YAY! The day has finally arrived when I can announce that I have signed a publishing contract for Caught in the Crossfire, my first novel, with Bold Strokes Books, one of the finest publishers of GLBTQ fiction in the world! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to have the opportunity to work with Len Barot, President and accomplished author (writing as Radclyffe and L.L. Rand) and her staff!
I’ve dreamed of being an author since an essay I wrote in 8th grade AP English class came back with the comment, “There is poison in your pen, Juliann! Write and write often!” Over the years I promised myself that I would write a book . . . someday.
Someday arrived in May, 2011, when my super smart husband bought me a gift certificate for my birthday to The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis with the note Just do it, damn it.
So I did.
Over the next year I became a regular at The Loft. Just ask the coffee shop lady. She’ll tell you exactly how I like my Chai Lattes! I took many classes and workshops with amazing teachers/authors including Mary Carroll Moore, Megan Atwood, Pat Schmatz, Swati Avashti, and Kurtis Scaletta. The Loft also offers conferences and student readings which gave me the chance to grow and network with other writers. In January, 2012, I was accepted for a mentorship with Ben Barnhart, formerly of Milkweed Editions, and together we worked on fine tuning Caught in the Crossfire until I had a manuscript that was ready to be sent to literary agents in May, 2012.
Just four months later I received an offer of representation from Saritza Hernandez, Senior Literary Agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency in New York City. Saritza is the kind of agent any writer would be lucky to have. She is massively book smart, surefooted in the shifting landscape that is the publishing industry, and fiercely dedicated to her authors so I was not surprised in the least when she found the perfect home for Caught in the Crossfire with Bold Strokes Books.
As you can tell, many people have walked this journey with me, and I can’t make this announcement without expressing my gratitude to them:
- Len Barot, President at Bold Strokes Books, thank you for believing in Caught in the Crossfire. I am beyond excited to work with you and your staff.
- Saritza Hernandez and Marisa Corvisiero, I honestly don’t know how to thank you. You welcomed me into the Corvisiero family and turned my dreams into a reality.
- All my awesome teachers at The Loft Literary Center, you have enriched not only my craft, but also my life.
- Ben Barnhart, my mentor and my friend, you are another person I don’t know how to thank! Just know that I am a better writer because of your guidance and a better person because of your friendship.
- Candace, Maggie, Siobhan, Char, Judy & Kathryn, my writing group buds, your thoughtful, honest critique has strengthened Caught in the Crossfire in countless ways.
- To the fine folk at Mn Kidlit: I learn something every time I get together with you (and not just about where to find the best brew in the Twin Cities!). It is an honor to be a part of your group.
- To the world’s best beta readers: Angela, Sue, Ryan, Nicole, Bev (how I wish you were still here to celebrate with me!) and Ruthie, thank you all for sharing your time and keen insights.
- Special thanks to Jeff, husband extraordinaire and my rock. Matthias, my beautiful son and hero, I wrote this book for you. And Mom, I also wrote it for you because what I know of a compassionate and living faith, I learned from you and Dad.
So, here are the details: Caught in the Crossfire, a story about sexual awakening set against the backdrop of the evangelical Christian church, will be published by Soliloquy, the Young Adult line of Bold Strokes Books, Spring 2014. It will be available in both print and e-book format in the brick and mortar bookstores such as Barnes and Noble as well as on Amazon and of course, directly through Bold Strokes Books. Please follow my website for more details about the publication date and events such as the pub party and book signings.
I’d like to share a song video that is especially meaningful to me. It’s called Same Love by Mackelmore and Robert Lewis, featuring Mary Lambert.
Blessed beyond measure,