When I write for children, most
of my stories feature an animal as the main character. My characters are
based on the four-legged creatures that I've read about or the animals that
I've known and love. In my upcoming children's bookMaggie and the Summer Vacation Show
and Tellone of the main
characters is a dog called Trooper.
Trooper is based on a lovable dog called Charlie (check out his adorable picture to the right). Charlie
belongs to a good friend of mine. His coat is warm brown and and eyes full of
expression that say "come give me a hug." On our first meeting,
Charlie gave me with lots of wet kisses. With his big loving personality
I knew he'd make a perfect character for one of my stories.
The other character in the book is a little girl named Maggie.
Unlike Trooper, Maggie is purely invented. She popped into my head
(more like barged in) when I began to write the story about Trooper.
Maggie is a kind of Charlie Brown-like character, a woe is me, down on
her luck kind of kid. Every time I sat down to write, her voice was loud
and clear. It wasn't long before Maggie told me she wanted to be Trooper's
In my book, these two characters interact naturally which is
pretty cool given that one character is based on something real and the other
character is invented. Both characters have a problem. One problem has a
good chance of being resolved, the other situation cannot be resolved.
Yet despite the problems, there's this chemistry, a real devotion
between the two that brings magic to the story. So, you may have surmised
that one of the themes of the story is love.
Now that you know a little about the characters, I invite you to
meet Trooper and Maggie this summer. You will be able to see how their
personalities play off one another in a story that is sad, funny, and joyous.
Last December I signed a book
contract with Cactus Moon Publishing. The creative director suggested
that I get started marketing my book right away. Yikes! Though I
have been a children's writer for over twenty years, I didn't know much about
marketing a book for kids. The only thing I knew was promoting a book
should be done well before the release date.
Over the Christmas break, I started working on a marketing plan for my upcoming
children's book Maggie and the Summer Vacation Show and Tell which
will be released this summer. My publisher sent me a helpful marketing guidelines book. I also studied websites on marketing. Here's one of my favorite sites: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/book-promotion/
Ask to be interviewed by the local paper and local radio host
Marketing a children's book is overwhelming to me. Writing is all I've ever known. But I'm eager to learn and I'm ready for the challenge. If you've
had some experience or have ideas on getting the word out about a book, I
welcome for your suggestions and comments.
This blog has been closed for
four years. I had reached the end of my "hoping to get published
journey" with a story that featured a rescue dog and Maggie, his little
human. The piece had been submitted to 30 publishers and 15 agents and
though it received three awards, I shelved it after so many rejections.
During the summer of 2016, I felt compelled to re-read the manuscript again.
I still loved the story. But the problem was...it was 1000 words.
It was way too long. Five hundred words needed to be cut—half of the
story! Then it needed to be critiqued and edited.
After spending several months revising the manuscript, I submitted it to a
handful of publishers and agents. A month later I received a few rejections,
but one publisher texted me that she loved the book! Within a few days I
received a book contract.
Since then I've received an outpouring of good wishes from friends and family,
and I'm thankful for their support. But who knows what's ahead?
This is all new to me. I'm assuming the road to publication will
take dedication and hard work. But I am thrilled and up to the challenge.
And so...this blog is reopening. I invite you to come with me on this new
journey of taking a manuscript that I had always loved on the road to