You never know when inspiration is going to grab you and smack you right in the face.
I was standing in a gift shop looking at silk flowers. I turned and walked toward the children’s section and it hit me. It was another ‘Once upon a something book.’ I don’t know just how many of these I’ve seen in five decades. But something about it was different. And that began a chain reaction of thoughts and emotions that led to my book, Once upon a Poodle.
Having a transitional series, The Adventures of the Poodle Posse, grow and change during the past dozen years has been rewarding. But as one who always welcomes a challenge, I felt inspired to do something a little different. Something for kids out of grades in the second or third grade, or perhaps on a different topic altogether.So as the ‘Once upon’ idea took hold, it did smack me in the face. Why not go back in time with a prequel to the existing series? Why not make a picture book that would explain how the initial characters in the series came together? Why not grab a different age group that would lean into a different market? And why not capture little imaginations with a story that might lead them into the easy reader series down the road?
For about a year I’ve been working on a juvenile fiction piece based on a twisted experience I had with growing plants. The story was in deadlock for awhile, but eventually the magic, attention-holding action came to me, and thanks to my editor, solidified and became my latest book: The Upside-Down Gardener.
So far, so good in this writing thing. So with the advent of a new school year comes another unfamiliar territory—what schools will have me in? Where? How many? Fingers crossed. Wish me luck. And kudos to all of you who are taking writing journeys along the same path.