Thursday, November 23, 2023

More Ups Than Downs (plus a sneak peek!)

Written by Leah Moser

I was thinking about my road to publication the other day. 

A line from one of my favorite picture books, I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, kept popping into my head: 

I wish you more ups than downs.

Isn’t that what we all wish for on this writing journey? The ups are so exciting - literal dreams coming true. And the downs can be so deflating, defeating, and depressing. 

Here's a glimpse into my own UP/DOWN moments:

UP - I write a manuscript

DOWN - My critique group has many edits and think it's a good “start”

UP - I rewrite my story, and it’s much stronger now!

UP - I want to query an agent

DOWN - An agent needs multiple manuscripts?

UP - Okay, I’m motivated. Let’s get writing! I got this!

DOWN - Is eight minutes an actual record to get an agent rejection?

DOWN - Why does my spreadsheet have so many red marks on it?

UP - OMG - An agent is interested in my work

UP - I SIGN WITH AN AGENT! (Shoutout to Daniel Cramer/Page Literary Agency)

DOWN - What do you mean an editor passes? I’m agented. Is that allowed?

DOWN - More no’s? How is this possible?

UP - A MAYBE from a publisher?! This is the best day EVER!

UP - A YES! AHHHHH! You bet I'll sign that contract.

DOWN - What? My book comes out in April 2024? But (checks calendar)... it’s only 2022?

Anyway, you get my point. This picture book writing business isn't for the faint of heart. The ups, the downs, the waiting… ugh, so much waiting. 

But finally, it’s happening.

Without further ado, let me present a sneak peek spread from my debut picture book, I AM A THUNDERCLOUD (Running Press Kids, April 2024).

                                                               Property of Running Press Kids, 2024

This is one of my biggest UPs yet. 

To see my words, Marie Hermansson’s art, and the entire Running Press Team’s vision come together is such a surreal feeling. As a writer, I don’t see the pictures as clearly in my head. But when I saw this, I shouted “YES - that’s it!” The colors, the emotion, the design...

*chef kiss*

Trust me, the DOWNS are still present, and there will be many more down the line (pun intended). But once in a while, you get an UP

Embrace and celebrate the UPs, even the little ones: a strong draft, a champagne rejection, a publisher’s yes, a word choice that fits perfectly, or an agent asking for more work.

For all of you reading this, I wish you all more ups than downs on this writing adventure.

About the Author

Leah Moser is a former elementary school teacher turned children’s book author. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, three children, and dog. 

Leah is a member of the SCBWI community, 12x12 PB challenge, multiple picture book critique groups, PB Soar 24 (a promotional marketing group of authors debuting in 2024), and is a judge for Vivian Kirkfield’s 50 Precious Words contest. 

Additionally, Leah has recently launched her own freelance picture book editing company to help other writers! To work with Leah or learn about her available services, click here.

Leah is represented by Daniel Cramer of Page Turner Literary Agency. Her debut picture book titled I Am a Thundercloud, illustrated by Marie Hermansson, will be released in April 2024 by Running Press Kids/Hachette.  PREORDER HERE!

Connect with Leah and follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Bluesky.

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