In my next three blogs I am introducing three books that are coming out this month. Each author has generously agreed to give away a copy of her book. Details on how to enter follow this post. But first, here is Donna Earnhardt who is jumping out of her skin to share her new baby with you. Take it away, Donna!
Carol: How and when did you get your idea for Being Frank? Did anybody in your family inspire the story?
Donna: Some people do creative thinking while cleaning or exercising. I happen to know some wonderful folks who get great ideas while mowing. Me? I usually get them while I’m taking a shower or when I’m praying. I just happened to be doing both when the first line of Being Frank popped into my head! The whole book is inspired by my family. Even the main character’s name. My dad’s first name was Frank!
Carol: How many rewrites/revisions did you go through? Did editorial input shape the story?
Donna: I went through a couple of revisions on my own before I queried Shari Greenspan at Flashlight Press. But my changes were not big ones. For about a year or so after she received my manuscript, Shari gave me input and asked for revisions. Her insight was incredible and she saw things that needed changing which I couldn’t see. She has great ideas and they definitely helped the story become what it is today.
Carol: How did you find your publisher?
Donna: I had already submitted several things to Shari, but none of them were right for her. As hard as it was to receive rejections, it was nice to know that Shari was quick and honest in her feedback. If she didn’t like it, you knew pretty quickly. She had rejected another book, Pirate Stew, which I revised and resubmitted. She still didn’t like it! J BUT… I believe that interaction was a blessing! It wasn’t too long after that rejection that I sent Being Frank. Obviously, she liked it!
Carol: It sounds as if your back and forth interactions was the basis for a good working relationship between the two of you. How do you feel about how the book was illustrated?
Donna: Andrea Castellani is incredible! He surpassed anything I had imagined and completely “got” my story. He captured Frank’s personality and made him come alive! Matter of fact, I think my husband fell in love with Andrea’s work even more than my story! You can see more of Andrew’s work HERE.
Carol: How long did the entire submission to publication process take?
Donna: I am relying on my memory here, so let’s see...
a. Idea, rough drafts: Wrote it during NaNoWriMo 2009 over two days
b. Initial revisions on my own, then query submission: two days
c. Request for entire MS from editor then frantic submission to critique group for feedback: 2-4 days
d. Submission of entire manuscript (with more revisions) sent to Shari: 3-5 days after critique group’s feedback.
e. Positive response from Shari indicating she was interested in considering it: Not long. Perhaps a week after submission.
f. Revisions and rewrites via email: 15 or so revisions (with editor) over the course of a year.
g. Contract: May 2011!!!
h. Happy dance: still happening!
Carol: What's next? Another book Flashlight Press, looking for an agent, or just trying to keep the dust bunnies under control at this point?
Donna: I am in the process of looking for an agent for my other picture books and chapter books. After submitting to agents I am now waiting. J If I don’t find an agent that fits (or who totally loves my books), then I’ll submit to houses on my own.
As for the dust bunnies? They are incorrigible. First they staged a coup, now they have created their own production company. They’ve already made up their first two romantic comedies -- Some Like it Hop and Bringing up Bunny.
Carol: When is your book launch?
Donna: Park Road Books on Saturday, September 22 from 11:30-1:30.
Carol: Thanks, Donna, for sharing the backstory of your book. I can't wait to get copies for my grandchildren. No home should be without this book!
Donna: I appreciate the opportunity to be on your ultra-cool beans blog!
To enter this giveaway:
1. Please share this on your social media site of your choice and/or become a follower of this blog.
2. Leave me a comment, with your email address, indicating which you did.
3. Winner's name will be drawn September 19th after 6 PM.
|Donna with Sean, her husband of 17 years and |
one of the many Franks in her life.