Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Hey Little Baby, Published At Last

It's done, it's published, it's out in stores! Having been written when my teenaged son was 5 months old, the story is now on bookshelves at stores around the world. What a wonderful experience it has been--from writing the book to signing it for parents and friends of babies.

The earth really started shaking for me when Kelly Sonnack, agent extraordinaire, allowed me to interrupt her dinner at the San Diego State University Writer's Conference over four years ago. She told me what would be needed to have her possibly accept the book. That night, I revised and revised again until 2 in the morning to have it ready for her the last day of the conference. When she looked at it and started talking illustrators and possible publishers, I thought stars were falling from the sky.

After even more revisions (don't ever think what you read is a first draft--it's probably more like the hundredth), she took me on as a client. Wow. A real agent in the real world, not just a day dream. I liken getting an agent to winning the lottery, but just a bit harder.

Then Kelly took over and somehow impressed Andrea Welch of Beach Lane Books, imprint of Simon and Schuster, to buy the book. When Andrea called to ask if I would make some changes for her to accept the manuscript, life became surreal. Was this really an editor from S&S asking if I would cut out some lines in order to get it published? Was she kidding? Short of selling my children, I was ready to do what it takes to get my words out 'there'.

And then came the whimsical yet mature flair of illustrator Genevieve Cote.  When first I saw her books (we ordered them all at the library!) I was blown away by the simple beauty and power with which she captures the personalities of each book's characters.  She really is fantastic.  And she was to be the illustrator of the book I wrote. Does the daydream ever stop?

Now the book written and inspired over a decade ago is hard bound and available at any bookstore or on-line. Crazy fun world.

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