Image: Paul Hum
I’ve just hit ENTER and sent my first novel manuscript to my editor, Kat, at Lorimer Publishing.
It all started last August, when Christie Harkin–who had signed me for the Gabby series at Fitzhenry and had recently moved to Lorimer–sent out a note to authors asking if they wanted to write a middle-grade novel.
I called her and she suggested that I write a baseball novel, since my son (the kid on the left in the photo, back when he was 10 years old) is an avid baseball player and most days in the summer I can be found on the sidelines at a game–or two, or three.
Christie said the novel had to have a few specific things: an urban setting, kids around 12 or 13 years old, lots of baseball action, diversity and problems or issues that kids can solve for themselves, without involving adults.
I went home and talked to my son and my husband about it. Together, we came up with a scenario in which a struggling PeeWee Select team is getting a talented new player–who just happens to be gay. It’s a new situation for these kids, who aren’t the most open-minded bunch to begin with. So how do they react? On one hand, they desperately need the new boy’s skill and expertise on the team. On the other hand, they’re now confronted with their own prejudices–that they perhaps didn’t even know they had.
I’ll be blogging about the novel and about the writing process, so please stay tuned. And I’ll let you know what my new editor says about the manuscript! (Fingers crossed!)
PS: Christie has recently started her own publishing firm, Clockwise Press, whose “mission is to publish high-quality young adult and children’s books featuring themes of diversity, inclusion, and global awareness.”
PS2: “Hit by a Curve” is just the working title. It will be changed. I’ll letchya know.