This is Ana Crespo's official blog.

I don't blog often. Most of what is going on in my career can be found through my official FB page and official Twitter account. But, every once in a while you will find something interesting in here. For more information about me and my work, visit my official website. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sold!

I’m back! I just arrived from my 5000-mile road trip and I’m blogging again. Sorry for staying away!  Hopefully you will forget all about it when I tell you the wonderful news I received just before I left for my trip…
I just sold FOUR manuscripts! Now, if you saw the announcement on Facebook, Twitter, or the monthly good news of the SCBWI Rocky Mountain Chapter, this is old news for you, sorry. However, take a minute to read about how this happened. I’m about to share it.

These four manuscripts are part of a small series for very young kids. The idea came up when I visited a car wash and my son (at the time 3yo) almost cried his eyes out. The first story about this experience was really not great. In fact, it was terrible and possibly one of the reasons why an agent who seemed interested in my work didn’t offer representation.

At the time, the story was at its beginnings. The text was fat and shapeless. I shouldn’t have submitted it that way, but I suffer from a serious case of anxiety. Later, I trimmed it down. I worked on the story’s plot. I gave it a shape. The final (or almost final) product was extremely different from what I had originally envisioned and it relied a lot on illustrations.

Once I had that format established, I decided to play with the character and put him in different situations. And the small JP series was created.  Although not planned, the stories touch on feelings and how JP deals with them.  

So, because I’m not a teacher, nor a counselor, I contacted an experienced kindergarten teacher and an experienced children’s counselor to read the manuscripts and give me tips. That was a great move. They pointed out things that could be improved and mentioned how the stories could be used by teachers and counselors.  Their comments inspired an additional story and became great arguments when submitting the manuscripts.

When I sold my first story to Albert Whitman &Company, I sent a list of the finished manuscripts I had to my editor. It turns out they were looking for stories that dealt with feelings through a different approach.  Mine did. The week before my trip, I received an offer for all four manuscripts and accepted it.

The books are coming out in the fall of 2015 (2 books), spring of 2016, and fall of 2016. They are tentatively entitled JP AND THE GIANT OCTOPUS, JP AND THE POLKA-DOTTED ALIENS, JP AND THE WATERHOLE MONSTER, and JP AND THE STINKY MUMMY. They all tell the story of JP (Seriously!? I hadn’t figured it out!), a four year old boy that blows things out-of-proportion as he struggles with his feelings.

Now, I am working on my other manuscripts, getting them ready for submission. I am hopeful, obviously. One thing that I learned in this industry is to always be hopeful, as hard as it may seem. The other thing is to always, ALWAYS keep an open mind. Sometimes, that unexpected comment that makes you feel lost is the one comment that will change your manuscript and make it publishable.

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for your post, Ana. It truly shows that perseverance pays off and that what doesn't appeal to one agent/editor may, very well, appeal to another! Thanks for the inspiration.

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    1. Very true! Thanks for the support, Cindy! I've been following your posts... Good luck to you! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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  2. Congratulations, Ana, and thanks for sharing your story. It pays to make your ms. as polished as possible before sending it off!

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    1. Thank you, Jane! I completely agree, but it's so hard to wait... I've been better at controlling my anxiety, though.

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  3. WOW, Ana. Congratulations again - what a great story. Four manuscripts! Good for you.

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  4. Congratulations Ana. Look forward to reading your books.

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    1. Thank you, Stacey! I hope to see you during our critique meetings soon.

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  5. That's wonderful news about the 4 mss that you sold...congratulations! I hope your road trip was fun too. :)

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    1. Thank you, Teresa! The trip was great. In fact, I got to visit Albert Whitman & Co.. It was so nice to see where and how they work...

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