Book Deals, Goodbyes and 2016, Oh My!

B I G N E W S

Hello!

So, 2015 is coming to an end. And what a year it’s been!

A year ago, after getting my annual ‘Goddess Guidance’ reading from Amy Palko, I chose my word for 2015: metamorphosis.

To be honest, I almost didn’t choose that word. It made me nervous. I remember seeing that word and feeling my stomach flip anxiously. All the work and change it foreshadowed seemed like too much, too hectic, too big.

But it turns out there was no better word to describe the last twelve months of my life. It wasn’t hectic, it was smooth. It didn’t feel like work, because all the changes I’ve been through in 2015 have been natural progressions. And for the most part, they’ve been personal choices. Big shifts that started in my mind and heart and slowly trickled outwards.

I am so different from the person I was at the start of 2015. My outward life started to shift to match who I’m becoming: I shaved the sides of my head; I dove into the world of fandoms and geekery and pop culture; I stepped back and took a break from social media and the world I’ve been living and working in for the last four years; and I dedicated more time to writing.

I passed the role of Editor-In-Chief of Wild Sister mag to Shai to give me more time to write, and the moment I did, things started happening fast. So fast I can hardly believe it.

I self published my debut YA horror series and watched in amazement as it became an Amazon and iBooks bestseller.

I was commissioned by Sony Pictures to write fanfic on Wattpad to promote the upcoming release of The 5th Wave movie.

I signed a three book contract with Limitless Publishing for my new YA paranormal series.

And three weeks later, I received a call from Macmillan Publishing in New York, offering me a publishing deal with their imprint, Swoon Reads/Feiwel and Friends.

They’re publishing my YA geeky contemporary about best friends who go to a pop culture convention, called WHAT HAPPENS AT SUPACON. This deal is especially exciting for me as one of the main characters in this story is an Autistic girl, just like me. Knowing I’ll be adding one more voice, one more story to the short but ever-growing list of positive representation in media for Autistic girls means more to me than I could ever express. (Keep an eye out for it in stores in March 2017!)

And as if all that wasn’t awesome enough, in the last week alone I’ve started working on more exciting projects with some amazing people that I’m not allowed to talk about yet.

In short, life is freaking awesome and everything I’ve been dreaming of and working towards is fast becoming a reality.

And it all started right here at Wild Sister, where I first discovered my love of writing.

So it’s very bittersweet to say that I’m leaving Wild Sister.

With three books in the works with Limitless and now another book with Swoon Reads/Macmillan, plus the secret projects and many indie books I’ve got on my to-write list, 2016 is going to be a very busy and exciting year for me. And I know myself well enough to know that attempting to split my focus between writing and Wild Sister would only lead to burn-out and, to be honest, crappy work. I care too much about Wild Sister and my stories to do either of those jobs half-heartedly.

I’ve worked hard on building Wild Sister for four years, and I’m incredibly proud of it. I’ve learned a helluva lot and made lifelong friends (who I’ll still be connected with through the Wild Sisterhood, where I’ll stay as a member) But now it’s time to step down as CEO and pass the entirety of Wild Sister and the Wild Sisterhood to Shai Bearden.

Shai’s got some pretty cool things up her sleeve for Wild Sister in 2016. The transition has been bumpy while we figure out the details and both adjust to the change, and we’re so grateful for your support and patience. Things will likely be a bit bumpy a while longer while I finalize moving everything over to Shai, but the seeds are being planted now to help Wild Sister grow and bloom in 2016.

I thought a lot about this post. I wondered if I should make a big deal of it, share my favorite posts from the blog or write one giant love letter to Wild Sister. But simple and low-key feels right.

Besides, this isn’t really a goodbye. As I said, I’ll still be in the Wild Sisterhood. I just won’t be running things anymore. It feels weird and strange and liberating and scary and exciting all at once, but ultimately I know it’s time for me to move on.

So, hey, Wild Sister, thanks for being my everything for the last four years.

Stay wild.

Jen

P.S: If you want to stay connected with me as I pursue my writing dreams, I’m all over social media as @jenmariewilde.

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