This month, my first children’s novel went out of print. If That Breathes Fire, We’re Toast! had a nice long run. When it debuted, Voice of Youth Advocates put it on its best fantasies of the year list, and Oklahoma librarians made it a finalist for the Sequoyah Book Award. It also garnered quotable reviews from trade journals.
I had a lot of fun writing the book. My daughters had urged me to write about a dragon. The one I invented, Madam Yang, had a wit to match her fangs. This week, summer campers at SAAVI (Southern Arizona Association for the Visually Impaired), asked me how I first got published. Here’s the story in a nutshell:
I pounded out the first draft, and then wondered, what’s next?
So I submitted it to a contest and received third place.
Pretty good, I thought, but not good enough. I revised and rewrote and then submitted to a second contest. My manuscript got second place.
Better, I thought, but not quite good enough. I revised and rewrote again and submitted to a third national contest. This time, my manuscript took first place.
After that I submitted it to a New York publisher (whose editor had judged the second contest), and lo and behold, AFTER TWO MORE REWRITES, it became a book.
And now it will be one again. I’m reissuing the book under my own imprint, Hummingbird Press. You can buy it here in paperback. It’s also available as an e-book and an audiobook.
©2016 Jennifer J. Stewart