My username on Fictionpress was svonnah-la-fay, but my real name is Savannah J. Foley. I began writing Woman’s World, now known as Antebellum, at the age of 14 and finished it one year later. The other two in the series, Apostasy and Insurrection came along shortly after, and were my only novels ever to be posted to completion on Fictionpress.
I wrote Antebellum when I was living in Washington State, but in my junior year of high school my family moved to a suburb outside of Chicago in Illinois. I kept to myself, read two books from the school library a day, and focused on my writing. In November 2006 I was published in TeenInk for an article about my experience living in a Stepford-like suburbia for the first time in my life. This was a rather critical article, and when it came out my parents were so proud, but really couldn’t tell anyone about it because I kind of insulted everyone in my neighborhood. Personally, I had to go around school and collect every single edition of that month’s TeenInk so no one could read it and link the story back to me. I’ve learned my lesson though; never publish something you don’t want your neighbors to read.
A year after that my family moved to Huntsville, AL, where I am living now. I wrote my fifth novel, Go Look There, which is my favorite so far, during that first summer, but I haven’t had a real novel cooking since then (though I’ve had several of those frustrating good beginnings that peter off into nothings).
In April of 2008 I was working as a cashier at a truly beautiful garden nursery named The Enchanted Forest when a young man named Chris walked in looking for a quick summer job. Readers, I swear he was shining. We’ve been more or less together since that day, which is neat because I can honestly say that I met my fiancé in an Enchanted Forest.
A few days after we met we pretty much decided we would be married eventually, and in light of this decided we needed to upgrade our jobs. I got a position as an Administrative Assistant for a company in the Healthcare industry, where I continue to work now. I love my job; I both get to fetch coffee and, because of my writing skills, write policy and press releases and other awesome stuff like that.
Growing into adulthood and taking responsibility for my future and the future of another person led me to finally get over my fears and procrastination and actually start the process of getting an agent. Agent Query was immensely helpful at this stage, and I recommend it to anyone who is starting the agent-hunting process.
I began submitting Antebellum, and signed with the Bradford Literary Agency in December 2008. All this year my agent, Laura Bradford, and I have been trading Antebellum back and forth getting it ready to go out on submissions, and it’s finally out! It would just make my life to get it sold before the end of the year, but publication is mostly a waiting game. Laura has helped to make Antebellum so much better than I could alone, and I’m truly proud to call it my first novel. Mostly I look forward to being able to share with the fans that the story they’ve followed for so long is FINALLY going to be published.
Earlier this year I was asked by my company’s leadership counselor to help him write, edit, and publish his self-help book that he’s been wanting to write for 15 years. After I took on that project, I realized the need for this type of service must be wide-spread throughout the Huntsville community (we are a city of engineers… brilliant, but no writing skills to speak of), so just after turning 20 I founded my own freelance writing company, SJF Writing. It’s not a huge money-maker, but it’s exciting to take on different projects and get paid for what I love to do!
I recently bought my first house, and moving out and living on my own is fulfilling the dream I had ever since I was in fourth grade: to live alone and be a writer. Of course, Chris is in the picture now, but he only makes things better. My writing life has been kind of on hold all the rest of this year as I balanced work, online school, my own company, and edits for Antebellum. Now I’ve decided to take a semester off school, Antebellum’s future is out of my hands, and I’m ready to start a relationship with a new story.
I look forward to documenting this new life with you, and I’m so excited to be a part of this blog project. The other contributors are amazing, and I’m so glad to be able to interact with the Fictionpress community once more without having to post stories (getting an agent kind of puts a damper on what you can and can’t post anymore if you want to sell it eventually).
I missed you guys a lot, and it’s great to be back. Come back and check out an article I wrote titled “On Inspiration and Trusting Your Instinct, Or, Writing as a Mental Disorder”, scheduled to be posted on November 9th!
Currently Reading: The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City