So… I can’t believe this day is actually here. Y’all: I just published my debut children’s novel. My story was chosen from thousands of other manuscripts and published by a PUBLISHING COMPANY. Excuse me while I just !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here’s a little backstory to catch everyone up. I enter multiple writing contests a month, and last December, I entered a contest being held by Story Shares (a great organization that provides great stories for kids who are struggling readers). I found out about the contest right before the deadline and entered something on a whim, without even reading it over–a short story called Hope is the Thing with Feathers that I wrote during the fall of my junior year of high school for my composition class at Toccoa Falls College. I was selected as a top-ten finalist out of thousands of stories, and the folks in charge of the contest told me that one day in the future, they hoped to publish those ten stories as paperbacks. I doubted that would ever actually happen–until Memorial Day this year, when my lifelong dream was casually and unexpectedly dropped into my lap. I was at my grandparents’ house in Mississippi and had spent the day at my aunt and uncle’s house; when I got back to my grandparents’ house late that night, I was checking email before I went to bed. I saw the email from Story Shares saying that the project was a go and proceeded to jump up and down around the living room while my mom and grandpa laughed at me–I don’t think I slept much that night. From there, it was a whirl of signing the royalties agreement and choosing my author headshot and then obsessively tracking the package until MY book arrived on my doorstep today!!!!
Hope is the Thing with Feathers, a play on Emily Dickinson’s poem, is the story of a young girl looking for hope in the darkest of times. Amalie lives in Prague, but is taken to Terezin during the Holocaust, and participates in the famous children’s opera Brundibar that is shown to the Danish Red Cross. This isn’t one of my full-length novels; it’s a short story that’s on the longer side, and it’s geared for tweens (appropriate for children ages 12+). It will be distributed to kids who are struggling readers, and I hope that they’ll be inspired to write a story of their own when they reach the end of the book and see that I’m only eighteen. I’m so proud of this story–it represents my longtime fascination with the Holocaust, it’s meticulously researched, and I fell in love with the characters. If you want the full effect, listen to O Come, O Come, Emmanuel by the Piano Guys as you read it, because that’s what I listened to as I wrote it and I feel like the music is part of the story.
Go here to purchase my book! I didn’t think far enough in advance to plan a full-fledged blog tour, but if you order my book and you’re a blogger, I’m offering a small prize package for anyone who’d like to join my launch team by writing a review of my book and/or interviewing me on your blog. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org when you have your book and we’ll work out the details. Now I’m going to go scream and celebrate and look at MY BOOK because I’M ACTUALLY AN AUTHOR!
If you order my book, I’ll love you forever!