Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Another Success Story!

Funny how these stories tend to arrive in small clusters.  Here's another one, straight from the author's fingers:

When I originally submitted the first few lines to your site for the Are You Hooked? entry, it wasn't just the first few lines. Those were the ONLY lines I had written. (Yeah, I know, bad author.) I had just gone through a round of over a hundred rejections for my first novel, a fantasy that was doomed thanks to all my own rookie mistakes. So, as a way to lick my own wounds, I decided to try my hand at something a little younger. Something for the kiddos. And I wrote it up and sent it in. Then, thanks to the feedback I got in the comments, I decided to keep on writing.

Just a few weeks after this, you contacted me to let me know that an agent was actually interested in my book. Say what?!?? I hadn't even queried anybody, in fact, the book wasn't even ready yet. Jeepers, those must have been some very catching first few lines! (TBH, the very first line of the book is almost the only thing that has stayed intact from that day until now.) So I feverishly finished the book and sent it to my critique partners. Meanwhile, I attended an online writing conference, WriteOnCon, and decided to get even more feedback on the book, so I submitted basically the same opener I'd put up on your site over there.

And, low and behold, more agents contacted me. Now, armed with the confidence I got from my experience, I started going back and forth with a few of them, and eventually decided to sign with Marietta B. Zacker of the Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. After several more revisions and many months of sending it to editors, we finally got an offer from David Gale at Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers. Now, The Troubles of Johnny Cannon will publish on October 14, just a couple of months away! And it all started because of the feedback I got on your site.

So, thank you!

Isaiah Campbell


  1. What a cool story! I'm laughing that you had just those few lines and posted them to the opening hook. I wonder how many others have done that to test out a new idea.

    Congrats on your success!

  2. I've been lucky enough to read an ARC of THE TROUBLES OF JOHNNY CANNON and it's such a wonderful novel with a hugely distinct voice. Well-worth buying come October!