Ken & Corey Talk About the Path to Publication


Hope you enjoyed the video!

Goodgodbird_publication Several of you have asked me about my writing process. I’ll say this much: conceiving the idea for a novel is the easy part; completing an entire manuscript can seem like a nightmare.
In the video, WEbook wrote: “Two years later Good God Bird was finished…”. This doesn't  explain that it was actually four years after I came up with the original idea for the book.

My typical regimen is writing quite late at night with some form of hot caffeine nearby (coffee, Earl Grey, etc.). But the normal routine wasn't getting me anywhere. I had thrown out countless first chapters, changed narrators three or
four times, and even considered turning it into a nonfiction novel at
one point.

To finish my novel, I knew that I needed to be somewhere that could inspire me. So, I went camping. My parents and I have been camping in Arkansas for years and, over the span of two weeks, I wrote the bulk of Good God Bird in the middle of the night in my parents’ travel trailer.

One thing I noticed myself doing as I worked to complete my novel was imagining myself as my main character. I realize this may be a stretch for some, depending on who you are and the general plot of your novel, but I found it to be so helpful to try and think like the narrator instead of myself. I would ask myself “what would Cullen Witter do in this situation?” and it seemed to open up many doors for my story.

That summer it took me a little over a month to finish my manuscript. When I typed the last word I was in my apartment, in the middle of the night, and I remember being sad that I had no one to call…no means of celebration…no ability to shout up at the heavens that after talking about it for so long and thinking about it and obsessing over it, I had finally done it. But, looking back, I’m glad it was just my novel and me, because writing Good God Bird made me realize how personal of an experience writing really is. I genuinely mourned for my characters when I was done. I think falling in love with an idea is the first step to anyone’s writing process, and then finding whatever it is that inspires you and just going for it. You may go days or even weeks without one word, but don’t give up. If it’s the right story, you’ll somehow find a way to tell it.


In October 2009, John Corey Whaley submitted his book
Good God Bird
to Agent Ken Wright through AgentInbox. He signed with Ken at the end of November. In January, Corey sold his book to Simon & Schuster. Corey is sharing his exciting path to publication, right here, in his column on the WEbook blog: Good God Bird's Flight to Publication. You can follow Corey on Twitter: @Corey_Whaley.

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  1. Congratulations, Corey! Your book sounds awesome.

  2. Fakemous is envious. Fabulous job, Corey!

  3. This is soo exciting!! It made me so glad when I saw the video and reading about all your writing process is just amazing! Proof of how wonderful is literature! I really, really wish you the best and hope I can read your book someday! :)

  4. Congratulations Corey. I remember feeling very similiar when finishing my first novel. I also write late at night and had no one to call. Instead of calling someone, I wrote about how fantastic it felt in my journal. I still look at the entry when I need some spirit boosting.
    I look forward to reading your book.

  5. Articles like yours help me to liberalize and understand many things. Of course, if the topic is interesting one can open some ebooks search engine download and read...


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