Friday, October 16, 2009
I Need My Monster- Road to Publication
Guest Blogger- Amanda Noll
I’ve spent my life reading children’s literature, first as a child, then as an Elementary Education major in university, and also a mother of four.
I’ve had many bumps and bruises on the path to publication. I started writing for children when my oldest son was about three years old (he’s fifteen now). It took several years of constant writing and critiquing to find my own style and voice. It was also a trial and error process to find a critique group that suited me. Finally, with all the big pieces in place I was able to write a story I was confident would sell.
The initial idea for I Need My Monster came when I couldn’t keep my three year old daughter in bed. I’d just given birth to our fourth child and I desperately wanted everyone to sleep through the night. One night when the three year old was out of bed, again, I wished she had a monster to keep her in bed. It wasn’t my finest parenting moment, but something good came from it.
I wrote the story in 2005 and started submitting it later that year. I got some good feedback from editors and an offer to read revisions from a large company about the same time that Flashlight Press told me they were considering it for publication.
I decided to go with Flashlight Press because I liked their style, and I loved my editor Shari Dash Greenspan. She made the whole traumatic process bearable. I had no idea how much revision goes into a picture book!
So my time line looks something like this:
Wrote story mid 2005
Started submitting late 2005
Signed contract with Flashlight 2007
Book released April 2009
During all the waiting I was still getting rejections. I even go a form rejection 2 days before my book was released even though I hadn’t submitted it to anyone in more than 3 years.
During the years of rejection I had to believe in my writing and my book. It was difficult when everyone seemed anxious to tell me I wasn’t good enough.