This weeks Dear Unpublished Me is the last letter of the feature and comes from the Queen of YA horror Dawn Kurtagich!
Dawn is a writer of creepy, spooky and psychologically sinister YA fiction, where girls may descend into madness, boys may see monsters in men, and grown-ups may have something to hide. Her debut YA novel, THE DEAD HOUSE, was called "... a haunting new thriller..." by Entertainment Weekly.
WARNING - this letter made me cry (no shame) so fair warning, have your tissues at the ready!
Dear Dawn of 2012,
Everything is going to be okay. I know that you’ve lost a lot. I know that you’re suffering, but trust me when I tell you there is always a silver lining, and yes, the night is always darkest before the dawn.
Right now, you’re lying in bed, wondering what it has all been for. The years of writing, learning, crafting, trying, failing, almost succeeding and failing again. The tears, the sleepless nights, the endless notebooks and inky fingers. That stack of rejection letters so high you never quite give anyone an honest answer about just how many you got. You cry every time a published author tells their story about how they got over a hundred rejection letters because the number seems so… small.
You had an agent—a junior agent with no experience—but still! You had one. Nabbed what everyone said might be impossible. You even had an R&R from an editor at Random House—wasn’t that the best day? You worked hard on that R&R, and on the next one… and you were brave enough to know that it wasn’t a good fit and stepped back. Right now, that seems like the biggest mistake you ever made. Your only chance, gone. Your agent has left the industry. Your books are trunked. Your mother is sick. You are sick. Your husband is grieving and you’re still here.
You’ve been broken in every way a person can be broken.
You’re going to die. You know it. Everyone around you is smiling, loving you, telling you that you’re going to be okay, but you’re in an oddly peaceful mindset when it comes to your own demise. Maybe it’ll be okay. Maybe your dream just… wasn’t meant to be.
You have something to say.
There will be hard days. Days that make you question everything—your morality, your faith (this one will be tough), your loved-ones. Your sanity. You’ll have days when staying alive is the real challenge. Because dying is easy. Other days, staying sane will be the only thing to cling to. Because sanity isn’t permanent.
Then… you’ll feel nothing. And you’ll know it’s close.
You’ll spend your fourth wedding anniversary walking through a beautiful garden on the arm of the man you love most dearly, thinking it may be the last. And you’ll think: this is okay. This is my story. It’s enough.
You’ll get the call that will save your life the very next day.
And… you’ll return. You will heal. You will live. You will write. Your stubborn I-will-be-published-if-I-have-to-write-100-books-to-get-there mindset will return. You’ll remember your burning fire. You’ll feel the stories rushing back in because, after all, you were sick and now you’re not. You’ll hesitate for only a moment… but then you’ll write the story that needs to be told. Your magnum opus… your horror. You’ll write it, hone it, take your time.
And you’ll send it out into the world. You’ll get 10 offers of representation from agents who love your book and want to make it real.
You’ll go on submission and have a pre-empt after only 25 hours.
Your book will be the Buzz Book of the Bologna Book Fair. Twice.
You’ll see it published across the Atlantic. A book. A real book. Telling the story you were brave enough to tell.
And there will be more.
So may more.
Hang in there. You’re a warrior.
Unlike previous features this week we're not doing a highlight of one of Dawns past books. No, this week I have something very special to share instead! I don't know about you but I'm a HUGE fan of Dawns books, The Dead House is one of my all time favourites (even if it did make me sleep with the light on for weeks) and I know, like myself, a lot of you lovely lot have been waiting patiently for her next book.
Which I can now reveal is hitting shelves next year and the official title of Dawn Kurtagich's next book is...
Keep up to date with all the info by following Dawn on social media
P.S. How freaking awesome is that title? Doesn't it just screams "I'm going to give you nightmares"??
If you haven't read any of Dawns books yet here are some links on where to get your hands on them.
Click on the UK or US cover to take you to Amazon and the title for Book Depository if you're not in those region.