Just where do you think you’ve been for the last seven months?   




June 25. June 25.

             If you’re reading this—congratulations—you passed some sort of proverbial test of perseverance. Honestly, I didn’t think it’d been that long since I’ve written in this blog, but after checking the stats five minutes ago, I now realize my last entry was June 25.

Seven months. That’s not bad, right?

Now, I know the next thing to come is a barrage of questions:

                Where have you been?

                Have you given up on this blog?

                Did you fail as a newbie author?

                Were you kidnapped by gorillas?

                What happened?

                Do you not love us anymore?

                To which I reply, respectively:

                A variety of different places. Mostly at my computer screen.

                No. Case in point: this new entry.

                Impossible to do so.


                A myriad of things I will cover in due time.

                Don’t be ridiculous.

Many things happened—good things, bad things, and everything-in-between. Life happened, and let me reassure you that there has been ample blood and tears shed in the process.[1] I know I’ve been a heinously awful blogger, but I also defect to the caveat I posted sometime (A long time?) ago:

               My blog, my timeline.

               Now, don’t let this undermine how much I appreciate your readership and fidelity. If you’ve stuck with me for this long, rest assured that I appreciate you from the bottom of my heart. However, as sometimes life can be a bit sticky, my blogging does come secondary to other things in my life, ie, writing, reading, travelling, caring for my corgi puppy, and my professional goals.

With that much being said, I suppose the big news is I’m now agented and on submission for one book, soon to be two. I’ve written three more manuscripts and was selected as a contestant in a major British writing showcase.

               I said was neglectful. Not idle.

               Wait a darn-tootin minute, Hannah, you say. Now, after all that discussion about publishing methods, you’re agented? Who, what, when, where, and why?

                In the interest of keeping these posts short and resuscitating my material, I’ll give you an overview and then dive into some of the individual sections in later posts. Thus, I present:


                An Outline of the Last Seven Months

                By Hannah Kates

  • March, 2018—I’m selected for and entered into the #WriteMentor showcase under the tutelage of author Marisa Noelle
  • June, 2018—I write my last fated blog post
  • Summer, 2018—I Frankenstein-together the first draft of SWEETBLOOD, a YA dark fantasy loosely based off the Patel multiverse
  • September, 2018—I enter SWEETBLOOD in the #WriteMentor showcase. I receive a few requests, but these turn out “meh.”
  • October, 2018—I pine over SWEETBLOOD and its apparent hopelessness
  • Fall (ish?) 2018—I receive multiple requests from pitching contests, including a few from small publishers
  • November, 2018—I decide to write a middle grade horror and complete my first draft of SKIN AND BONES in twenty days
  • Fall (Ish?) 2018—I start pitching SKIN AND BONES in various pitching contests before it’s actually finished, thereby breaking my own sacred rule[2]
  • Still Fall-ish, 2018—Two small publishers make offers on SWEETBLOOD. An agent asks for a revise and resend.
  • December, 2018—An agent asks for THE CALL regarding SKIN AND BONES. Shortly after, a second agent asks to CALL the very same week.
  • 28 December, 2018—I take both calls and end up signing with Lynnette Novak of the Seymour Agency. She signs me for SKIN AND BONES, and I sheepishly inform her about my offers for SWEETBLOOD.
  • 1 January, 2019—While everyone is out drinking champagne and watching fireworks, I realize in frozen panic that SWEETBLOOD must be rewritten before we put it out on submission. I ask for two months. Lynnette gives me one.
  • 14 January, 2019—I finish the SWEETBLOOD rewrite and go on submission shortly after
  • JanuFebrary[3]—I begin revising SKIN AND BONES

Clear as mud. At any rate, these calamitous events have been rife with both triumph and despair, laughter and tears, celebration and discouragement. If you’ve stuck with me this far, you’re well-aware you’ve boarded a runaway train to unpredictability.

What do any of us have to lose?

As I get back into the rhythm of my weekly blog posts, I’m plan on shifting my direction and addressing the events I loosely outlined above. I’d like to cover subjects including (but not limited to):

  • Mentor programs
  • Pitching contests (Part 3)
  • Summaries
  • Branding
  • Revise and resends (R&R)
  • Rewrites
  • Cross-genre work
  • Querying strategies
  • Reading strategies
  • Your Genre and You
  • Patronage and Outsourcing

So on and so forth. These topics may be a bit flighty, so please always feel free to contact me via the CONTACT tab if there are other topics you’d like to see covered.

And, as always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about anything else, my virtual inbox door is always open.

A lot of you have already reached out to me regarding communities, query letters, summaries, and baby pandas. If I can’t help you,[4] you’d better be darned sure I’ll find someone who can.

Thanks for sticking along for the ride. ❤


[1] Not to worry, dear reader—my silence was not without suffering.
[2] But, in all truthfulness, don’t do what I did. Just… Please. I know I’m the hypocrite telling you to do as I say, not as I do, but ignore the ultimate result and listen to me for a second: DON’T PITCH YOUR UNFINISHED MANUSCRIPT.
[3] The new month I just invented including the latter half of January and the earlier half of February.
[4] Full disclosure: Pandas are far beyond the realm of my experience.

Author: h.kates

H. Kates is a war gamer turned author. Her middle grade fantasy, PATEL PATTERSON AND THE APOCALYPSE KEY, debuts... Eventually.

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