With the year creeping to an end I want to take a moment and reflect on 2010. In my eyes, it was a very successful year. Still, I don’t have an agent, but I’m not worried about that. So much has happened that I can’t fret over what I don’t have.
This year Laura suggested I start blogging. It’s something I’ve been slacking on lately, but with the craziness of the last few months, it’s okay. The same month I started blogging, I also got engaged to my long-time boyfriend, Josh. (Feb will be six years together!)
If I only knew how big of a process it would be…well, I STILL would have done it! After meeting some horrible guys to record and edit, or DOP, I finally met Joe Sanchez, or MMJoe (which you still have yet to tell me what the MM stands for!) with StandAsOne Productions. He was awesome to work with. I began advertising for the auditions.
The cast was pivotal, and as the author, it was important to make sure I had the right cast. I wrote a script of scenes from the book I wanted to shoot, found a local, held auditions and casted my top 5 characters. 3 girls, two guys, and a few tossed in. Like Torrey who played like 4 different guys, lol.
Film is nothing like stage—don’t let anyone fool you, but it was so fun. We had rehearsals every night, and on the off nights I was location scouting with Erica. Those three months were non-stop. I never slept, and the drama reminded me of what it was like to be in the entertainment world again with actors that were unreliable. I learned a lot from the process and next go around will be completely different. But after shooting and weeks of editing well into midnight, Joe and I finally finished. Honestly, I am SO grateful for Joe, he’s awesome.
Check out the trailers here www.youtube.com/angelhett. There are six and they rock.
Around the time I started filming, I met my critique partner Dawn Kurtagich. That was before she was signed and on the road to being a NYT Best Seller. *fingers crossed*. After exchanging a few chapters, I decided that maybe Collide wasn’t going to be the first book I sold. It had snags and needed much reworking. So I swallowed my pride and nervously sent over the first chapter of THE PROS AND CONS OF BREATHING, story about how one death can turn a girl’s world upside down. My teeth gnashed waiting for her opinion. If she hated it, I was sure I was going the wrong path by trying to be a writer. Clearly I belonged in entertainment and my storytelling would stay there. But she loved it! Chapter after chapter we swapped and I couldn’t believe how awesome she was.
Last year, I started writing The Pros and Cons of Breathing, and put it aside until this year. With my father passing away I couldn’t write about it all without breaking down. But writing Ariel’s story was surprisingly refreshing. It was an outlet for me to really break down and let my feelings of death out. But after I wrote it, I had no clue it if was any good. With Dawn’s help, I made the story come to life. I am SO unbelievable grateful for Dawn. Our friendship has went beyond the pages and to a personal level. She really is one of my best friends, and I can talk to her about anything and everything, and know she’ll always be honest with me.
After writing and rewriting the query, I decided to test my luck and see what the world of literary agents thought. I received great feedback, and requests. There are plenty still out now, but a few months ago I received a rejection that changed everything. He loved it, but it needed some work. With awesome suggestions, I decided to revise. Finally I finished and am in the critiquing stage before I start sending again. What perfect timing too. The end of the year is so busy for agencies, plus people take time off. It’s perfect to revise!
Needless to say, I couldn’t be happier with the changes, and probably wouldn’t have thought about them if it wasn’t for him bringing them to my attention.
Other than that, I quit my job and took two months off to write. I started my newest work in progress, a YA paranormal with a working title of SLEEPING AWAKE. And another contemp YA, working title, THE ART OF BREAKING UP.
I started a new job, one a thousand times better than the other. Started reading even more and doing some book reviews on my blog. My craft has grown this year, and I feel like I’ve accomplished so much. My paranormal project is forcing me to try something new, and it’s given me a chance to explore and create a different world of characters.
I’ve met wonderful writers and authors, and I’m so grateful for the advice they’ve given me, and my new Twitter friends!
This isn’t a bragging post, it has been a difficult year, but that didn’t stop me from making the most of myself and really branching outside my comfort zone. I hope everyone had a year full of new and exciting experiences. 2011 will be even better. I can’t wait to see what adventures it brings me—plus I’m getting married in June, so I’m sure craziness with come with that!
Happy New Year. Good luck in 2011!!