A four-book chapter book series deal, to be precise! I have been playing dreamy Disney songs in my head on a loop over the last couple of months, ever since my agent first called with the offer from ABDO, and I am so excited to finally be able to shout it from the rooftop. Well, the blog top.
The book series is about Winicker Wallace, a spunky eight-year-old girl whose family moves to Paris.
The Winicker books will be illustrated. Illustrated! I get an illustrator! I told Zach that I am over the moon about that part, and that I can’t wait till they choose an illustrator, and that I imagine the author-illustrator relationship must be a very mystical, spiritual one. Zach said, “That’s so weird. I wouldn’t say that to the illustrator.” Fair point.
While all of this feels like What?! Is this real life?? How is this happening? the truth is that it was years of work. And not giving up. Not giving up after thirty rejections, and not giving up after the thirty rejections after that. Over a year ago, while I was working on maybe the sixth full revision of Winicker, I messaged my thesis advisor from Hamline, Sheila O’Connor, and told her where I was with my book. She wrote back, “The people who make it are the people who stay in it. Never quit.” Sheila, you amazing advisor, you are so right. So I’m passing that piece of advice on to all of you, because it’s such good advice. Never quit. It sounds pretty basic, but let me tell you, when you have three tiny children and two-thirds of them are in diapers and all three of them cry because it’s bedtime and they hate, hate, hate bedtime – you sometimes think that quitting on your manuscript, even temporarily, is the way to go. But man, am I glad I didn’t.