May is right around the corner and with it I will celebrate the one year anniversary (or is it a book birthday) for my picture book “Grandma’s Pear Tree.”
I have been very fortunate to share my book at many places this past year including New York for my first book signing and several school signings in the Los Angeles area. I am now moving into a new phase with my book that I like to call the “Inspirational stage.” Recently the requests that I receive are not merely about my book, they want to know what inspired the story, and what inspires me as a writer.
For those of you not familiar with my story “Grandma’s Pear Tree” was rejected 14 times before Raven Tree Press expressed an interest in it. It took nearly a year for them to decide whether it would work with their list and then nearly two years before the book was completed. In total it took nearly four years from the time I had my original idea to having a completed picture book in my hands, and this wasn’t my first story. I had been writing for about 4 years before I had the idea for “Pear tree” and had written several other manuscripts that had received countless rejections.
This is not an unusual story for those familiar with the publishing industry and I am by no means complaining. I am thrilled that my book was published and I feel truly blessed that Raven Tree Press saw something special in my story. However, this is an unusual story for those not familiar with the publishing industry and I find that as I share my story with schools they are amazed at the perseverance required to get a book published.
This summer I’ll be packing my sunscreen and hat and heading off to camp to share this story with the Girl Scouts. I have also been asked to speak with a group of young ladies in juvenile hall. I will have the opportunity to share what it takes to persevere through multiple rejections and keep on trying. Both groups feel that sharing my story will be an inspiration for the girls, I hope that is true.
Who knew that when I was receiving those rejections all those years ago, I would use that experience to inspire others today.
Writing on the Sidewalk