Yuge Novel News!

No, this isn’t about Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders, though I get a kick out of their very New York way of pronouncing “huge.” Here’s my yuge New York-related news: I’m going to be represented by InkWell Management, where I get to work with the fabulous Liz Parker! I have a literary agent! (Note: I am usually judicious when it comes to exclamation points. Not today.)

So, you may be thinking: that’s great! Um, why do you need an agent?

In my case, having an agent of Liz’s caliber puts me a whole lot closer to becoming a published novelist. In one read-through, Liz was able to immediately hone in on my manuscript’s strengths, its weaknesses, and opportunities to push the characters even further. She envisioned where The Wannabees could go. That’s what hooked me.

As an InkWellian, I’ll have the opportunity to work with a full service literary agency that guides its authors through every step of the publishing process. InkWell’s client list includes Kate Atkinson (A God in Ruins), Lena Dunham (Not That Kind of Girl), Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential), Arundhati Roy (The God of Small Things), Sophie Kinsella (Shopaholic series) and James Patterson (yep). Plus hundreds more. It’s exciting company.

Ok, I’m not exactly in yet. I’ll make the list of published authors if Liz and InkWell Management sell the book to a publishing house.

So how will that happen?

After spending the last two years writing and revising, followed by querying or “pitching” agents, followed by imagining a dream team like Liz and InkWell, I’ll be… writing and revising again, based on my agent’s feedback and notes. This can take a long or short time. (Edit: it takes a very long time — think revising 90,000 words, nearly 400 pages … you get it.)

When our revisions are done, the next step will be finding a publisher looking for a book like mine. That publisher will likely require more edits. And so it goes. Which is terrific. Because the alternative is standing still.

What’s the novel about again?

You can find a short synopsis here. As an avid reader and writer on issues of class, community, shaming and busyness (real and self-made), I decided it was time to tackle them all in a novel. It may change a lot. There will be secrets and deceit and exhausted parents and longing for a simpler life. It will be a serious book with frequent dashes of humor. Because, life.

I’ll keep you posted on where this winding writing road leads. The blogging will continue, though it may be sporadic. I’m imagining a dreadfully busy spring. Which is yugely awesome.

Last question: So how did “huge” become “yuge” anyway? 

Aria Okrent, writing in Mental Floss, has a nice origin story about the word, noting:

As for why it results in “yuge” for New Yorkers in particular, we don’t know exactly, except to say that the story of yuge, like that of all New York dialect features, will have something to do with generation, class, status, and the hustling, bustling mix of people from all over who both adapted and contributed as they tried to talk to each other.

Which I kind of love, as that’s what I’m hoping for with my novel’s mix of characters. I’m also hoping that somewhere down the line you find those characters talking to you.

That would be the yugest thing of all.



P.S. No pressure, but if you want to follow along, I’ll be posting more frequently about the novel and other stuff on my Facebook writer page (just hit like!) and twitter account. Or sign up here to get occasional email updates about the novel and new blog posts. Thank you so much for your interest and support. It keeps me writing.


Author: Kristin O'Keefe

Kristin O’Keefe has bartended in Scotland, written speeches for college presidents, and led communications & marketing for an economic development organization. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney's, Barrelhouse, Your Teen, Grown and Flown, and Scary Mommy. Find her on Twitter @_KristinOKeefe and Facebook at Kristin O'Keefe, writer.

14 thoughts on “Yuge Novel News!

  1. Mindy Nelson says:

    Kristin, I am so excited for you! I look up to you so much as a writer, a professional, and most importantly, as a mom. I can’t wait to see what happens! Now…get back to work;)

    1. Kristin O'Keefe says:

      Thank you so much, Mindy! That is a lovely thing to say. Just know that it’s a rollercoaster for every one of us–both the work and parenting part. Fun to be on a top today, but a dip will follow. Life, right? And you are right, I definitely need to get to work!

      1. Mindy Nelson says:

        You’re right…life is always full of ups and downs so that is why we celebrate big in the Michel family! For the record, I meant get back to work so I can read your finished novel…can’t wait!!

  2. T.O. Weller says:

    Yay Kristin!! What amazing news!
    I can’t wait to hear how things progress. You’re an extraordinary writer and this is so well deserved. Enjoy, and congratulations!

    1. Kristin O'Keefe says:

      Thank you! Your blog and encouragement have definitely motivated me more than once. Glad we’re on this writing journey together.

  3. Steve Simon says:

    Yuge congrats, my friend! Exciting news, indeed. Here are a few more exclamation marks you should rightfully yuuuuuse when needed, without apology! !!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Kristin O'Keefe says:

      Love it!!! Thanks to you and the MC crew I’m not too afraid of yuge revisions–though this one’s longest yet. Yonward, right?!!

  4. Darlene Campbell says:

    I certainly wish I could come by and hug you in person. Seems like yesterday our Tribe Writer’s group was just starting. You’ve worked hard. I’m impressed and am cheering you on. HOORAY! Hugs and love, my best to you with your book, Darlene

    1. Kristin O'Keefe says:

      Thank you, Darlene! What a wonderful Tribe Writer’s group, it definitely got me going and motivated. Now to continue to do the daily work to finish this. Keep drawing–I want to hear news of your book as well! Kristin

  5. Elise Lipoff Mayer says:

    Kristen, so proud of you and your accomplishments! Can’t wait to hear about your journey and success!! Xoxo


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *