I’m very excited to announce I’ll have a new middle-grade novel (ages 9-14) coming out within a year or two (release date still to be determined). Roller Boy is about Mateo Garcia, a young city boy who wants desperately to be good at something —something that will take him from that skinny little kid with the big hair to someone who matters. Stacked against him are an inhibiting disease (celiac), a dwindling lifelong friendship (no way can Jason find out Mateo is whirling around in girly skates—anybody halfway to cool would be hanging at a skate park, on boards or blades), and the strong reservations of his mother who feels he should be spending his time studying, not skating. Despite these conflicts, Mateo keeps his sense of humor and channels his innermost strength into an incredible ride on roller skates that just might take him all the way to regionals.
After his baseball dreams fall through, 13-year-old MATEO finds his true purpose at the roller-skating rink while dodging bullies, avoiding gluten, and falling for Roller City’s star skater.
For those of you who aren’t up on publishing techniques or want to know about a rather new publisher, this is how it sometimes works. The company who published my first two books for the same audience is scaling back (hey, all busy publishers deserve some rest), so just to mention, even though they did a great job with my other books, they have never read any of Roller Boy. After I finished writing and rewriting and polishing my manuscript (with the help of critique groups and workshops–thanks all!) I scoured through publisher profiles, studied their past books, and if they seemed a good match, I carefully followed their submission guidelines. Using this method, I sent sample chapters to several new publishers. Fitzroy Books (part of Regal House) quickly responded (which means in a week or two, which is very fast in the publishing world) and asked to see the full manuscript. I had just almost sold it to another company, so after that initial disappointment it was a great relief to have someone else interested in the same book so soon. Within two months they told me of their desire to issue a contract. We emailed back and forth over the next week or so as I very cautiously looked over the contract, comparing it to others and making sure all was good. It was! Regal House is completely traditional (no hidden fees) and offers generous royalties all the while continuously updating and improving their goals in publishing quality books. I like their covers and the editorial/marketing team looks promising, too. For you writers out there, they are closed to submissions right now (due to an overwhelming amount of them) but they will open again on October 1st.
My announcement bio and picture is already up on the Regal House website. You can check it out here. Thanks for listening to my story. Writing and submitting a manuscript often takes years and it can feel akin to winning the lottery when an offer finally does arrive. 🙂