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  • Hetal Avanee

i HAD an agent (edited for accuracy)

Updated: Aug 16, 2023

It happened, it really happened! I have a wonderful, enthusiastic, amazing agent who GOT MY STORY. She understood the most important aspects of ANIKA PATEL AND THE BEASTLY BAKERY and she's as excited as me to see it in the world.

I asked my kids to scream at me until my eyes watered in pain to ensure I wasn't dreaming. They maybe took too much pleasure in the task but they assure me I am, in fact, wide awake.

I promised additional stats, so here they are in case you're wondering a bit about how many rejections it took to get me here

my story stats

This doesn't even include the romances I submitted to epubs when I first started, so don't let my number of rejections fool you: there are so many more I just didn't keep track of them all. LOL :P

To anyone who has stories in them to tell but is thinking of giving up: DON'T.

I hardly wrote a word in 2019. I felt like a failure and needed to step away. I thought I was done, but every time my closest family members asked if I was truly never writing again, I'd vehemently argue that I was not. So I guess a part of me always knew I'd come back to this dream.

So come 2020, the year of the lockdown, I ask my daughter what kind of story she'd want to read. She was my intended audience, after all, so why wouldn't I want to know? "A magic school story," she answered, still in love with that one series which must not be named. And though I started off with the best of intentions to set her story in the US (like she wanted) and at a magic school (oops), the end result means so much more to me. I hope it will to her too!

And I'll promise her that if this story is published (please please publishing gods hear me), it will be set at a magic school for subsequent stories ;)

The first draft was finished quickly (2 months) because there is so much of her and me and our family on the page that it was a joy to write! I was trying to meet the deadline of the PitchWars entry window, so I knew I couldn't miss. I wanted feedback on this story, it was so important to me to get it right, because it's my first MG. I was shocked and grateful at Gail Villanueva picking my entry of all of her PitchWars submissions, and being able to polish and add depth and love to my first MG's pages with her guidance.

This won't be my last MG though! Tara can attest that I have others in mind and I can't wait to get to them.

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