Lori M. Lee’s debut novel, Gates of Thread and Stone will release in roughly seven months. For Lee, this is surreal, exciting, and anxiety-inducing.
“I’ll probably cry when I can finally hold my book in my hands. Or when I get my first fan mail. If I get fan mail…”
Lee has wanted to be an authors since she was eight-years-old, making this a long-awaited dream. She said it was thanks to one of her teachers that she decided to write.
“My third grade teacher hosted an after school program dedicated to encouraging kids to read and write their own stories. This was a turning point for me, because I discovered just how much I loved it. I began with Cinderella and Persephone retellings – I was obsessed with Greek mythology at the time – then expanded into horror, fantasy, and romance. Everything I read inspired me to write and work harder at the craft, from R.L. Stine and Julie Garwood to Anne McCaffrey and Tolkien. In fact, The Hobbit was also a turning point for me, because the breathtaking scope of the world and story cemented my love for — and desire to write — fantasy.”
The road to publication has been a relatively quick one for Lee.
“For Gates of Thread and Stone, I wrote, edited, went through rounds with the critique partners, and edited it some more from June to October 2011. I queried beginning of November and was offered representation a few weeks later. But the book didn’t sell until the fall of 2012 because I ended up overhauling the story’s details and world from being both sci-fi and fantasy to just straight fantasy. And then I wasn’t allowed to announce the deal until spring of 2013! That was torture,” said Lee.
But Lee managed to keep busy.
“It’s important to keep busy while waiting to keep from going insane. So I wrote two new manuscripts, edited an old manuscript, and had a baby!”
One thing that has made her journey easier? The OneFour KidLit group.
“I’ve been with the group since its inception. I love the OneFours because they’re indispensable as behind-the-pages support and wisdom,” said Lee.
Gates of Thread and Stone is about a teenage girl who must keep her ability to manipulate the threads of time a secret. Her brother goes missing and she risks getting caught up in a revolution in order to save him. Lee says its focus is on magic, manipulation and family.Author Lori M. Lee.
Gates of Thread and Stone will have a sequel, which Lee has already almost finished plotting. “But I can’t decide how to end it!”
While she’s hard at work on her own novels, she’s also eagerly awaiting books by other 2014 debut authors, including Natalie C Parker’s Beware the Wild.
As a debut, her advice to the upcoming 2015 debut authors is to write a lot. “Read a lot. Celebrate all your milestones, even the little ones. You deserve it.”