YAY! Yes, I just got a contract for a book. A real book by a real publisher with real legal jargon of about 8 pages in length. And for legal purposes, I can’t say who the publisher is, nor can I say much about the book either.
Well, I can tell you that it is a creepy anthology penned by several other SCBWI LA authors. What’s SCBWI? The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. And if you’re interested in penning or doodling for any kind of kids book, I highly suggest you join us – I wouldn’t be writing this blog post without them. They also named me the PR Coordinator, so you’d be doing me a favor by leaving a comment below for details.
I joined the national SCBWI group just after the turn of the millennium when I was just toying with the notion about writing for kids. But come to think of it, I’ve been writing and telling stories pretty much since I was in the 5th grade. I remember writing a comic series I doodled in science, social studies and english notebooks – 3 subjects I despised back then – and shared with friends and classmates for a few good laughs. Needless to say, I got quite a bit of detentions that year along with visits to the principals office regularly. The comic: “The Misadventures of Super Egg.” The premise: it was about an egg that had rather unusual super-strong egg powers (he could fly) and of course, he fought for justice, equality and peace in the school cafeteria. His arch-enemies: a two-faced sugary treat named Trick or Treat, and an obsessive compulsive and very shiny egg beater named Dr. EggB.
Years later, I moved on to draft my first screenplay when I was only twelve years old. Finishing anything in the 80s during my addiction with this thing called Music Television (MTV) could very well be considered just short of a miracle. I got the idea after returning home from viewing a Godzilla movie (Godzilla vs. Megalon), and I thought, “Wow, I can do that. And so much better!” So I did. I spent about a week arranging scenes, dialogue and laughs on the backside of used office memos (thanks, dad) in what took a little more than a week. Fast forward twenty years later while cleaning out a closet and I realized, “This is awful, what was I thinking?” So I destroyed it on sight – tossed in the trash (sorry, pre recycling movements). The plot: a high school outcast stumbles across a time machine that transported riders sideways in the space time continuum to a bizarre parallel universe (Inner-Earth) where zombie-eating monsters ate the hero’s jerk friends. Gross. Boring. Been there. Read that (or seen it on TV a thousand times courtesy Ed Wood).
Any who? We can talk more on how I got started writing for kids some other time. I guess the point of this post is: don’t ever stop writing or drawing or doing anything that you love. Something may never come of it. But one day, you might be cleaning out your closet and stumble upon an idea that could rattle around in your brain for decades – and get you published. How so? Well, one of the stories I crafted in the anthology is about a certain type of blank-eating monster that gets her revenge on a real jerk friend. Coincidence? I hadn’t thought about the two until now.
So get back to writing, drawing and making art. Because the only difference between me being published and you not is that I never quit.