Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Me and Me and the Pumpkin Queen

After working on my second-to-last chapter this morning I felt ready to open that catering service. Oooohhhh! My book was such a wreck! I moped around all afternoon and then decided I needed a reading break.

Yesterday at the library I meant to find one book that had been edited by the editor who requested Earthcrosser. I came home with a stack of books - two edited by the editor, two others by one of the authors she'd edited, and two more by the publishing imprint she edits for. Over half of them were first books! I love new first books. Someday I want to pick up a new first book at the library with my name on the jacket.

So this afternoon I sat down with Me and the Pumpkin Queen by Marlane Kennedy, feeling a little worried that I was making a mistake. If this book blew mine out of the water I might sink into discouragement, never to resurface. I read the first paragraph and relaxed with a contented sigh. It was charming, simple, delightful! I loved the characters, loved the voice - just enough description, good plot movement throughout the story, charming bits that made me laugh, lots of personality, and EXCELLENT RESEARCH ON PUMPKIN GROWING! Only upon reading the acknowledgments did I learn that Marlane Kennedy has never grown a pumpkin. She sure fooled me.

As I read I began to feel that this was a story about me, and that growing a prize-winning giant pumpkin was just like getting a first book published. Can she do it? Will hers be the one? Can I do it? Oh the suspense!

The best part is, I realized that the things I was fretting about in my own manuscript don't matter so much. Pumpkin Queen had plenty of sentences in passive voice. There were monologues by the point- of-view character. It went on and on with details about pumpkin growing. I loved it all. It was interesting! I cared about the characters and so I was along for the ride. That's what counts.

Happily off to work again tomorrow.


beth said...

I really think the editor will like your book!

Have you had a chance yet to look at The Lucky Ones?

becbloggin said...

best of luck...cant wait til your book is finished and out there for the world (and I) to read :)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Kimberly recommended your book.

I know what you mean. I've felt the same way. As a judge for children/YA books I see both books published by small presses and traditional. And I also learned this business is so subjective. What I might like, a few others don't care for. And vis a versa.

My biggest piece of advice is not to give up. My first book had 58 rejections and my second had 76. Like one agent told me, "It might not be this book or even the second one but that third one that gets that 'yes'.

Kim Baccellia

Kimbooly said...

Hi, Rebecca.

Kim is my friend, I like her comments to you. I see so much in both of you as you are these writers trying to get your book/s published. I knew Kim would understand all your most recent blogs. : )

And I'm ready to read your fourth draft when it's done.