My writing friend, Nancy I. Sanders, challenged me to find a new subject for my picture books. She said it should be something that excites me; something that might excite editors and current market readers; something that can be tied to school curricula in some way.
I think I may have found one.
So, I’m re-reading her informative book Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books. Quite a mouthful, I know. But it’s loaded with practical advice.
“Whoa! Wait a minute,” you say. “I thought you said picture books.” I did. But it seems the first draft of my manuscript is begging to be divided into ten short chapters. And I can’t imagine leaving any of the details out to squeeze it into picture book size. So, I’m working on it from both angles.
“And what is this amazing topic?” you are thinking.
It is the story passed down through my grandmother and aunt and sister about my grandmother’s immigration from Syria to America around 1900. A few hours of research showed me that there is a gut-wrenching story there. A story that was pretty common in that era. A story that pulls on my heart strings. A story that can be used in schools when studying immigration and America’s family tree.
The research was the fun part. And the first draft came easy because I’ve heard the story a few times. But, that’s only the first draft. About 63 more to go to make it saleable.
And, of course, there is researching publishers or agents who might find the topic as interesting as I do. That’s one area where Nancy’s book is going to prove really helpful. You should get a copy if you have any thoughts of writing for young readers.
And here is where YOU can help. Do you have a family story of how your forebears came to America? Don’t worry if the facts are verifiable or not. I’m looking for inspiration more than information. If you are willing to share it with me PLEASE leave a comment below. OR IM me on Face Book. OR email me at email@example.com. I’ll send you a quick and easy questionnaire.
I’m excited about this project. I can already imagine a series. Whoa, Jean. Hold your immigration horses. I’m praying the Lord uses it to remind kids that America hasn’t always been what they live in today. America was built by self-sacrificing, industrious people looking for freedom and a better life.