About Sarah, Book News, On Blogging

Linkapalooza

There’s more evidence that I have a book coming out!

Even though Sarah Gives Thanks will not be available until September 1, the fine folks at Albert Whitman and Company have added a Sarah page to their website. It doesn’t provide any more information than what I’ve already written here on this blog, but it makes me happy to know such a page exists.

On that page, by the way, is a link to the illustrator’s website. I recommend you check it out because David Gardner is friendly and talented and if he ever decides to visit the East Coast from his home in New Mexico, I will buy him the coffee beverage of his choice.  A grande. You heard me right, David. I’ll pick you up at Newark International first thing tomorrow.

And just because my book isn’t out yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t pre-order it at a discountI would recommend doing so. And, even though you and I both know you’re going to love Sarah’s inspiring story, please be aware that it is bad form to write a glowing review before the book is published. Your heart is in the right place, and I love you for it, but do wait until the fall, okay?

Last but not least, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout-out to a fellow blogger, Writerlious. (Please note the spelling; I, for one, keep wanting to say “Writerlicious,” which is incorrect. So instead, I say “Erin,” which is fine as it is Writerlious’ real name and much, much easier to pronounce.) A few weeks ago, Erin gave me a Sunshine Award for my entry in a flash fiction contest, which is pretty amazing considering that the week before a few weeks ago I had never heard of a Sunshine Award or, for that matter, “flash fiction.” But I was one of the winners and that delights me. Then, a few days ago, Erin honored me again, this time with a Versatile Blogger Award, which I got without having to write any fiction – flashy or otherwise.

Once you get one of these awards you are supposed honor other bloggers with it, which I will do in the near future. In the meantime, you should visit Erin’s blog because she is good people (and a good blogger, too)!

Book News, On Writing

Happy Galley

This is all rather exciting.

The galleys for Sarah Gives Thanks arrived in the mail last week. They are gorgeous. They made me giddy. They also brought into sharp focus that, hey, I have a book coming out.

That should be obvious, but I’ve been living with Sarah for such a long time that, until that delivery, I couldn’t quite wrap my brain around the idea that a book with my name on it would actually be sold to people.

My first Sarah draft was sent to Albert Whitman & Co. a couple of days before Thanksgiving 2009. I was asked to expand the story in February 2010 – which is ironic as the bulk of my initial writing labors consisted of trimming the story down to fit the publisher-mandated 600-word picture book limit.

“Don’t worry about length,” my senior editor contact, Wendy, assured me. “For something like this, our usual word count is too skimpy.”

So be it.

I delivered my impeccably researched, knowingly bloated 2,400-word draft on March 31. (“The last day of Women’s History Month!” I crowed in my email to Wendy, hoping to earn brownie points, I suppose, for knowing that the month existed.)

After a period of uncertainty, the manuscript was accepted that July. The plan was for a Thanksgiving 2011 release, but then the freelance editor assigned to my book mysteriously vanished and the illustrator kicked out. So the book got bumped to 2012.

This turned out to be fine, however, for my 2011 was surprisingly busy Sarah-wise. Children’s books go through a lot of editing, apparently. At least mine did; in the end my story shed almost 1,000 words. What surprised me was that this didn’t bother me nearly as much as I thought it might.

I soon learned to expect an almost-daily communication from Kristin, my editor. Her emails almost always outlined another chore for me to complete, but I liked getting them because they kept me busy and made me feel oddly important.

Furthermore, Kristin’s emails also projected an unwavering chipperness I couldn’t help but enjoy. It was a tone that was soon reflected in my replies: “Hi Kristin!” I’d write. (I am not the type of person who normally uses exclamation points in my salutations, but chipperness is more contagious than swine flu – and thank goodness for that.) It also didn’t hurt that Kristin is an excellent editor who selected an equally excellent illustrator in David Gardner.

So yada-yada-yada I now have the galleys – a tangible sign that the writing of Sarah is, at last, over and that I now must shift gears and get all promote-y. This is both exciting and a bit terrifying as this is new territory for me.

So! Any and all ideas on how to proceed are more than welcome!