Guest post by Laura Marx Fitzgerald:
Author of The Gallery
June 2016, Dial Books
What was the journey to publication like for you and your book? How was it different or similar to writing your debut?
But looking back, there was enormous freedom at the time too. Freedom to pick up the work and put it down as inspiration ebbed and flowed. Freedom to follow ideas like butterflies. Freedom to write something truly awful and keep it your own little secret as you delete pages upon pages of a bad idea.
Of course, by the time you’re ready sell that first book, all of those missteps have been ripped out and smoothed over (you hope). Your book is now a beautiful, finished thing that you polish up for sale on a silver platter. If people want to think it was born fully formed out of your head, you’re not going to correct them.
Then comes the next book. Now you’re inviting your team in on the process. You’re letting them see how the sausage gets made.
And it’s ugly.
It starts with the pitch process. Rather than shopping around a finished product, you’re asking them to buy an idea. You can see it so clearly in your mind. It’s just like that very first spark that inspired your first book. You’ve done this before, you think confidently. You know how that spark gets kindled into plot and characters and dialogue. You know the idea may be hazy now, but you can already see ahead to that beautiful, finished, polished thing on a platter.
The problem is, your team may not. They may not get it. They may not believe you can pull it off. They may feel it’s too much of a departure from your first book. Or it’s too similar. Or they just may not like it. So you go through idea after idea until you land on one you can all envision.
But much like the revision process, you realize that maybe your first idea wasn’t actually your best.
That’s what happened with The Gallery. This time I got something better than freedom – I got guidance, patience, and collaboration. I got a book that looks nothing like that very first spark of inspiration—and that’s okay.
Like Under the Egg, The Gallery is an art mystery for kids. Like Under the Egg, it follows a young girl who comes to understand the world around her as she pieces together the clues based in paintings. But the book also brings together many of the things I’d always wanted to try out: a historical setting, true-life events, real works of art, a heist plotline—all things I may not have explored had I stuck with my first idea. And I have the less-free, more-collaborative process to thank for that.
"Now, what does writing your third book look like"? I’ll let you know when I finish . . .
Published June 14th 2016 by Dial Books
In her follow-up to the acclaimed Under the Egg, Laura Marx Fitzgerald has fashioned yet another riveting art history mystery…this time set in the Roaring Twenties!
It’s 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha’s troublemaking ways have gotten her kicked out of school. She has no choice but to join her mother and work in the kitchen for the wealthy Sewell family. Everyone says that heiress Rose Sewell is crazy, and Martha agrees—until she realizes that Rose, an eccentric who refuses to leave her room, may be trying to communicate with the outside world through the paintings she sends down to the main floor of the house. If Martha’s right, then Rose isn’t a hermit—she’s being kept prisoner in her own home. But by whom…and why?
In a household filled with secrets, the answers are not always clear, and no one is quite who they say. It’s up to Martha to figure out the truth in order to save Rose, her family—and herself.
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Check out the rest of the tour:
· July 12th – Word Spelunking
· July 13th – The O.W.L.
July 14th - You are HERE! :) Hello! *Waves*
· July 15th – Margie’s Must Reads
· July 16th – Mundie Moms
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