This is the post I never thought I’d get to write. Back in July I spent five hours skyping my crit partner in Australia and sobbing about how this book was dead. The very last agent had it and I was sure a rejection was imminent. Me weird, strange, Southern thriller with clones and sci-fi set in the summer of 2069 was dead on arrival. Back then I made plans to graceful accept my fate and move on.
In August my wonderful agent sent me an email, arranged a phone call, and signed me with plans to sell JANE DOE to a big New York publisher. I tempered my expectations. JANE DOE was a weird niche novel in a genre that hasn’t been The Next Big Thing since the moon landing. Sci-fi is a hard sell. JANE DOE would be harder. I knew the odds of JANE ever finding a home were bad. Horribly bad. Hunger Games bad. The odds weren’t in my favor.
I made my writing plans, channeled my energy into Heroes & Villains and LADY OF THE LAKE and planned on getting a sad phone call in late spring of 2015 when my agent would inevitably say, “It’s a great book, but it’s not going to sell. Let’s move on to the next one.”
Two weeks into the submission process Marlene called me to say we had an offer for JANE DOE. Someone wanted my weird novel. Someone wanted to give JANE a chance. Negotiations happened. The book I’d prepared a eulogy for was being given a second chance at life. And then, in a twist of events that only makes the story more fun to tell I saw this on my Twitter feed this morning:
These tweets arrived while I was leaving gymnastics with the family. I knew that Publisher’s Marketplace was making an announcement, but I didn’t realize it’d be so soon. Chelsea Mueller kindly shot me a screen shot. And there it is.
For those who can’t read that screen cap it reads:
“Liana Brook’s JANE DOE: THE DAY BEFORE, in which a federal agent trying to salvage her mangled career fights the good ol’ boy system in near-future Alabama to find the killer of a college student and stop a plot that could bring about a second civil ward; pitched as “Fringe” meets Naked In Death with a side of sweet tea, to David Pomerico of Voyager Impulse, in a three-book deal, by Marlene Stringer of the Stinger Literary Agency.”
Voyager Impulse is the digital-first arm of Harper-Voyager. I’m so over the moon excited!!! JANE gets all three books which means I can tell the story the way I originally wanted to tell it. No leaving out plot lines or scaling down to make it work. I get to give you the full story. And you are going to love it!
ETA – JANE DOE was published under the title THE DAY BEFORE and is the first book in the Time and Shadows series.