Thursday, December 1, 2011

The ball is rolling

I try to spend about an hour a day working on something to do with being an author.  Sometimes, I don't even manage to get in five minutes before I'm too tired and watching a movie on tv instead.  Sometimes, I manage 3 hours in one day.  But the average is probably about an hour, and it seems to be enough to keep the ball rolling.

This week, things started coming together:

  • I finalized plans to do a reading at a local bookstore, The Munich Readery.  The reading will take place on January 14th.  We'll sell Turkish wine by the glass at the reading, and we'll also provide "pogaca" for snacking.  I'll have signed books available for sale.  I am VERY excited.
  • An acquaintance with whom I occasionally play tennis and who is also totally friendly, liked the sound of my book and asked her book club if they wanted to read it and have me as a guest on the evening when they discuss my book.  And they said YES!! That will happen in February.  I am VERY excited.
  • My book was mentioned in the Alumni newsletter of my high school, and the Alumni Relations Coordinator gave me some contact information for the instructors who should hear about my book.  So far, two instructors have written, expressing their interest and saying they would buy my book.  The librarian jumped at an offer of a copy, so my mother will bring her one.  Moms rock.  The instructors both sounded genuinely interested in Secrets of a Summer Village.  I loved my high school.  Being a teenager was as awkward for me as it is for anyone (or perhaps it was more awkward for me), but my high school was really special and different and truly inspired me to go for my dreams.  I would be thrilled if the students there read my book and let me know what they think of it, what they learned from it, and whether they want a sequel.  I am VERY excited.
  • I'm finally in touch with a local international high school that is interested in having me lecture about the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Sign Language(s).  This has nothing to do with Secrets of a Summer Village EXCEPT that I mentioned the book when I was talking to them, and they're now also interested in my talking to their students about my book, the writing process, and maybe about self-publishing. 
  • One of my brothers ordered a bunch of copies of my book to give as Xmas gifts.  I hope that none of the future recipients is reading this... Aren't brothers great?  
In order to keep things going, I've been working on some sample illustrations for my next book, which is a children's picture book about the winter solstice.  The illustrations are made of paper, like the cover of Secrets of a Summer Village, using a method called quilling.  I have submitted the text to a number of agents.  I get the feeling that they liked it but not enough to take me on as a client.  A large portion of agents that represent children's books only represent author-illustrators.  Even though I'd rather have some awesome artist illustrate my books, I'm just going to try and see.  What makes me feel significantly better is the quality of the illustrations in some of our children's books.  Or, shall I say, lack of quality.  It's worth a try.  Without illustrating the book myself, those agents are entirely out of reach to me.

I'm also filling out a form so that I can submit my ESL-version manuscript to Macmillan Education.  I am not very hopeful that someone as big as Macmillan would take on the project, but I have nothing to lose in trying....

Which is the message to take from this blog.  Try.  You just don't know until you try. 

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