OWTK KidLit + Comics

On Book Writing: In Search Of Someone Who Believes In Me

I have one. A single, lone, all-by-itself, only-child, don’t-call-it-a-New-Year’s-resolution for 2014: Sell a book. One. I’m not greedy. Just one. Non-fiction, children’s picture book, pamphlet, looseleaf piece of paper with some scribbles. Anything. I’m not picky.

I have one picture book in the can. It’s a beauty. The Best Thing I’ve Ever Written. And Re-Written. Again and again.

I’ve been told by a children’s book publisher who’s read and edited my manuscript, my favorite children’s book publisher as a matter of fact, that young children, those of the ages 5, 6, 7 and 8, cannot appreciate, relate or empathize with my main character, a girl who over the course of my story quickly progresses from small child to high school student to college applicant. I disagree with their assessment. Vehemently. Their assumption of the imaginative and empathetic limits of children flies directly into the face of modern girl play patterns and 21st century toy brand marketing, both of which involve high school as backdrop at an increasing rate (Glee, High School Musical, Monster High, Ever After High, and so on.) So why can’t a 7-year-old enjoy a book about a girl who glides through her adolescence on the page? Phooey. I need someone to believe in me and my picture book. It’s not mass market. I get it. It needs thoughtful kids and kindhearted parents. I believe there are some of each out there in the world. Dwindling numbers, but still.

As much as I adore with all my objective heart the one picture book manuscript I have completed, and I do, it’s my two non-fiction pitches that I think are a more likely sell. But first, I need a literary agent to be interested in me. Just one. I’m not greedy. With the help of an agent I’d look to sell first an idea for a lightning rod of a book dealing with parenting, childhood, money, and college (yep). It would be extensively researched, take a good deal of time to write, and be my crowning achievement: 200+ pages of what I stand for as a parent and aficionado of childhood. I’ve seen the future and yeah, it is good.

So that’s my 2014 in 400 words. If I fail in my quest, the year will not be a disappointment as long as I adsorb and learn from the experiences and people I meet between now and the clock striking midnight on this most magical of years.

Wish me luck. And if you know a literary agent, send ’em my way! I’ll send you a batch of my amazing homemade chocolate chip salted caramel cookie bars in return! For reals.

*I found the hilariously contemplative cat book writing picture on this site about the Psychology of Video Games. Good luck with your book proposal, Jamie!

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