Author John Corey Whaley: Back in NYC


I recently returned to New York City to meet with my agent, editor, and the publicity director from Simon & Schuster. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss some of the many things that we can do, both locally and nationally, to get the word out about my book. As I continue to experience every aspect of being published by a large publishing house, I find myself a bit surprised at the kind and enthusiastic treatment I’ve received. I, like many writers, have often heard horror stories about big publishing houses ruining the lives, and works, of young debut authors.

But, I couldn’t be happier with my current situation. My editor seems to be able to read my mind, and I’ve been assigned an extremely enthusiastic team to head up the promotions for my book. But, what does any of that say about how successful my novel will ultimately be? On the one hand, having an enthusiastic, experienced team behind it helps tremendously. One of the reasons I decided to go back to New York over the Thanksgiving holiday was to meet with everyone face-to-face and make sure they know me and know how hard I’m willing to work to get the book out there. I knew immediately that this group of people genuinely care about the novel and will work hard to see it reach as much of an audience as possible.

On the other hand, the book business can be fickle. What’s popular today can be played-out tomorrow and I think this fact is even truer in the realm of young adult fiction. We did discuss the universal appeal of Where Things Come Back, citing several ways we could try and earn it the attention of adult readers as well as teenagers. Because it’s classified as Literary YA, it should be easier to promote as a novel that adults and kids alike will enjoy. As my original intention was not to write a YA novel, this is something that I find to be of great comfort. Our first mission, of course, is to generate some buzz over the novel at the first of the year from early reviewers and other authors.

Where Things Come Back
I also got to see, and take home, the actual book jacket for Where Things Come Back and, let me tell you, it is impressive.  As an added surprise, the uncoated stock it is printed on (a first for my publisher, Atheneum) actually mimics the texture of the wood grain background (see photo of cover). I also met the designer of the cover, whose enthusiasm for the novel was quite humbling. 

Everyone seems pretty excited about Where Things Come Back and traveling to New York for the second time this year has only further enhanced my impatience for the release date. May 3rd isn’t that far away, so I think I can manage to hold my breath a bit longer. 

Also-I’ve somehow managed to surpass the halfway mark on novel #2!

Happy Writing,


Corey Whaley hails from Shreveport, LA, where he teaches sixth grade english. He signed with Ken Wright, a literary agent at Writers House, last fall using WEbook's AgentInbox query service. His debut novel, Where Things Come Back, was purchased by Simon & Schuster early in 2010.

Read more about Corey's amazing story.


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