One year ago today I got the email.
I was on my break from my customer service job at the mall, sitting in the food court. I checked my email on my phone while I was eating my lunch, and I instantly started shaking and crying.
A few weeks before, I had found a publisher on Twitter called GenZ Publishing. Their name had intrigued me, and so I had checked out their website. They said they were looking for new, innovative writers, particularly young adults writing for young adults. I was a young adult doing just that. I was unpublished and trying to write innovative stories for young adults. I responded to one of their tweets asking “What are you writing?” and told them about the book I was working on. They asked for me to query them even though my book wasn’t finished yet.
I was actually pretty far from finishing the book. I had only been writing it for a month and a half at the time, yet it was flowing out quickly. I was only about a third done with the book, but I still spent the next couple days writing a query and sent it in to GenZ, along with the first pages of my book.
It only took two weeks to hear back from them, and I couldn’t believe they wanted to sign with me without even reading the complete book. I had known that Somewhere Only We Know was the story that was going to get me published. There was something special about it, with the way it just flowed out without me thinking too much about what I was writing. And as soon as I had found GenZ online, I just knew there was something special about them, and I hoped that they’d be the ones to publish me. So when I did hear back from them, I just started crying in the mall’s food court.
I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since that life-changing moment. My life feels so different now. I was able to quit that job at the mall and write full-time. I now have a published book. I get to do what I love to do every day. My dream is still to sign with a literary agent and land a book deal with a big traditional publisher, but GenZ was the first stepping stone along my way, and I’ll forever be so grateful to them.