The last time I wrote in this seemingly archaic format (I’m just a blog girl living in a TikTok world), I was reflecting back on a humanity-changing year, whilst sharing a list of ways to give back.
But now, the giving back is over. That’s right, ME before EVERYONE, thank you very much.
Correction: it is always a good idea to give back if one is able to, even if it’s out of annoyance, i.e. my Red Cross donation yesterday stemmed not from a desire to help out (just being honest), but as a way to get Red Cross Canada to stop calling me multiple times a week, which is what they’ve been doing since I last donated. Do they not realize that the biggest perk of donating online is to never have to speak to a human? I was so turned off by the frequent calls, sometimes during business hours, that I almost vowed to never donate to Red Cross again. Luckily, I realized that the people in need are not to be punished for the sins of the Red Cross employee—or volunteer—handbook, which apparently requires an overzealous frequency of calls. Anyway, I hope they’ll never call me again; just take my money and leave me alone.
Now that I sufficiently sound like the grumpy old man who sends handwritten complaint letters to companies that have wronged him, I HAVE SOME WONDERFUL NEWS TO SHARE!
(This news has been extensively shared on social media, so if you’re familiar with said news, feel free to skip ahead to the juicy teaser)
This year started off with a bang, in the form of being offered a book deal from Wattpad Books, specifically from their new imprint W by Wattpad Books, which will specialize in women’s fiction.
It was something I didn’t see coming, because after years of self-publishing and screenwriting and ad copywriting, I was, at the time, existing in that magical space of not really worrying about what came next, and simply writing fiction for the fun of it.
But isn’t that when the magic usually happens? When you’re focusing on the joy of it, instead of on the outcome?
I shared the news publicly in April, and had always intended to share it on this blog—where my writing dreams were born—but somehow the subsequent four months passed by in a flash. I think that had everything to do with the fact that the story in question, the one that got deal, needed a full re-outline and a page-one rewrite, all of which needed to occur within this four-month timeframe.
This is not the typical trajectory of a traditional book deal, but let me tell you: I couldn’t have been more thrilled by the prospect of a shit-load of work. Why, you ask? Well, the story in question, 24 Hours In Paris, was a story that was born on Wattpad, a rom-com story of college-aged students on a school trip. This new imprint, however, is focused on adult women’s fiction, and so, when I was asked if I’d be willing to age up the story…I WAS THRILLED!
If you know my writing, you know that 95% of my characters are a bit older than college students, especially in my most recent stories. They’ve lived through some shit, they’ve seen some shit, and even if they’re a little frayed at the edges, they still dare to dream and love. And so, to have the chance to take one of my favourite story concepts (it really takes place over 24 hours!), and age it up to my favourite demographic? It was the best news I ever could’ve heard.
But as I said, it meant a shit-load of work.
With full-time ad copywriting hours serving as my biggest obstacle, I squeezed in a full re-outline of the book over a 4-week period. Then, over the following 12 weeks, I squeezed in 28 chapters or 78,000 words, along with my own line edits and copy edits, for a brand new draft that—once it’s all polished and done—will be shared with the world in print and e-book form in May 2022.
I wrote the original 24 Hours In Paris nearly six years ago, and I’m so proud of how much my writing has changed in that time, based on personal growth, new sources of inspiration, and lived experiences. If you’ve read the original 24 Hours In Paris, consider this a whole new book, and one that I hope you’ll enjoy once it sees the light of day.
In the meantime, I figured I’d take some inspiration from Emily Henry, and share a little in-progress teaser from the book—and yes, we both have romantic comedy new releases coming out in May 2022. Will mine be as popular as the latest from the aforementioned international bestselling author, who has probably sold millions of copies? I mean…obviously?
(I didn’t make it this far without delusions of grandeur)
I’ll leave you with this teaser that introduces you to our two main characters, and without giving too much away, I’ll also say this about the book: this one’s for the ones who love Paris…for the ones who are excited to see a person of colour as the woman protagonist (!)…for the ones who love the urgency of a 24-hour running clock…and for the ones who like entire chapters written from the man’s prospective (yes, that will happen, and yes, that is a first for me!)
Read on below and enjoy. I’ll be back sometime soon with the book cover reveal—I saw some sketches today, and I love the direction it’s going in!