It took me two long years to finish my first novel, and I didn’t do anything with it. It was a hot mess—still is—but I learned I could complete a novel, and that prompted me to start book number two. My second attempt went much faster, and within a few months I was ready to polish.
Sadly, I finished revising it right when agents and publishers were saturated with similar books in my genre. Query after query I got the same reply: I can’t sell this in today’s crowded market. Determined to find a home for my manuscript, I went to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference and pitched it to agents.
I caught the excitement of an agent who said she loved my energy and, thank goodness, the pitch. She requested my full manuscript and I practically floated home thinking, ‘This is it. I’m on my way.’
That agent emailed me throughout her read, but there were a handful of areas that needed to be fixed. So, instead of offering me representation, she asked me to revise and resubmit. A week or so later, she sent me her notes. I jumped in headfirst and spent night after night perfecting my novel, incorporating all the elements she suggested. It was stronger and better than ever.
I sent it off and waited for her quick reply.
Weeks went by. Then months.
I wrote another novel.
I finished that novel
I polished that novel.
And when I was ready to send that new manuscript into the world, I nudged the agent to let her know I’d completed BODY PARTS.
That prompted her to finish reading the revised manuscript as well as my new one. Around that the same time, I entered Pitch Madness, and while I didn’t get in, I received an encouraging message from one of the slush readers who mentioned I came really close to getting in. She insisted I send queries into the Agent World, so I drafted a few and, with a shaky hand, hit send.
The responses came back slow at first, then two full requests came within hours of each other. A week later, an agent requested my manuscript 12 MINUTES after I queried her (cue the freakout session).
Despite the good news, rejections trickled in. The agent sitting on my old manuscript sent me a rejection. BODY PARTS still needed a home.
One of my CPs convinced me to participate in #RTSlap, a Twitter pitch event I hadn’t planned on entering. I was full of coffee and optimism, so I sent one pitch out into the Twitterverse and called it good. Later that night, I checked my account and saw an agent had favorited my tweet. Eureka! That agent was Whitley Abell, and she offered me representation shortly after I sent her the full manuscript.
We polished the manuscript and went out on submission on my birthday. It was a nice way to celebrate, but the publishing world moves at the speed of molasses sliding uphill. So we waited and waited.
Finally, on my way to pick up my kids from school, I saw that beautiful envelope icon pop up on my phone. I pulled over as soon as I could and clicked on it. The subject of the email read: OFFER RECEIVED.
My book was going to be published.
I remember crying as I dialed my husband. I remember blubbering something incoherent.
And I remember getting the first good night’s sleep in months.
About Body Parts:
Body Parts by Jessica Kapp
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Diversion Publishing
People would kill for her body.
Raised in an elite foster center off the California coast, sixteen-year-old Tabitha’s been sculpted into a world-class athlete. Her trainers have told her she’ll need to be in top physical condition to be matched with a loving family, even though personal health has taken a backseat outside the training facility. While Tabitha swims laps and shaves seconds off her mile time, hoping to find a permanent home, the rest of the community takes pills produced by pharmaceutical giant PharmPerfect to erase their wrinkles, grow hair, and develop superhuman strength.
When Tabitha’s finally paired, instead of being taken to meet her new parents, she wakes up immobile on a hospital bed. Moments before she’s sliced open, a group of renegade teenagers rescues her, and she learns the real reason for her perfect health: PharmPerfect is using her foster program as a replacement factory for their pill-addicted clients’ failing organs. And her friends from the center, the only family she’s ever known, are next in line to be harvested.
Determined to save them, Tabitha joins forces with her rescuers, led by moody and mysterious Gavin Stiles. As they race to infiltrate the hospital and uncover the rest of PharmPerfect’s secrets, though, Tabitha finds herself with more questions than answers. Will trusting the enigmatic group of rebels lead her back to the slaughterhouse?
About The Author:
Jessica Kapp enjoys writing Young Adult Contemporary and Speculative Fiction. Story ideas often strike at inopportune times, and she’s been known to text herself reminders from under the covers.
She lives on a small farm in Washington with far too many goats and an occasional cow.