Published, or Can I get a “yay”?

So recently, this blog’s been a big ol’ mess of me complaining about things. Waah, Irene. Waaah, FEMA. Waaaah, writer’s block. Waaaaaaah, grocery shopping.

No more! I’ve stowed my box of Kleenex and called off the waahmbulance, because I’ve got some fabulous news. On Sunday, I received an email from Vagabondage Press, a small, independent publishing house. They will be publishing my novella “Beware the Hawk” (I think, technically, it’s a novelette) as part of their 2012 catalog!

What kind of book is it? Well, for my literary/MFA friends – it’s genre. It’s a spy thriller told in the first person by a strong female voice, and smartphones play a big role in the story. It’s set in Boston. For my family, I’m sorry – my protagonist drops a lot of F-bombs.

This is a piece I wrote years ago, when I was in my first writing group. One of the women in that writing group is a co-founder at Vagabondage. She asked to see the piece this summer.

I don’t have all the details yet, but I do believe “Beware” will be an e-book release. I’ll write more about that when I have more information.

Good lord. I’ve published short stories and poetry and countless news pieces, but this will make me the author of a book. This has been my goal since I discovered books as a child. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write and publish a long piece of fiction.

Now it’s about to happen, and I have this weirdly muted excitement going on. I continue to stress about other projects, and every once in a while, I have this burst of hysteria when I remember that I’m going to have a book published. Now it’s not my end-game. Now it’s something that’s going to happen next year.

But what’s weird is that I somehow never looked beyond that final goal of writing a book. As a kid, I never had any plans beyond that. I was going to write a book and then… what? Be rich and famous, I guess. (Ha!) But now, I find myself thinking, wow, I’m going to be published, and still going on with the process of querying, writing, readying my long manuscript for the eyes of an agent and researching. It feels like I’ve pushed beyond the boundaries of my childhood ambition. It’s no longer “I want to write a book when I grow up,” now it’s “I want to write for the rest of my life.” And it feels like I can do that. I’ve spent the last several years writing, and the last two writing very seriously, but being an author feels like an actual career option now.

This is actually the third – and most exciting – piece of good news I have to share. The first piece of good news is that Vagabondage is publishing one of my short stories in their final issue of their lit mag, The Battered Suitcase, which will be available Oct. 1, and also, that another short story, “Final Statements,” will be published by Independent Ink Magazine sometime soon. I don’t have a date for the Independent Ink release yet, but when I do, I will tell you all.

I’m off to go yell “Wooo!” in the middle of my street.

20 thoughts on “Published, or Can I get a “yay”?


    I’m soooo excited for you! I love, LOVE that story and can’t wait to read how you updated and fleshed it out!

    And would you believe me if I told you I am very familiar with that “Oh crap! What now?” feeling you are experiencing? CRAZY HUH? Dreams aren’t supposed to come true!

    I almost wish we could have went through this when we were roomies. Just imagine how many celebratory drinks would have been consumed! Ah, well. Next retreat then.

    Congrats again! You ROCK!

    • I kind of wish we were roomies for this, too. Or at least that we were living in the same county. And that the Green Room was still open so that we could at least go out for several celebratory drinks.

      Congrats to you, Tam! We’ve approached our goals and now must chase all our other goals down like the dogs they are! Miss you!

  2. YAY!
    As one who is not unfamiliar with the creative use of f-bombs, I will be reading this novella/novelette/novel-ish piece.

  3. Congratulations, Ms. O’Connell! That is something. I was going to flesh out that sentence a little more with a statement about pride, but couldn’t find a sentence that didn’t end in a preposition. My departure from editing has wreaked havoc on my grammar.

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