So I am a member of an AMAZING critique group called Trailmix (due to our varying backgrounds, genre preferences, and writing styles) and there has been a huge surge of good luck runny through our little team!
First of all, the sweet and super talented Christi J. Whitney has her debut YA book Grey coming out in just a couple of days, April 30th. It is the first in a series, so please check it out and support an amazing friend and writer!
Secondly, our YA romance author, Tosha L, Sumner, is a 2015 RWA Golden Heart finalist for her book The Colloden Immortals! How amazing! Winners will be announced on July 25th at the RWA annual conference in NY. I know I will be at home with all my fingers and toes crossed for her!
Thirdly, a fellow picture book writer Kim MacPherson has landed an agent! YAY YAY! She is currently represented by Mary Cummings of Betsy Amster Literary Enterprises. Kim has an amazing lyrical quality to her writing and I know with a stellar agent like Mary, she will be published in no time!
Lastly, (but not leastly) our spunky and quirky Colleen Bennett has obtained representation for her MG manuscript! Another YAY YAY! She is represented by Karen Grencik of Red Fox Literary. It wont be long and we will be throwing another book release party! I can feel it!
Now for me in the kidlit world. So I have been working on my PB manuscript HOUSE CAT and I have totally revamped it. This book has been on a crazy journey over the last 6 years and I really feel a true peace and happiness with it where it is! Here is my pitch:
Chloe is a jingle collar wearin’ house cat who longs for adventure. So, she makes a tight eye closin’ wish that leads her to a butterfly stalkin’ stray cat life. But, that isn’t a perfect fit either. After looking into being a farm cat, a fashion cat, and a biker cat - she is out of ideas. So, she makes a bigger, whole tail curlin’ wish that leads her to just the kind of adventure she needs, a tight rope walkin’ circus cat life.
HOUSE CAT is a 492 word picture book aimed at children 3 -6 years old. This “Bad Kitty” (Bruel) meets “The Mixed-Up Chameleon” (Carle) story is lyrically written and full of humorous visuals.
I have submitted to several agents and I am hopeful that I will get at least positive feedback out of this round of queries. FINGERS CROSSED.
I have also been doing so reach on where to go from here. I am excited to know that there is another Pitch Party going on in June on Twitter and I will be jumping on that! I have also found a few contests that I want to enter. I also know that the SCBWI conference in Alabama has a writing contest that I have not entered in YEARS, so I have plans to submit to that as well.
IN THE WORKS: So I have been thinking about HOUSE CAT and at first I wanted there to be adventures for Chloe the cat but I have been pulled in another direction. I think that since she ended up at the circus, a circus animal could be inspired by her journey and make the choice to go out on their own. I have CIRCUS ELEPHANT in a good draft and that will lead me to the next idea of JUNKYARD DOG. I am hoping to be able to offer this as a series if I get lucky enough to land an agent!
NOW FOR LIFE UPDATES:
The hubby - He got laid off back in November which caused a lot of stress for our family. I am happy to report that he has started back to work earlier this month, which has made it so much brighter in our home! Whew. I think that has helped this surge of creativity I am having!
Rachel - She has made Honor Roll at school and has just started baseball. She is doing well in the new sport and the special education league is amazing! After baseball she will be going on to gymnastics which she has missed so much this year. She broke her arm last August which put a hiatus on tumbling, but now with a clean bill of health (and the bank account we need to afford it) she will be back to her flipping crazy self by the summer.
Elias - I cannot believe he is 10 months already! We are planning a monkey themed birthday party at a nearby park on the 27th of June. He weighs 20 pounds and is still trying to get teeth. But the no teeth doesn't stop him! He likes pulled pork, chicken, pasta, bread, french fries, cottage cheese, and so much more. He is not crawling yet, but loves to roll, and he gets on all fours and rocks - so I know he is going to take off at any moment!
Me - So aside from writing, researching, and submitting I have been studying, applying, and interviewing! I just finished the second class in my Masters program and I am happy to report having As in both classes. I have also been turned on to several really amazing jobs in my area to which I have applied. I have had the pleasure of interviewing for 2 of them over the last week and should know more soon. I have also accepted a part time job working with foreign exchange students at a local school. On April 17th I celebrated my 34th birthday! The hubs and I went to a nice dinner and enjoyed some kid free time, he also gave me (well us) some new sheet for our bed! So all in all, I am keeping myself busy and my heart full of hope for what the future holds for me!