2011 has been a super bizarro year for me, for a lot of reasons that I won't go into here. Truth be told, it's been a pretty dang rough year. But the best of the bizarre reasons is at the top of my To Be Thankful For list: getting a book deal.
I know, I know, I should say all the altruistic answers first, that I'm thankful for my family and friends. And I am thankful for those things, but let's see, is there a way I can say this without seeming too dramatic? The book deal literally changed my life. Or at least my path for the next three years, which is as far as I can handle thinking ahead anyway ;)
Getting a book deal (after a LOT of failure and rejection, writing-wise over the past few years) was unexpected--like actually catching the carrot you thought you'd spend your life chasing. It was a validation of this quiet side passion I'd been steadily fighting for. Now that passion gets to take a central place in my life: I get to spend my days writing. As a job. This is quite insane and surreal.
And I guess, more than the book deal itself that I'm thankful for, is the journey it's propelled me on. The experiences I've gotten to have, like talking to my editor for the first time, getting an Edit Letter, working on one book until it was kick-butt instead of stopping and moving on to another project when it got hard. And then writing book 2, which was just plain hard (because here's the thing most new author's don't expect you first finally catch that shining carrot--there will be new carrots, more books to write, and these under contract, under deadlines). Not that I'm complaining! I know what a blessing, what a lucky thing it is that I was able to get an agent, and then an editor! I'm quite aware that there are so many good books out there overlooked for one reason or other: lists too full, too like something else they're represented, too niche, voice didn't catch. I got lucky to break into the publishing gig, and now I'm as determined as hell to make my book shine and be brilliant.
At the end of the day, that's what this journey is about, both within my books and outside, in my real life: touching the magic of feeling deeply moved. That mystical thing about a good book that moves you emotionally, all the way down to the center of your sternum. To feel passion. At the root, that's what I'm thankful for--the ability to participate in magic.
Heather Anastasiu is the author of GLITCH (St. Martin's Press/Summer 2012) Glitch in three words: Dystopia, Superpowers, & Love :) Check out my website for more news and updates.