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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sometimes 2nd Graders Know Best

You may have heard through the grapevine (me) that I have written a children’s book recently. The story was inspired by the relationship between Andrew and Ian, and is entitled Superheroes Don’t Have to Wear Capes.  My ridiculously talented friend Spiral (that’s her professional name, not her birth name, which, if it were, would NOT BE ODD AT ALL) agreed to illustrate the story, and a few months ago I shared the first completed spread (that’s fancy publishing talk for two pages that are side by side) on my Facebook page.

So-I-am-the-one-Final-Flat-w-Text_1

Now comes the hard part; trying to find a publisher that will be just as excited about this project as I am.  I’ve begun the exciting  uber crappy process of querying potential agents and publishing houses, and as far as I know there is no bidding war yet, but I expect that to change anysecond.

In the meantime, my best friend Heather came up with a plan to  have me “test run” the book in front of a real audience of *gasp* children.  If you know anything about kids it’s that they have an uncanny ability to tell it like it is. Which for someone who prefers a blatant lie over a dose of ego-busting truth is just all kinds of wonderful.

So yesterday I found myself sitting in front of 60 some odd Kinder-2nd graders, a sea of knobby knees before me, my future as a children’s book author hanging in the balance. Okay. Maybe it was less Dean Koontz and more Eric Carle, but it felt intense. 

I gave a little speech, including the background of the book and why I wrote it, then delved into the story. 

Aside from a few little misbehaved turds (I blame the parents) and a rogue nose-picker, I had almost all 120 eyeballs on me the entire time.  When I was finished, I asked if anyone had any questions, and a hand shot up in the back. I called on the boy, a 2nd grader by the name of Brent:

“Yes, you, honey.  Do you have a question?”

“Great story. I just wanted to tell you that your book is gonna like be sold out.”

Folks, I think I just found my agent.

2 comments:

Britton Minor said...

That kid knows his stuff, and if/when the doubts creep in, just play back what he said, because he's right. The combination of your writing and her illustrations is a definite winner, and as soon as you can offer advanced copy purchase, I'm there!

Jennifer Johnson said...

I am beyond elated about this book Jo. I can totally see you talking about it and sharing it on Ellen. (Cuz lets be real, Oprah is on the way out) and your sense of humor totally matches hers. :)

Anyway, the kid is right. Its going to be a HUGE success and more importantly will tell a beautiful story that MANY young kids need to read.

SO SO SO EXCITED FOR YOU MAMA!!