Author copies of my new middle-grade novel, Bone’s Gift, came yesterday!
Aw, the smell of freshly printed books. It’s the smell of dreams, heartache, and hard work. It’s the smell of believing in something even when others don’t.
You see, I started thinking about this story, this world many, many years ago. I wrote different versions, never quite completing them, trying to get to the heart of what was calling to me about Bone’s world, the place my mother and her family grew up. But I wasn’t really ready to write the story. I wasn’t a good enough writer yet, among other things.
So I wrote some other stories–even got some of the published. In fact, I wrote a series of YA science fiction books. After that, I revisited Bone’s world, first with a short story, “The Jelly Jar.” That worked, so I started writing the novel. I felt like I was ready to write it finally. As I wrote, I had that feeling that there was something good there. I’ve learned to trust that little feeling. Excited, I sent the draft to my agent….um, my first agent.
She did not get the story at all! Admittedly, I was crushed–but I still believed I had something, even if it needed some work. So we parted ways. And then I had to go give a talk about taking risks in your writing life! Oy.
Long story short, I found an agent–and eventually an editor–who saw what I saw. (In the meantime, I also panicked a bit and went back to school to get a Masters in English so I could teach! ) Hopefully, the story is good, and readers will see what we saw, too.