Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Where Did Angeline Come From?

Like every writer, I've been asked numerous times where I get my inspiration. My standard answer is "everywhere!" It's the truth. Most of my ideas come from everyday life. Mango Dance, a new picture book manuscript of mine, came from my travels in Trinidad, where I leanred the art of knocking mangos off a tree. My current picture book project is Mr. Betta, inspired by my own newly-purchased red betta.

Angeline Jellybean was a little different. I can't even remember how I came up with the concept. I was taking my very first class in writing picture books, a year ago now. Angeline just came out of me in a flowy rhyme, almost in the exact same form it's in today. This was way before I had ever read A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon. In fact, I didn't even know it existed back then. I was just writing a fun and catchy story. Several of the girls in my class loved it. I did some minor revisions, but nothing major because the book is incredibly short.

Almost a year later, I was checking out the website for Vivian Zabel's publishing company 4RV (www.4rvpublishingllc.com). On a whim, I sent it in. I was very surprised and delighted when, within a month or so, I received an e-mail from Viv that said "We are considering your manuscript for publication. . ." I tried not to be too excited about it, but the farther we got into the process, the harder it was to keep from dancing around my apartment. (haha!)

I still don't think it will feel 100% real until I have the book in my hands, but my dream is pretty close to being fulfilled! When I saw the first few illustrations, Angeline brought to life right before my eyes, I knew what it was like to be a real author. Now that the cover is done, I can feel those book sales creeping toward me and it feels really, really good.


elysabeth said...

Good job, Crystalee. Before you know it, there will be several in the works and you will have to give up the day job (hahaha). Only kidding about giving up the day job. It's rewarding when you reach the right audiences but being an author is not very monetarily rewarding. You have to work hard to get the bucks like Stephen King and Michael Crighton. Who knows, maybe one of these days we will be household names too. Good luck with Angeline - see you in the postings - E :)

sarah said...

eep i can't wait to read the mango book! is lawrence in it? hehe

Crystalee said...

No, Lawrence is not in it. It's just chidren and a mango tree. Fun, though, I think!