P-doc appointment successful, except I saw a P-nurse practitioner. But I'm actually happier at how it worked out. She refilled my prescription and then put me into a "med group" for future refills which is free, so I don't have to fork out those doctor visit follow-up co-pays just to keep me in scripts. Nice.
Eep. Better make that EEP!! I just got an email from my agent with two bits of news:
1. An extremely glowing and encouraging rejection from Harcourt on my middle-grade novel which included such lines such as "I honestly couldn't put it down," "It brings to mind the classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Education of Little Tree," and "I'm certain that this story will make its mark somewhere." All really, really nice to my battered writer's ego, but still, a "no." Moving on.
2. An email from another publishing house--a major one--asking me if I'd be willing to convert my middle-grade novel into a picture book for them to consider. Not one of those 10-page picture book dealies, but a "sophisticated picture book reader."
On the one (big, hugely gigantic) hand, Woohoo! But on the other, it's still not a sale by any stretch. And, erm, I'm very unfamiliar with picture book format and style--having written none of them. Although I did research and then block a couple of my folktales into picture books as an exercise, so I'm not totally loose and dangling.
Then there's the stupid hand (yes, I know that gives me three--I can be a three-armed mutant if I want), that being that I really, really love my novel. I think it's beautiful, something I'm extremely proud to have written, one of my best works to date. And I am fully aware how idiotic that complaint is. If I turn my novel into a picture book, it doesn't take away from the original non-picture book, and I'm not one of those writers who beats their breast and wails about the "integrity of their art." I'm unemployed and my health insurance is running out. I need to sell that manuscript.
Still, there is freaking out happening--both the ecstatic and the quietly imploding variety.
Obviously, I'm going to do the intelligent thing, research the format of "sophisticated picture book readers" and see what picture books these folks have published in the past, and email back my agent to see if I can't get some guidelines. Then, after I finish my quiet little freak out, I'm going to get to work. 'Sides, they might decide "that girl can write, but she sure as heck can't write picture books" and I'll be back to where I am now.
And, there's always still a chance another publisher will snap it up. But being a realistic sort, I won't be holding my breath for that to happen.
On February 21st, 2006 06:17 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
Is this the one with the fellow who comes back as a badger? Because I still remember that one and loved it. Made me all sniffly and such.
I don't know a lot about the format, but it seems you would be working with an artist...sounds like fun. As a comic/graphic novel wanna-be, I'm a bit biased, but I think telling a story with words *and* pics is terribly difficult.
Hope it all works out. Would love to be buying a copy in whatever format...
That's the one, yep. I'm in love with the idea of having some really lush illustrations to go with that story, but I'm quaking at the idea of squishing it down to what I normally think of as picture book length. And I don't know if I'd get to work with the illustrator at all. From what I've heard, the illustration and writing sides are generally pretty separate, although it would indeed be cool if I'd get to provide input.
. . . man I'm jumping the gun even thinking about that. *gleep*
Wow, that's all really positive news on your manuscript! Making your story in a picture book, though, doesn't bar it from still being made into a novel, does it? If not, then I say go for it! Give it your best shot and see what happens! :)
"Making your story in a picture book, though, doesn't bar it from still being made into a novel, does it?"
Oh, Maggie, I have absolutely no idea. This is so far outside my realm of experience I may as well be in orbit. It would be fantastic if I still had the option of finding a publisher for the story-as-novel, but I don't know how that would work.
"Give it your best shot and see what happens!"
That's the plan. Rah! *meep*
Very exciting if slightly scary (from my POV) news with the "sophisticated picture book." I think it would be a beautiful and thrilling project to have to your credit, although I don't have the first idea what goes into creating such a book.
And while Harcourt may have rejected the novel, that's got to be one of the most encouraging rejections ever.
"although I don't have the first idea what goes into creating such a book."
And therein my freaking. I so don't either.
"And while Harcourt may have rejected the novel, that's got to be one of the most encouraging rejections ever."
While definitely much appreciated, it's also depressing as get all. This manuscript has gotten so many editors lavishing praise on it and then passing on it that I don't think my poor little heart can take much more crushing encouragement.
I'm in agreement that making it into a longish picture book doesn't negate the novel concept, especially if the picture book is a success. The scholastic flyers often have copies of the same book at different reading levels, some with more pictures and toned down language and others as novels.
I have my fingers crossed for you. As for the editing details, it'll all come. Just do a bit of research-here and asking-questions-there and you'll figure it out.
"The scholastic flyers often have copies of the same book at different reading levels, some with more pictures and toned down language and others as novels."
Really? I didn't know that. So very cool. It gives me reason to think that if this sees publication as a picture book, there may still be the possibility of the novel coming out. That is incredibly reassuring. Thanks so much, Suzanne.
"Just do a bit of research-here and asking-questions-there and you'll figure it out."
I have engaged my Google-fu and am already several stacked windows deep into researching picture books.
i think wangling a word count out of the editor/agent shouldn't be too difficult. that will give you a good idea of whether it would be a story killer. it may be that not many words would be lost, and the gain in pictures would be supreme. i know you've been very happy with the illustrations accompaning many of your recent stories. maybe you could ask the illustrators if they have any experience with these types of books. i don't know how much control you would have over choosing an artist, but it would be good to get opinions from the other side.
"i think wangling a word count out of the editor/agent shouldn't be too difficult."
Yepper. Editorial notes should be forthcoming in the next couple days.
"the gain in pictures would be supreme."
"i don't know how much control you would have over choosing an artist, but it would be good to get opinions from the other side."
From everything I've heard, if this pans out, I can expect to have zero input on the selection of an artist, and probably little to no input on the artwork itself, but doing some digging into how the other side works is always a good idea.
Congrats on "An extremely glowing and encouraging rejection"! And on the potential picture book.
Hmmm... does "sophisticated picture book readers" translate to graphic novel? Many of the artists I met at Comic*Con where looking for material.
I hope you get book deal before the insurance runs out!
An email from another publishing house--a major one--asking me if I'd be willing to convert my middle-grade novel into a picture book for them to consider
What does your agent think? After all, he's going to get 10% for his knowledge and ability.