How I signed with Turquoise Morning Press (aka ‘they’re pitching woo!’)

For those of you that haven’t heard my exciting news, I’ve signed with Turquoise Morning Press for the release of my debut novel, ISLA’S INHERITANCE. To say I’m thrilled is the understatement of the century—and I say this knowing the century’s barely gotten started. ALL OF THE SQUEES WILL BE MINE!

So here’s my story.

If you’ve been reading my blog over the past month you’ll know I’d pretty much given up on an agent showering me with love and chocolate. I’d stopped sending out new queries and, as at a fortnight ago, only two agents were yet to reply to outstanding queries. One of the two had my full manuscript, so there was a shred of hope remaining, and I was holding off really hitting the small press market till I heard back from her.

Except one particular small press had a Twitter pitch party back in March. I figured what the hell and entered. They requested my first three chapters and then, a few days later, the full manuscript. And then I waited. And waited.

Waiting, gentle reader, drives me NUTTY BANANAS!

About six weeks later, I lost my nerve and sent my query out to two more small presses. One of them requested the full MS at the query stage (this was TMP), the other just the first pages. Three days after that, I heard back from the original small press. It was an offer of publication. OMGOMGOMG!

Trying to be polite, I emailed the agent with my full and asked her to get back to me within a week. (She replied saying she would.) And I emailed the two other small presses, withdrawing my book from consideration. I mean, they’d had it three days—there was no way they’d have made it off the slush pile, right?


I got an email from the YA editor at TMP almost immediately, asking if I’d signed anything yet. I told her I hadn’t, and that I was waiting a week. She then offered me a contract.


Image belongs to Disney’s “Chicken Little” (a highly underrated kids movie, btw)

There was squealing and jumping up and down. I couldn’t believe, after all of the “NO” I’d been getting from agents, I’d finally got not one but two lots of “YES”. AT ONCE! That’s more yes than I’d ever had! Willow describes it best.

Willow: “They’re wooing me. They’re pitching woo.”
Buffy: “The wooing stage is always fun.”
Willow: “Rejection I can handle ‘cause of the years of training, but this…”

At the end of the week I heard back from the agent, as she’d promised. She said that she liked what she’d read so far (yay!) but that she hadn’t had time to finish reading the MS, and she didn’t want me to sit around and wait for her when there was an offer on the table, so she was going to pass. I respect that.

So, trying to decide between these two small presses was one of the harder decisions I’ve ever made in my life, let me tell you. They were both offering excellent—but slightly different—contracts, and they both have great teams. It came down to weighing up the two contracts and deciding what I wanted more. I’ll try and put a blog post together later about the factors I considered, in case it will be helpful to anyone else.

In the end, I obviously chose Turquoise Morning Press. But I would have been happy with either press, and I feel very blessed that while my agent query journey was long and unfruitful, my press query journey was mercifully short, and put me out of my misery!

There are some people I need to thank, because this is after all the Oscars my blog. To my alpha reader, Peter, for all his support and for making fun of me when I freak out; to my beta readers, Mikey, Ali and Blue, for their invaluable feedback; to my Aussie Owned ladies, especially Stacey and Katie, for holding my hand this last fortnight and patting it gently so I didn’t faint; to Kim and Krystal for humouring me when I designed my fake cover; to Cass for making me think I could actually do it; to all my tweeps on Twitter and Facebook for the moral support: THANK YOU! Thank you a thousand times over! Mwah!

Tennant kiss

12 Comments on “How I signed with Turquoise Morning Press (aka ‘they’re pitching woo!’)”

  1. Stacey Nash says:

    Congratulations Cass, I’m beyond excited for you and I can’t wait to see Ilsa’s Inheritance in print!

  2. caroleremy says:

    Huge congratulations, Cassandra! That’s fantastic! Have a wonderful day, week, month, year!!


  3. Again, Cass, I am SO HAPPY for you, and it’s amazing to think I played a small part in helping you get there. You deserve it!! 🙂

  4. AlisonBliss says:

    Congrats, Cassandra! Such amazing news. I love reading publication stories! It gives hope to the rest of us. 🙂

    • Thanks, Alison. I know what you mean – I love them too. I was starting to think it may never happen, but if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone! 😉

  5. Karen Soutar says:

    Oh well done! So pleased for you. Also love the Buffy reference. 😉

  6. Congratulations! This is wonderful news! 🙂

  7. […] they have an agent or a contract are so giddy about it. Because finally they can TELL PEOPLE. (See here. And here.) Even now, there are things I could blog. But I cannot blog the things. Perhaps one […]

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