When I brought Smokey home in December, 2009 and learned some of what happened, I knew I had to write about it. I entered an early draft of the story to the 2011 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Literary Contest where Smokey’s Walkabout was a finalist in the Children’s/Middle Grade category. That early draft was way too long—around 70,000 words—but it wasn’t until I attended a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in 2014 that I was inspired to re-work the manuscript.
And so, three or four or five (or six!) drafts later Smokey’s Walkabout was slimmed down to a manageable word count and I began the query process again with a synopsis, query letter, and a spreadsheet to keep track of what I sent where at the ready.
I shared results with my writing group and close friends. They helped me keep my chin up when rejections arrived and kept reminding me to focus on the new project.
Accepting representation with Steven Chudney has been a happy and exciting end of one journey, and the beginning of a new one.
The journey to get Smokey’s story into the world continues…