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J.M.M. Nuanez Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

J. M. M. Nuanez
J. M. M. Nuanez likes to garden, knit, read, and build miniature things in her spare time. She is a committed fan of YouTube, cats, and pizza. Nuanez holds a BA in English and is an active member of the SCBWI.

She and her husband lived in South Korea and taught English in the public school system.

She loves stories period. The best ones come from her mind have been middle grade. She believes that she is still in the seventh or eighth grade on the inside. It is the point, she finds, of being on the cusp of really crossing over and leaving childhood behind. She finds middle school to be a weird and fascinating time since everybody is crossing into young adulthood at their own times. Heartbreaking and hilarious stories just spring up from this.

The first image she had for “Birdie and Me” was of a sister and her little brother, holding hands, while standing defiant against the whole world. The brother was also wearing a skirt at the time. It just came to her at random while she was walking home from work.

Jack and Birdie, their names, came to her shortly after and she just had to know their entire story. Their loyalty to one another, the look that was in their eyes, as well as the skirt the brother was wearing. It was enough to get her to give up querying on her first novel and dig right into their story.

The novel went through about four re-writes, with the biggest one being through a Lit Reactor query writing course she took with Bree Ogden, which Nuanez found to be amazing.

Before she started querying, she did a ton of research on the process, including the query-writing course. It meant that she already knew the process could be a long one, and she told herself that if she got one hundred rejections, she would reconsider the writing career. She gathered together a list of forty before she began querying, beginning with her top selections.

By the end, she only queried only fifteen agents. She had gone through the process before with a different novel, and gotten some partial requests and a full request. By that time, she chose to pour all of her efforts into learning more about Jack and Birdie, though.

The end of her querying process unfolded at a strange time, as she and her husband were leaving their ex-pat life in South Korea behind, going backpacking through Asia for six weeks then going back to America. The call she had with Susan (her agent) happened within three hours of them getting on the plane to depart from Korea to fly to Japan. It was around 3:30 in the morning and she was sitting in a tiny Seoul hostel room. She only had a phone with the Google Talk app and the hostel’s wireless internet at her disposal.

She had gotten four offers for representation and requests for calls. The problem was that she was in the middle of shutting down her apartment internet, shipping her life out, and leaving for a few last nights in Seoul. This made for a rather insane 72 hour period for her.

What set Susan apart from the other agents Nuanez was speaking with was that it was like Susan was in her head or Jack and Birdie were in hers. Not Susan’s version of the story, rather Nuanez’. Their back and forth talk about the future and their story was simply effortless. She hung up, found her husband in the dim and communal kitchen and told him that she was the one.

Susan also had that mysterious quality of just getting it, they know the characters and the story without much effort or explanation needed beyond the manuscript.

Even though she already knew Susan was the one, she told her and the other three agents she was talking to she needed the weekend to figure it all out. While sitting on a tatami mat hunched over her phone in a Tokyo AirBnB, she is never going to forget penning those three rejection messages.

It was the toughest thing she had done at that point in her career as a writer. And that doesn’t even include attempting to be eloquent and gracious as she typed on a tiny touch screen. Even the process of writing the novel and its revisions seemed to be an easier process.

Writing the acceptance email to Susan and getting her unbridled enthusiasm in return made it all worth it. She flew out into the jungles of Southeast Asia a delirious and happy writer, and is still that way still.

Her debut novel, called “Birdie and Me”, was released in the year 2020 and is a middle grade novel. It was published by Penguin Random House.

“Birdie and Me” is the first stand alone novel and was released in the year 2020. This novel is about a girl named Jack and her gender-creative younger brother, named Birdie. They search for the place that they can truly be their best and true selves.

After their mom dies, Jack and Birdie discover they have no place they can call home. When Mama’s two brothers try providing one, first sweet Uncle Carl, later gruff Uncle Patrick, the results are tragic, funny, and tender.

They are still spectacular somehow.

This is an unlikely family that is caught in a situation not a single one of them would have picked, and the beautiful ways that they are going to finally grow to understand each other.

Fans found Jack and Birdie’s story to be quite moving, as they try adapting to their new environment and navigate through an entire world of negativity. This is a a heart filled novel that fans could not put down, needing to see how their tale evolved and watch this family and all its complexities unfold; the whole time loving the fierce devotion between this brother and sister. Jack’s words have a way of ensnaring the reader, and taking them into the world of “Nowhere Northern California”.

Book Series In Order » Authors » J.M.M. Nuanez

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