Nothing like a good review of your work to not only make you feel proud and excited, but also relieved. Getting my work published has been such a great experience and I feel grateful that I'm able to share my work with so many people and get paid for it! It can be a little scary, though, particularly the whole review thing. It's a subjective process and you never know what's going to happen. But luckily this happened! Can you hear me breathing that sigh of relief? Now go pre-order those books!
"List-making foodie Phoebe G. Green adjusts to the addition of a new best friend. Phoebe and Sage ("who's a boy, if you were wondering") are best friends. They are both excited about being in Mrs. B's third-grade class this year. Also exciting is the addition of a new girl, Camille, from France. Phoebe is especially taken with Camille at lunchtime, when the kids compare lunches. Camille brings duck, goat cheese, strawberries and a tiny loaf of bread—and that is just on the first day! Phoebe becomes obsessed with Camille's interesting food and makes a plan to get invited to her house, where she imagines gold goblets full of fabulous food. The plan involves inviting Camille over to Phoebe's first, but the girl's fancy menu falls flat (her family is more a salad-from-a-bag family). While Phoebe is focused on Camille and her food, original best buddy Sage is pushed to the background, even though his mother does cook Indian food. Hiranandani has a light touch when exploring the friendship issues of these three likable characters. Nothing is over-the-top, and the plot is fun and easy to understand for the newest chapter-book readers. Gently humorous black-and-white illustrations pair nicely with the text. With all the foodies out there, this delightful series deserves a long shelf life…and many more courses. (Fiction. 7-11)"
I like to make fall resolutions. Since I have kids in school and I’ve worked on an academic schedule, fall always feels like a new beginning. I start to turn inward and get in touch with my senses. I cook more. I fix up my house. I notice scents like dry leaves and wood smoke. I enjoy the happy chaos of school starting and holidays brewing. It’s a good season.
One of my fall resolutions is to blog more. I miss the immediacy of taking my thoughts and news and sending it out into the world like a little boat made out of twigs. So here, I’m sharing now. I have lots of good news too, so much good news that in the neurotic corner of my mind, I sometimes wonder what bad luck is about to descend on me as I swim around in all this excitement. Crazy, I know, but true.
WHOLE STORY keeps selling, which is a wonderful thing. I’m delighted with the emails I get from readers all the over the country--even internationally since I just heard from a reader in Canada! It’s a miracle to me that my little book has traveled so far. So keep on reading and sharing your thoughts on my contact page!
The biggest news is that my brilliant agent, Sara Crowe, recently sold my chapter book series to the lovely people at Grosset & Dunlap (Penguin Group). I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. It’s the kind of thing that I think about all the time, except for when I forget about it. Then when I remember again, it’s like discovering a special gift left for me on the kitchen table. The working (and possibly final) title is PHOEBE G. GREEN, about a spunky third grader who actually likes to eat interesting things and slowly discovers she just might be a foodie when she befriends a new girl from France. Phoebe’s kind of the anti picky-eater who’s not afraid to be herself. This gets her into some trouble sometimes and I hope young readers will enjoy her unique adventures in food and in life! The first books will be out in about a year and a half.
Recently, I’ve also been lucky enough to contribute to the middle-grade series DEAR KNOW IT ALL. All books are published under the pseudonym, Rachel Wise, and I’ve written books #5, #6, and #8, the first of mine appearing in January 2013. The first two books by another writer are out now. It was a lot of fun and I wish I had been more like the brave, smart, but slightly anxious narrator Samantha Martone when I was in middle school!
I’m also working on another middle-grade novel. More to come about that…
Because of all this good stuff, I have decided to pause my Montessori teaching career, but I know I’ll always carry what I’ve learned with me into my life and parenting and future writing classes.
I’ve had many career paths, writing being the only constant, and now to have that part of my life move to center stage is quite amazing. I never thought it would happen and yet I always believed it would. So thanks for reading, thanks for sharing your thoughts, and I’m certainly enjoying the ride.
It’s finally here, pub day, the day when you can walk in a bookstore and buy THE WHOLE STORY OF HALF A GIRL. When I sold the manuscript back in 2010, I wondered where I’d be when the book actually came out. Well, I started teaching at a Montessori school. I’m a little older. My family is a little older. My daughter, who was a baby when I started writing this book, can now read the book. That in my mind is the most stunning milestone so far. When I received my box of shiny new copies a few weeks ago, I just kept running my hand over the front of it. This is it, I thought, the moment I hoped for since I started writing short stories in college. And it feels…great!! It is as awesome as I wanted it to be. My family and friends continue to cheer me on. I got some great reviews, from magazines, from bloggers, and from community reviewers. But what I haven’t experienced yet is feedback from my youngest readers.
I’m so looking forward to hear from the middle-grade readers that I wrote this book for. So if you’re out there, and this book rings true for you in any way, or if you have questions about the writing process, or the characters, please let me know! I’d love to hear from you. I remember how important reading was to me at that age. I hope this book can provide some, even just a drop, of the same companionship and pleasure all those books I read back then provided me. So thank you Roald Dahl, E.B. White, Judy Blume, Madeleine L’Engle, Lois Lowry, Patricia Reilly Giff, CS Lewis, Beverly Cleary, Katherine Patterson, Sydney Taylor, and J.R.R. Tolkien, just to name a few. I’m not putting myself in the same company, just saying thanks for all they gave and still give me. And a future thank you to my new readers who will honor me with their time and attention. I hope I can live up to your expectations!