I had big plans for this fall, but unfortunately, I've been dealing with some minor health issues. It's nothing serious, but I have decided to take a few months off from the newsletter and content updates to focus on my health.
There is no other way to say it. The past couple of months have been absolutely crazy. Between coaching two Ultimate Frisbee teams, client work, and getting married, I've had little time to relax. So, I spent most of June unwinding and recovering from an exciting but exhausting spring.
Despite taking most of the month off, I still manage to make significant progress on the book. I polished my query letter and got it ready to send to agents. I also attended an incredible book event In Washington Heights hosted by the Word Up Community Bookstore, where I got to meet the award-winning author Reyna Grande, more on that below. Then last week, I spoke with an editor who works at a major New York publishing house.
Before you get too excited, the meeting wasn't about a book deal or anything like that. I was speaking with him about the next steps for my book. He is of Salvadoran descent and is very excited about my project. He provided me with some insight into the publishing process and was kind enough to read a few chapters of my book. The main takeaway was that he thinks my manuscript is ready to send out!
The only “disappointing” part of the conversation was finding out how long the traditional publishing process takes. Between getting an agent, securing a book deal, polishing the manuscript, and printing the book, it could take anywhere from a year and a half to two years. This feels like an eternity for someone like me who wants to share my story with everyone right away. However, over the years, I’ve learned there is great value in taking the time needed to make a piece of art the best it can be.
All this to say, it may be a while before any of us get to hold the book, but I’m confident it will be worth the wait.
This is a new section that I plan to start including with my author updates.
I recently finished Rayne Grande's incredible Memoir, "The Distance Between Us." In it, she writes about her childhood growing up in a remote village in Mexico and then coming to the United States as an undocumented youth. Her story is as beautiful as it is powerful.
Grande writes so eloquently about the challenges and opportunities that coming to the United States presented for her family, how it forced her sibling to grow up without their parents, and the void this experience created in her life.
I was struck by how deeply I connected with her story, even though, on the surface, our paths to the United States and our upbringing were vastly different.
I came to this country after I was separated from my family during the Salvadoran civil war via adoption and grew up in an upper-middle-class household. In contrast, Grande's family decided to come to the US to look for work and was forced to live in the shadows.
(But as John Younger, when there are few economic opportunities available, do you really have a choice?)
Perhaps there is something about being separated from your birth parents at such a young age, voluntary or otherwise, that creates a longing for wholeness. I think it was her longing and desire to be together as a family that resonated with me the most.
Overall it was an incredible book, and I highly recommend it.
With my manuscript in good shape and my query letter finished, all that is left is to start reaching out to agents. I won't lie. I'm a bit nervous but also excited to move on to the next stage of this project.
Now that life has calmed down, I should have more time to write. So look out for the third and final installment of my “Feeling like a writer” series, which I will be sending out in a couple of weeks.
Wish me luck as I query agents, and I'll write you next month!