Today I finally finished a rewrite on a *young* middle grade novel. Depending on the publisher, it might be called a chapter book. In any case, a very nice editor asked if I would rewrite the story and I said of course!
Mustang Dakota and the Three Legged Race was originally slated to be published by Cobblehill Books, an imprint of Dutton that published most of my early picture books. When Cobblehill was deleted, so was the book. I back-burnered the manuscript for a long time, then decided to revise the story and try again. And somebody liked it! Well, she liked the characters. Just not the plot. Easy fix!
Okay, not really, but I finally finished the new story and have revised it twice. I put it through readability tests and looked for howlers (really obvious errors that we always miss) and then sent it to my helpful readers. It’s off my desk!
To celebrate, this afternoon I put together a cover. It’s just a working title and an idea for a photo (credit for the photo goes to An Acorn Dreaming http://www.acorndreaming.com):
These characters were born in 1989. It was great to get to know them again and give them a fresh new plot. I think it’s a stronger book, over twenty years in the making! We’ll see what happens.
In any case, it’s fun to pretend we have a real book even when it’s a long way from being such a thing, or even if it never gets published. The business of writing on spec is tough and usually full of disappointments, so every celebration helps.