Today I took a little trip into the city to go to Books of Wonder for the event Coming of Age: Romantic Adventures Abroad. Angie Frazier, the author of Everlasting was going to be there so I knew I had to go. I had the chance to read Everlasting back in the fall and it has become one of my favorite books that I have read at internship. It is one of the few books that I have seen the process of from start to finish. I read the manuscript in its early stages and saw how the design on the book jacket had progressed.
Anyways, this was my first book event ever so I was a little excited to be there. I had brought my sister with me after I forced her to read Everlasting earlier this week. In addition to Angie, two other authors were there for the reading & book signing: Heidi R. Kling (Sea) and Christina Diaz Gonzalez (The Red Umbrella). My sister and I, along with a good number in the audience, got to hear brief readings from each of the author. It was interesting to hear how the author summarizes her book because most of the time it’s not quite the same as how the editor puts it on a cover jacket.
I had a lot of fun during the question and answer portion of the evening. After seeing the publishing aspect of the business, it was really a lot of fun to hear the author’s point of view of their “horror” stories of trying to get published. Christina Diaz Gonzalez had told us the story of how she came to be published. She was at the SCBWI with the 10 of 15 pages of her unfinished manuscript. The editor doing her critique took a look and was immediately impressed. To make a long story short, she finished the book in the next two or three months and got it published soon after that.
What amazes me the most about this story is the fact that all the submissions I get at internship are from authors who are SCBWI members. And honestly, it really is like finding a diamond in the rough or some god-awful cliche. My mentor always tells me how that (meaning The Red Umbrella) is the kind of thing she is hoping to find whenever she goes to these conferences (and she goes on them a lot!). She’s had some close calls, but none of them were finished with the manuscript and gotten back with her. SCBWI doesn’t have the best reputation in my eyes after all that I have read, but Gonzalez’s story has given me hope.
Anyways, my sister and I are now fighting to finish the current books we are reading before the other to be the first one to read Sea. I have been waiting months to read this book so there is no way that I’m going to let that happen.