it still needed a lot of work - more than any of my other books have in the past. It was a more complicated, more personal story than I had written before, and for that reason it needed more time.

But after a year of working on Goldfish with my editor - after pushing it's release date back once and being on the verge of doing it again - I just couldn't do it anymore.

By this point I'd lost that spark - that love I'd once had for this project. My editor and I had worked so, so hard on it together. She brought great ideas to the table and I tried to incorporate them, but the more i worked on the book, the less it felt like the story I had set out to tell. The less it felt like the thing I had meant to write.  My editor and I had different ideas of what the story should be, and I struggled to find that middle ground.

I eventually realized that the book was no longer in line with my original vision, and I had no idea how to get it back to that place. Or if I even could.

By this point I was exhausted and tired and very unhappy writing. And, believe me, it showed it my work. So after a lot of thought, I decided to put an end to Goldfish once and for all. My mental, emotional, and creative health required it.

I am lucky enough to have an amazing agent and editor and publisher who all supported me in my decision. Little Brown and Poppy have been amazing through all of this, and my editor has always been so understanding and compassionate during this struggle.

It's been hard to admit this, because in so many ways, I felt like a failure. Like I was a bad writer, a bad reviser, like i just wasn't working hard enough. Over time, I've come to realize that none of that is true. But that sometimes unexpected things happen. Regardless of how this process went, it was a learning experience for me. That even after 3 books, there are still cases of struggle as you grow.

I"m sorry to share this sad news with you all. I know some of you were really looking forward to Goldfish, and I so appreciate that. I'm sorry it will never come to fruition.

But I'm also excited. Because after spending some time mourning (and that's what it feels like) this project, I'm back in a place of excitement. I haven't felt excited about writing since I finished The Swift Boys & Me almost a year ago. Since then, writing has been a slow struggle. But now, I'm back in a place wher ei"M eager. I have so many ideas and stories left in me, and I'm excited to tell them.

Yes, this means it will be a longer wait for my next Young Adult novel, but it also means that the next book I publish will be one i"m proud of, one that I will be excited to share with all of you.

I loved - LOVED - writing The Swift Boys & Me, and I"m crazy excited to share that book with the world. Just like I was excited to share my first three novels. I want to feel that with my next YA book as well. I owe that to my readers and to myself.

So, while I'm sad to share this news about Goldfish, I'm excited for the doors that it opens, and I hope to have many more stories to share with all of you in the future.

And again, I want to thank my agent and my editor and the amazing people at Little Brown for being so supportive of me. I can't thank them enough, really. I think a lot of writers have fear of admitting struggles, have fear that their agents or publishers will be angry at them, but I think that - more often than not - they are very understanding and supportive. I'm glad to have such a great team backing me up.

7 comments:

Kristie Matheson said...

As much as I'm sad to hear there will be no story. I'm happy to know you're not pushing yourself to finish it. I love your books and can't wait to read your next YA, whenever that may be :)

Anonymous said...

I'm so sad to hear this news. I was looking forward to reading Goldfish. But I'm also glad that you shared. This just makes me more excited for The Swift Boys and Me to come out and it gives me hope and excitment in looking forward to your next YA novel, no matter how long it takes. You are an insiperation and amazing writter. Keep your head up and keep up the good work. :) <3

Tena said...

My heart is broken. For you, and for the loss of a highly anticipated book. I love your writing and your writing style.
I will read anything you write, even though I am not by any stretch of the imagination a young adult.
I love that you are a Kentucky author, as am I.
However, when I read your post, only one thought stuck in my mind.
"To thine own self be true."
One must do, what one must do.

............... said...

I was really looking forward to Goldfish. But I support you and I will continue doing. You're one of my favorite writers.

Bethany Myers said...

I think you're brave. It's heart wrenching to shelve a story that you've worked so hard on. But, as you know, when you no longer feel passionate about the story, the writing suffers and the readers will pick up on it.

So, thank you for being committed to putting out the best product you can. Well done.

I've always enjoyed your books and I'm really looking forward to The Swift Boys & Me.

kathleen duey said...

Sometimes you have to let a story go. Sometimes, ten years later, it taps you on the shoulder again. Or echos it's way into something you have just begun. We have to feed the art inside us to remain artists. I don't know your work. I will fix that. Take care and may the words fly out

jasmine nile said...

thanks ,,,,,,,,,,