A couple of semesters ago I took a children’s literature course. It remains one of my favorite classes to date. I will forever be thankful for that course. Want to know why? I got an early reader chapter book out of it. There were a few options for the final project and one was to create a children’s book. Guess which one I did?
Because I had to be all extra. Because I thought of myself as a serious writer, I decided I would not make a picture book, oh no that’s too simple(plus I can’t draw). I would instead write a chapter book. But since a huge portion of the course dealt with the symbolism of illustrations in children’s books, I would make it an early reader chapter book. Kind of like Junie B. Jones. You know because Barbara Park still has illustrations throughout.
Born was Introducing, Cassie! The story of a sassy seven-year old who wants to be like her mother, a Broadway leading lady. She’s got big hair and spontaneously bursts into showtunes whenever she can. Now who does that sound like?
My professor loved it. I will shamelessly brag and say that I got perfect score. My professor let me know that she rarely gives perfect scores, but me and Cassie earned it. She also said I should consider publication. *Squeals*
That was all good and all. And it was great for my self-esteem, but I knew it needed a lot of work. Like A LOT (I had a gazillion typos amongst other things.). So over the summer I ended up rewriting it. I was so pleased with myself that by September I was querying agents. Long story short, agents seemed to like the idea, but not enough to take the plunge. I took to a writing/critiquing community to figure out why. Turns out, Introducing, Cassie! isn’t quite an early chapter book like I thought it was and there are a few kinks I need to straighten out. Nonetheless, I’m not giving up on her just yet. I believe one day Cassie will get her name in lights.
I actually think Cassie would give my character Etta a run for her money. What is it with me and writing divas? Perhaps my next post will introduce you all to the folks that I’ve been writing about. Sound good?
Catch ya next time,