The big day is finally (almost) upon us. Pajama Girl will be released by MeeGenius for general consumption on Sunday, May 8, aka Mother's Day!
So, for those of you who may wonder how I achieved this, here is the story of Pajama Girl:
My daughter was probably around 2 years old when the idea hit me. Toddlers don't like to go to bed. Picture books don't often depict girls as super heroes. What if a toddler girl became a super hero when it was time to go to bed? I thought the idea had merit. I wrote the little story as soon as I could and I was pretty happy with it. A few months later, I attended a local SCBWI conference and had it critiqued by Daniel Lee, who was editor at Turtle magazine at that time. He had a lot of great things to say about the story and very minor revisions. He basically indicated that it could probably find a home in Turtle or Humpty Dumpty magazine. At that time, I was a newbie to SCBWI and I also clung to the dream of seeing my book in print. (not my story in a magazine) So I sat on it for over a year. Around that time, the SCBWI Bulletin newsletter came out and it profiled a company called MeeGenius, which publishes e-picture books. I thought it was intriguing so I did some research. E-publishing doesn't give me the same fuzzy feeling as traditional publishing. I had visions of receiving my print copy of Pajama Girl in the mail, cracking the spine and sharing the book with my children. I could do book signings for my friends, work the local library circuit. It would be so glamorously wonderful. An e-book, doesn't really afford you those opportunities. Yes, I could curl up with an E-reader to share the book with my kids but I'm not completely sold on that idea even now. How can you do a book signing when there's no product to sign? You see my dilemma. So, I made a decision. I would send the story to Turtle to see if there was still interest. If there wasn't, I was going to try MeeGenius.
Alas, I had waited too long. Daniel Lee was no longer the editor and the new one passed with a form rejection. So, my decision was made. MeeGenius it was. It was exciting to peruse the artist portfolios and select an illustrator for my own story. To my mind, Sean Ingvard Ashby was head and shoulders above the others and I could see my Pajama Girl hiding in the faces of his other characters. I contacted him to see if he'd be interested in the project. He agreed that it sounded fun so I sent him the manuscript and he began illustrating. Toward the end of the illustration process, Meegenius announced their first Author Contest. Sean and I were excited because we could easily make the deadline, which we did. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Clearly, I'm very pleased with my decision although it's not what I always envisioned. I took a chance, deciding that since E-books seemed to be on the rise (they definitely are now) that maybe I could get in on the ground floor and take the opportunity to try something new while many others were still leery. It paid off.
Besides my Pajama Girl success, I am hoping to get similar good news for a YA ghost short story contest I entered last week. If I am chosen as a winner in this contest, my story will be one of 13 to go into a collection of short stories, the proceeds of which will benefit 826 National. Fingers crossed on that. If it isn't chosen, I think I will publish it here on my blog. It was fun to write, I hope it will be fun to read.
I will be attending a local SCBWI conference next weekend where I will participate in an intensive workshop with Pete Hautman. Upon hearing that Pete would be at the conference, I read his newest book, The Big Crunch, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm excited to see what developments for my novel will be unlocked through this experience.
I'm also signed up for SCBWI Annual again this summer. Several of the authors I've interviewed on this very blog will be attending which gives me a chance to meet some of these writers whose work I so admire! I'm so excited!
So, to conclude this rather lengthy post, the year of awesome continues to live up to its moniker. I'm happy, you should be happy, and I hope you'll check out my first book, Pajama Girl on Mother's Day!