(Crossposting from beehiiv because I am Low Tech™)
Hello friends! Congratulations on surviving 2022! This year has felt more like three for me—there’s some kind of space-time distortion that goes on in the query trenches (perhaps a separate post?)—but on to 2023!
This year I revised my novel These Deathless Shores through Pitch Wars (huge thanks again to Grace Li and Em Liu for their galaxy brain edits). In October, I was offered representation by Sara Megibow and Savannah Brooks at KT Literary. I’m honored and excited to be working with them, and in awe of the ways their experience and enthusiasm have already been brought to bear on These Deathless Shores.
Here’s a pitch:
PETER PAN x SHE WHO BECAME THE SUN in a Malaysian-inspired, genderbent retelling of Captain Hook
Jordan was once a Lost Boy, convinced she would never grow up. Now, she’s twenty-two and exiled to the real world, still suffering withdrawal from the magic Dust of her childhood—and the drug she’s using to medicate that withdrawal is wreaking its final, fatal effects. With nothing left to lose, Jordan returns to the Island and its stories—of pirates and war and the cruelty of youth—intent on facing Peter one last time, on her own terms.
If that makes her the villain…so be it.
It has been a long way forward for this book. I’ve worked on it on and off since 2017, which includes tossing around 170k words in “zero” drafts and cutting—at an extremely low estimate—at least 70k elsewise. In some ways, this is the book that taught me how to write.
My querying statistics were skewed by Pitch Wars and should not be counted, but next year I’ll try to write up something about the feedback I received, non-PW agent response times, etc.
Also, check out this amazing art I commissioned from @tonidoodles?!?!?! I am in love.
To switch gears a little: seven of my short stories were published this year!
- Yes / YES in Uncharted Magazine (Minotaur fic!! He is hungry. He is baby.)
- The Flock is Your Blood in Flash Fiction Online; originally published in If There’s Anyone Left (definitely not my feelings about reading Jade City for the first time)
- To Speak of Forever in Translunar Travelers Lounge
- Driving Lessons in Litbreak Magazine (my first foray into literary realism!)
- Study Break in Olit (pitched to my agents as a These Deathless Shores contemp AU, because I am a Serious Writer)
- Tongue is a Void in Death in the Mouth: an Anthology of Original Horror from People of Color (musical theatre! existential angst! also my first horror story!)
- The Dream Eater in If There’s Anyone Left
As per newsletter convention, here are some books I read for the first time this year and was Extremely Normal (i.e., mostly confined my hyperfixation to Tumblr) about:
- Jade Legacy by Fonda Lee
- A Marvellous Light by Freya Marske
- It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
- Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
- Nona the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
- Babel by R. F. Kuang
- The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun
- The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen
- Time is a Mother by Ocean Vuong
And here are a couple 2023 new releases I’m looking forward to!
Two Can Play That Game by Leanne Yong
I read this when it was still a baby first-ish draft, and was yelling and cackling at every scene. There’s rivals to lovers, creative process angst, mutual nerdery, Asian Gossip Network shenanigans, chaos siblings, and escape rooms! Also the Malaysian diaspora rep, my heart!!! Two Can Play That Game comes out January 31; you can preorder it here.
The Death I Gave Him by Em X. Liu
Y’all, if you are Locked Tomb folk: This sci-fi Hamlet retelling has locked-room mystery and bodysharing angst and Science Things and existential crisis and also I burst into tears multiple times, which has only ever happened with two other books ever. You can add it on Goodreads and cry with me later next year—I volunteer to make us a support group on Discord.
Finally, please have a photo of my dog Spot:
Thanks so much for reading, and see you in 2023!