Today I get to share a blurb that means a lot to me, because it comes from a person who has seen some of the worst examples of my writing. That person? The lovely Jodi Meadows, author of the Incarnate series. Here's what she said about HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW:
Heartwarming, dangerous, and enchanting: Natalie Whipple's HOUSE OF IVY & SORROW offers a delicious tale filled with sacrifice, a terrifying villain, and so many people I'd love to call friends. It's better than pudding!
Way, way back, like 2008, I was querying my second project. My first project hadn't gotten any requests, and I decided to move on to my Zombie Romance Novel (yes, for reals). I wasn't a good writer yet, but I didn't know how to get better and hoped that someone out there might see my potential anyway.
Querying the Zombie Romance Novel didn't go much better than my first attempt. I was getting a lot of rejections, BUT I did get one little request of the 25 queries I sent on that project before I gave up yet again.
And that request was from Jodi.
Jodi was an agent's assistant at the time, and she became The Very First Person In Publishing To Request My Work. Suffice it to say, that's not something I ever forgot. That first request is a big deal—it's the small thing that gives an author hope that maybe, just maybe, I do have some talent. It kept me going, as all requests do during that hard query road.
Of course, Jodi and her agent did ultimately pass on the Zombie Romance Novel, but when I came at them with my Dragon Novel Jodi requested again. And in the end rejected again. The same happened with The Ninjas. But clearly there was something in my writing/ideas that she got, even if my writing was still not there.
So Jodi and I kinda got to know each other. We're not crit partners, but I think we've been following each other's journeys closely through the years. I remember when she sold INCARNATE, and how happy I was for her. I feel really privileged to know that she read and liked my words—that I finally figured out this writing thing enough for Jodi to give her Stamp Of Approval. It's definitely a full circle moment for me.