One of the reasons I started this blog was because in January I sold a picture book manuscript, The Blackberry Bush, to Sylvan Dell Publishing. I thought it would be interesting to journal, via a blog, what will happen AFTER I sell a story. So today I'm going to give an update of what's happening with my manuscript (and I apologize for putting all of this in one post--I should have been doing this all along).
In March, Donna German (my terrific editor at SD), emailed me that they had chosen an illustrator for the book. Her name is Lisa Downey, the illustrator of Happy Birthday to Whooo? I'm quite excited about Lisa doing the illustrations, as her animal paintings are just lovely and should be a perfect match for the story.
In April, while reading the story aloud to a friend, I found a spot where my tongue caught in my mouth. I found this odd, considering that I always read my picture books mss aloud many times to check for flow and fluency. I put the ms away for a week or so, and read it aloud again, and once more my tongue tripped. I emailed Donna with a single word change and she made the change for me. Phew! Can't have readers tripping over words now, can we?
Sometime around March, Donna had asked me for some possible titles with a bit more "umph" than The Blackberry Bush. With the brainstorming help of my fabulously creative critique group, I was able to give her quite a few choices, including my personal favorite, "Drinking the Blackberry Vine" (ha-ha, silly me had to throw that one Donna's way, just for a laugh). Last week, I heard that the final title and pub-date have been determined. Drumroll, please...............
Blackberry Banquet! Spring 2008.
So, that's where we stand, four months into the project. Lisa is busy working on the illustrations, we have a title and pub-date, and this summer I'm going to start laying some groundwork for setting up possible book signings in the Pacific Northwest (home to a kazillion blackberry bushes). This translates into going to bookstores, introducing myself to the owners and telling them about my upcoming book. Wish me luck!
That's all folks! Stay tuned for more feasting to come...