Tuesday, May 13, 2014

House of a Writers Dreams

I'm glowing with joy. Yesterday I signed a contract with a brilliant agent, Brianne Johnson at Writers House, to represent my new novel, Wolfboy (working title). Writing for kids is a tough business. Not that it's cut-throat--on the contrary, in my line of work, I've encountered some of the kindest, wisest, most honest humans I know. It's just incredibly competitive. Editors are overwhelmed. And they have to be able to sell your quirky, blood-and-tear soaked work of heart. Half the battle is just getting a manuscript read. The other half is writing something worth reading.

Bri can do the rest. She can get my work read, find the right publisher, and help me make the story better if need be. Plus, she's an artist herself--a potter, invites puppies over to play and snooze, reads with a cat on her lap, adores The Clan of the Cave Bear, and passionately loves a good book. What more could I ask?

    When I was little, on hot summer nights, we slept out on the porch of our lakeside summer cottage in New Hampshire. Mum read us an eclectic mix: Thoreau, The Hardy Boys, Charlotte's Web, while we watched the great gray orb weaver trapping mosquitos over our own doorway. Ted and Dave told Cathy and me that the shabby old mounted deer head sometimes winked if you looked carefully. There weren't enough cots, so Cathy and I would each pull two of the rattan armchairs with the squeaky turquoise cushions together and make ourselves cozy "boat-beds." From the swamp across the lake, came the booming of bullfrogs and the rhythmic chanting of whip-poor-wills. The air was fishy and piney, laden with the perfume of the sweet pepper bushes that line the shore. Once in a while, as we were dropping off to sleep, a Luna moth would flutter fairy-like to the screen and settle between the fireflies for an ethereal visit. In seventh grade I wrote a story called, Annie's Fairy, which later became The Kingfisher's Gift, published by Philomel Books in 2002 and awarded a Junior Library Guild Honor.

This was meant to be a caption for this photo illustrating the glow I am feeling today. Sorry, I couldn't stop!

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