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.
1300-words on a novel I put down end of last year. Made excellent progress with ideas galore, but it looks like I'm going to put it down again.
Club 100 For Writers