I have always had a passion for telling stories. Growing up in a
passionate italian family my days were always spent listening to someone telling some sort of story. Every weekend, I spent at least one day with my Grandpa, and man, was he a story teller. My days with him were always spent learning, expanding my knowledge, thinking outside of the box, and listening to him tell me stories from his yesteryear.
Throughout high school, I documented every day with a passion and vigor that I still cannot replicate. I still have all of those journals, and while some of those pages are cringe worthy, it’s amazing to read your own thoughts, ten years later. There’s this connection to the words, and yet, a separation from that person. My initial major in college was for writing and English. Sure, I misplace commas – but, there was no denying my knack for telling a tale. Writing was always, and still is, the only way I know how to express myself.
While my life took me into a completely different direction from that idyllic English major, when I moved home a few years ago, I re-visited my love for writing. To this day, I still try to write as much as I can. It’s definitely a challenge (and, it’s currently a big one because my carpal tunnel is the worst its ever been) but I like living in my own world. And, I’ve found that I’ve enjoyed creating worlds even better.
While there are a lot of stories I have yet to share- some require more time, some require more experience, and some are just meant for me – there is one story that I published a few months ago that has gained momentum.
Today, I stumbled upon the outline of my most recent children’s book, “The Story of Peas and Carrots”. The morning of what I now know was my bridal shower, Mark was at the gym and I was watching Forrest Gump, while texting with a friend, who was also watching the movie on TBS. Forrest had said the phrase “Me and Jenny go together like peas and carrots”, and my friend texted me saying “where does that quote even come from?!” Me, being me, replied with this tale of a pea farmer who almost lost everything because another farmer came around with carrots. Eventually, the two farmers join forces and sell the two vegetables together, creating the phrase. Jokingly, their response was “that should be your next children’s book.” Well, I take challenges seriously, so I outlined the story in my journal (the amount of outlines in that journal is terrifying) and went on with my day. That night, I was so filled with love and emotion from my surprise bridal shower that I couldn’t sleep. In the silence of the night, and the comfort of Emmett and Marks gentle snores from the other room, I wrote that children’s book. Seven hours later, Mark woke up to a draft, and his response was “publish this, now.” A simple post on Upwork helped me find an illustrator, and by September 1st, “The Story of Peas and Carrots” was available on Amazon.
I gave the book very little attention, very little love, and had very little belief in it. Any writer will tell you, there are characters that you love, that maybe don’t translate to an audience, and there are characters that have no emotional depth, and yet, are the most loved. Despite my lack of love for Pete and Carrie, I knew there was something special about the book. Over the last few months, my wonderful Public Relations Manager, aka my teacher husband who peddles my book in all of his classes, started to receive ridiculously positive feedback for the book.
Looking at my latest sales, I knew the book needed more love. There was something there. Over the last two weeks, I spoke to someone I used to work for and was given three key things to do to make this book a success. And, then I was given the name of someone who will get this in bookstores. Simply put, the book is an easy sell.
So, now, as I sit here typing with one hand- I wait. I wait for the e-mail that says my book has been moved to IngramSpark. Which means my book will finally be hardcover (seriously, thats one frustrating aspect of Createspace), which means I can contact that woman who will get my book into bookstores.
A year ago, my dream was to “publish a book”. I did that. (Actually, I did that twice and have more on the way.)
Today, my dream is to see my book in bookstores. Let’s see if I can make that a reality too. Won’t it be amazing to see where I am ten years from now, re-reading these words.
(you can buy a soft cover copy of “The Story of Peas and Carrots” on amazon right here. Seriously, if it becomes famous the soft cover version could be worth something…)