I thought my child was growing up when he started getting interested in Legos, but when we went costume shopping for Halloween in October and he saw all these Minecraft costumes, I knew we were on the verge of something. It’s early stages still, but when that happened and I was then asked to take part in Danica Davidson’s Books for Minecrafters Blog Tour, I knew I had to say yes.
With a plethora of books to her credit, among them Minecraft titles as well as Barbie and Manga Art for Beginners, Danica definitely has experience in the publishing world. It’s one of the reasons I was happy when she agreed that, for her guest post today, she’d give us a look at her adventure in that wide world.
Becoming a published writer is much more difficult than many people realize. Most people who try will not make it, and it takes years and years of rejection before you get your foot in the door. Sometimes it feels like a useless task that will never get you anywhere, but my advice is to keep going if this is what you want. Keep writing, keep reaching out, keep improving. It took me about fifteen years to get my first book published, and in the last three years I’ve signed contracts for seventeen books.
I started submitting to agents when I was in middle school. I had been writing stories since I was about three, and when I was a tween, adults started telling me that I was writing on a professional level. Because of this praise, and because of how much I loved to write, I thought an agent would snatch me up. I found, instead, that agents were not interested in signing on to someone so young.
In twelfth grade I started working as a freelance writer for the local paper. I needed the money and thought it could help my platform, to show agents that they would want me. I would take articles I wrote and send it to other places, gradually building my way up. From the local paper I went to a paper distributed throughout the state. From there, I got into an anime magazine, which led me to write about manga for different online publications. From there, I got into Booklist and Publishers Weekly. From there, I got into MTV, CNN and The Onion. For years it felt like all I did was write and network.
Meanwhile, my manuscripts continued to end up in the slush pile and I had multiple close calls. For instance, the head of a New York publisher was really interested in my manuscript . . . then he left the company and everything fell through. One agent agreed to work with me, only to really not do anything, and then several agents essentially said they were going to sign me . . . and didn’t, for one reason for another. (One agent got sick. Another pretended she didn’t remember me.)
Networking online, I found the editor who would buy my first book, Manga Art for Beginners, based on my background writing about manga. It was through her I also found the agent I have now, who did sign me, and who did send my stuff out. I pitched a story idea to the editor who bought my manga book, suggesting an adventure novel for kids that takes place as if Minecraft is a real world. That book, Escape from the Overworld, spawned five more books in the series (Attack on the Overworld, The Rise of Herobrine, Down into the Nether, The Armies of Herobrine and Battle with the Wither) and a spinoff series of it is coming out, starting with Adventure Against the Endermen. I’ve also written a Barbie graphic novel called Barbie: Puppy Party, a Tales from the Crypt comic called “Picture Perfect,” and I have Manga Art for Intermediates coming out next year.
Publishing is a very difficult path, but it can also be a very unique path that leads you down interesting roads. I never expected to be writing some of the books I am today, but I’m having a blast writing them!
Danica’s story definitely reminds me to persevere. It’s sure hard sometimes, but this one is a success. Her rememberance of a New York publisher that wanted to publish her manuscript, but then left the company and things fell through reminded me of William Goldman, the author of The Princess Bride, and his trials trying to get his book made into a film which, as many of us know, is now a cult classic!
For fans of adventures that take place in the world of their favorite game, Minecraft, Danica’s newest book Adventure Against the Endermen: An Unofficial Overworld Heroes Adventure is coming out on November 7th. Be sure to check it out, as well as some of her back list titles.
Thank you again to Danica, and to you faithful readers, for stopping by today to celebrate my stop on the #BooksForMinecrafters Tour.
About the Author
Danica Davidson is the author of YA and children’s novels and graphic novels. Her books have been called “EXCITING” by Forbes, “RECOMMENDED READING” by School Library Journal, and have been spotlighted by NPR, Sci Fi Magazine, Barnes & Noble Kids Blog, MTV and other publications. Please check out her site at www.danicadavidson.com.