Deal News: Debut Novel (Title TBD)

News

After a few months of keeping all my squees on the inside, I can finally share the news! My pre-colonial Filipino inspired fantasy novel, will be available from Entangled Teen in 2023. I’m also thrilled to announce that I’m now represented by Léonicka Valcius

I can’t wait to share more about this project with you. In the meantime, check out my Books page, where I’ve added a few more details. 

Note: The title is not final and TBD

Honestly, I almost can’t believe this is real, and let me tell you why I had almost given up on this story ever seeing the light of day.

CW: Pregnancy Loss

I started writing this novel back in 2016. I’d just gone back to work after having my first child, and a hellish year dealing with colic plus post partum depression. I needed an escape, and this story about mothers and daughters, and complicated families poured out of me. 

Many edits, R&R’s, and rejections later, I did get an agent! We went on sub with it! And then I had a miscarriage. And then it failed to sell.

My agent suggested pausing submissions and going out with another book first. I hadn’t stopped writing, so I threw myself into finishing my newest manuscript to keep myself from drowning in my feelings. Writing has always been my lifeline, and I clung to it as hard as I could. I wrote all my fears into a gothic novel.

I was in the middle of the gothic novel when I found out I was pregnant again. I was so terrified something would go wrong that I decided to take a break from the industry (and my first agent also decided to leave agenting).

I had another baby, I finished editing the gothic, and started writing another novel.

There I was starting all over again without an agent in the middle of a pandemic, completely sleep deprived, with baby barf splattered all over me, but writing kept me from falling to pieces.

And then the movie Raya and the Last Dragon came out, and I saw a few editors asking for something like it (representation does make a difference). I still had this novel, which was inspired by my Southeast Asian heritage, so I decided to give it one last go, sent it off…. and… here we are. I could cry.

Writers, no writing is ever wasted. Nothing in the trunk is ever truly dead. Sometimes the quality of your writing isn’t a problem. I wish hard work was all you needed for success, but it’s not. Luck and timing are a factors we can’t control in this industry, but persistence is. If you believe in your writing, please don’t give up on it. Someone might be waiting for your story. And believe me, writing truly can save lives (even if it’s just our own).