This has been in the works for a while- like, 27 years or so? I wrote a little story when we were living out in the desert outside of Bouse, Arizona. Jim’s Place, if you’ve ever read that story. It’s one of the earlier ones on this blog, though I have many stories about the place and the people we met: Roads on her Face #6: Jim’s Place.
My dad loved the fact that I’d written it, because I think he was most taken with the name. “The Rat Who Didn’t Know He Was King.” It was far from the first thing I’d written- I’d started writing as soon as I knew the alphabet. I made magazines, books that I bound myself with a stapler or that I sewed together with scraps of fabric and cardboard. This time, he decided he was going to illustrate it – as he was a great unrealized artist, he believed. He definitely had some talent, but it had never been honed. Raw talent, without the skills. He sketched a couple of illustrations and then gave up. I think he realized it was beyond him, but he just acted like it was stupid and like he’d never wanted to do it in the first place.
We got a magazine that was aimed at preppers or off-the-grid types, I forget what it was. We were the target market.
In the back I’d found a small black and white ad that offered to “Publish your book! Work with the pros!” My little 8-year old self was excited and full of hope. Mom had picked up a typewriter at a yardsale and I painstakingly typed it out, with lots of cross-outs and whiteout and a crappy old ink ribbon that had come with the machine. I dropped it in the mail and waited impatiently, KNOWING that I was going to be selected, going to be famous, going to be a WRITER. In about a week, I got a big fat package in the mail from Dorrance Publishing. It contained my offer- that they were willing to to publish my book! They planned 8 line drawings, black and white, and there were the specs and my name in print. For $4,000 dollars. Welcome to the real world, little girl. Ain’t nothing in this life for free….
Anyway- please like my Facebook page for updates about the book! I plan to have it ready for sales shortly on Amazon- I’m just debating now about hardcover or paperback. I have a wonderful tattoo artist here in Tucson – Ed Slocum – who agreed to come on board as the illustrator, and I just can’t thank him enough- visit his shop on Facebook and tell him he’s awesome. He’s also on Tumblr, and that’s updated more often.
Click here http://www.facebook.com/theratwhodidntknow
3 thoughts on “Big announcement!! I am about to publish a children’s book”
This is mega-fabulous, Alanna. I am so happy for you! I do remember Jim’s Place. And I remember you writing about making up stories when you were a kid. Of course, you still are, and don’t ever stop. I can’t wait to get The Rat. I am going to get some copies and give them out, one to our library’s children’s section.
p.s. please tell the illustrator I’m looking forward to seeing his work, looks amazing so far. I can’t wait to find myself in your Literary Wonderland.
Thank you Ted! The biggest reward in doing this it thinking of the kids who will grow up with this being one of the books of their childhood. I remember my favorite books so vividly.