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Wordsworth and the Dragon is a story that anyone can enjoy -- but I wrote it mostly for children in grades 3-5.
Before Wordsworth and the Dragon becomes a book, it's going to be a blog -- a blog that will show you how words and pictures come together to make a book.
Over the next few weeks (or months -- who knows?) we'll be sharing sketches and excerpts from the book. And when we're all done, you'll be able to buy a copy of Wordsworth and the Dragon as an eBook or maybe even a printed book.
It's an adventure! Maybe not as exciting as Wordsworth's adventures with the princess and the dragon and the muddletongues (Did I mention the muddletongues? A nasty sort, they are. You'll want to stay clear of them!) -- but it will be an adventure all the same.
It wasn't the first time that question had occurred to me. Many, many years ago I wrote an adult science fiction story in which letters began to vanish from the alphabet, one at a time. The missing letters were replaced with an asterisk (*) in print. The title of the short story was "M is for Monst*r" (E was the first letter to go, you see, because it is the most commonly used letter in the English language).
Anyhow, I submitted the story to a few sci fi magazines, but it was rejected by all.
Flash forward to a day in 2006 (I'm not sure of the date). By that time, I was in a children's writers critique group, so the "missing letter" idea naturally became the premise for a children's book. The first chapter came very quickly to me, and I just kept on going.
I revised the chapter book manuscript based on the critique group's feedback, and began sending it to publishers. It was rejected by several, although some of the editors did request a "full" based on the first three chapters. One editor hung onto the whole manuscript for almost two years (as I continued to submit it elsewhere, to no avail). She loved Wordsworth, but her publishing company was in the process of "changing direction" and she was eventually laid off.
An agent I contacted also loved Wordsworth -- until she found out I had already sent it around to a bunch of publishers. She immediately lost interest.
I posted much of the manuscript on Authonomy and got a lot of positive feedback from other writers, plus a few suggestions.
This year, after celebrating the launch of my 10th published book -- a picture book called Big Cat, Little Kitty (Sylvan Dell Publishing) -- I decided that it might not be a bad idea to self-publish my chapter book, Wordsworth and the Dragon.
I have done a lot of homework on this, and have more to do. My enthusiasm for the project increased tenfold a few months ago when illustrator Christina Wald offered to do some illustrations for the book. There will be a cover illustration and probably one illustration per chapter.
Now that you know the background, feel free to head on over to Chapter One! And be sure to take a look at Christina's preliminary sketches and cover concepts, too! They are way awesome!!!!!