I wrote a book called ME & DEVIL BOY. Here’s the scoop.
Our home in West Philadelphia was tiny, had a Victorian façade, and was cozy as a bird’s nest. It’s where I wrote ME & DEVIL BOY—a love story about a thief girl with a warm heart and a magical boy who doesn’t speak.
I wrote it in a flash of lightning on our floppy queen bed with the ratty green comforter, as Mike watched Jeopardy or read books or cracked up at dog videos on YouTube or whatever he did back then—I don’t remember. All I know is that I wrote the manuscript in a psychotic haste while listening to the soundtrack from Edward Scissorhands over and over and over again (please listen to this song. It is amazing). Perhaps it was my secret escape from the terrible job I had at the time. I didn’t tell anyone I wrote it. I usually don’t talk about my writing, mainly for fear that nothing will come of it. But I’m tired of keeping it all inside.
I loved writing this book. You know that saying, All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed? That’s what writing this book felt like. When I finished writing it, I criedddd. I sobbed that my characters were gone, static, frozen. When I write, my characters become like friends or children. And I mourned them.
I submitted the manuscript to one publishing house. It was quickly rejected.
I chopped it up—turned it into a short story. It was picked up by The Head & the Hand, a boutique publishing group in Philadelphia. It was available in chapbook size in a….vending machine. Pretty cool. I figured ME & DEVIL BOY was done.
I moved on.
I quit that terrible job.
I started working in book publishing.
I wrote six other manuscripts.
I got married.
Had a baby.
Six years later, I looked at ME & DEVIL BOY again. It was like revisiting an old friend. Some parts I had forgotten, and other parts came alive again as though I’d never left.
I fixed up the manuscript and put it on a reading platform called Swoon Reads. Swoon Reads is an imprint of Macmillan where readers help select what gets published by commenting, rating, and sharing their favorite reads.
I don’t know what the fate of ME & DEVIL BOY will be. But I’m glad that, at least, the book and characters have come back to me. And some other readers seem to be enjoying them as well! I hope to one day share them with more people, but that’s not for me to decide. Only the publishing gods can figure that one out. For now, I have to figure out what to do with those six other manuscripts…! Yikes!
If you’d like to check out ME & DEVIL BOY on Swoon Reads and offer YOUR feedback, you can read it here. It would mean a lot.
Thanks for reading my scoop.
ABOUT ME & DEVIL BOY:
Why is the fourth floor forbidden?
Bo lives in a tiny attic room in an orphanage, locked away by the cruel Sister Slade who is convinced that his green-glowing eye means he must be possessed by the Devil.
Curious, pin-bright Bailey Winks is an orphan who dreams of starting a new life somewhere after she’s stolen enough money. When her aunt drops her off at Sister Slade’s Home for Orphans, she wants to meet the mysterious Devil Boy she’s heard rumors about.
But her secret meetings with Bo are fraught with danger—and after a murder is blamed on him, everyone in the home is on high alert that the Devil Boy will get them next. Bailey knows there’s a murderer in the home, but it’s not Bo. And it’s up to Bailey to save Bo and her herself before it’s too late for the both of them.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
“…a beautiful story with a sharp reminder of the darker side of human nature.”
—Ashlaster, Swoon Reads reader
“I finished this and enjoyed every moment. It has a nice snappy tone to it, clever and imaginative.”
—Carol Riggs, Swoon Reads reader
“I really enjoyed this. There’s definitely some Lemony Snicket vibes going on.”
—Amy-Le Owners, Swoon Reads reader