Welcome, Julie Hammerle!
Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us, which I reviewed in June of last year. On February 13, her new novel, Any Boy But You, (reviewed yesterday) is being published and it’s part of a series, North Pole, Minnesota.
Book One vs. Book Two
The timeline for how long it took me to write and then publish my first novel, The Sound of Us, revolves around my niece.
I first had the idea for the book (which ended up being WAAAAY different than the finished product) right around the time when she was born.
I pantsed that sucker during the first month of her life. I bought one of those “Write a Novel in 30 Days” type books and never looked back. Or forward. I just wrote words. Lots and lots of words. Garbage words, most of them.
Over the next, oh, four years I entered a cycle of revise, query, repeat. I wrote other things during this time (important!), but I always went back to The Sound of Us (which was not called The Sound of Us at the time).
Finally! Finally! After years of trying to find an agent, I connected with Beth Phelan of The Bent Agency, who saw good things in my manuscript.
Aaaaannnnddd…I spent the next six months revising the story with her before going out on submission. Then we revised again. And went on submission again.
After over a year of that, Kate Brauning of Entangled Publishing bought the book. And we spent the next year+ revising, revising, revising.
The total time from inception to publication? Nearly seven years. That newborn baby was about to start first grade when The Sound of Us hit the shelves.
But that’s the luxury of a first book—time!
Writing my second book, Any Boy but You, was, oh, just a tad different.
Kate and I wanted to work together again. (She’s an amazing editor, if you ever get the chance.) Beth pitched her a few things, and we settled on this romance series set in a Christmas-themed town in Minnesota. Three books, one year.
I had already written drafts for two of the books. (Because I wasn’t solely working on The Sound of Us during those seven years.) However, Kate decided that we should use those books as #2 and #3 in the series, and, hey, could I write something from scratch for book #1? And could I have a polished draft finished in two months?
I said yes, of course, because I’m a professional, but privately I was eating a lot of chocolate during this time. I wrote out a very detailed outline, which Kate and I went back and forth on several times, and then I wrote it and revised it and did copyedits and the whole shebang.
From inception to publication on this book? About eight months.
What did I learn? 1) Writing isn’t precious. It’s messy. It’s mechanical. It’s a job like anything else, one where you need to do the work because no one else is going to do it for you. 2) Always keep writing, because you never know when an editor’s going to ask to see what else you have. 3) Lindor chocolate truffles are my world.
Julie Hammerle is the author of THE SOUND OF US (Entangled TEEN, 2016). Before settling down to write “for real,” she studied opera, taught Latin, and held her real estate license for one hot minute. Currently, she writes about TV on her blog Hammervision, ropes people into conversations about Game of Thrones, and makes excuses to avoid the gym. Her favorite YA-centric TV shows include 90210 (original spice), Felicity, and Freaks and Geeks. Her music playlist reads like a 1997 Lilith Fair set list.
She lives in Chicago with her husband, two kids, and a dog. They named the dog Indiana.