The first is my picture book You Wish Jellyfish. You Wish Jellyfish, illustrated by Lee Krutop, hits the bookshop shelves this week. This picture book has been a long time in the making - six years to be exact. Six years of PRACTICE, PATIENCE AND PESEVERANCE.
I started writing the story in mid 2004.
I first submitted it in February 2005.
It received its first rejection six weeks later.
Over the next twelve+ months I reworked the manuscript numerous times. I workshopped it with my writing buddies and reworked it some more. I submitted it to twelve publishers. Almost all replied with very positive comment and feedback, but no banana.
In November 2006 it was finally accepted by Koala Books. YAY! I almost didn't send it to Koala , because for some unknown reason, I thought the publisher, who had already published a couple of my books, wouldn't like it! Shows how little I know.
Next of course the manuscript was edited and reworked again and then began the search for an illustrator. Working in children's publishing, I know firsthand how long and difficult the task of finding the right illustrator can be and for You Wish, Jellyfish it wasn't until about May 2008 that I saw the first sample illustration from Lee Krutop.
It is now May 2010 and the book with Lee's beautifully bright illustrations is finally a reality.
I have seen it in a bookshop.
It has been sold to a Korean publisher.
And it has even received its first review in Junior Bookseller and Publisher Magazine.
Here is an excerpt: "... The wording is playful yet evocative, particularly when Jellyfish decribes to Mussel how 'sometimes the current took him where the sea washed warm and milky green over a garden of twisty coral,' and works best when read aloud, with the refrain of 'You wish, Jellyfish' sure to be a hit with the little ones. This is a gorgeous underwater road trip for ages two and up about accepting who you are and looking at life from a different perspective." Clare Hingston, Bookseller Younger Sun Bookshop, Yarraville.
And, heck, what a classic example of the three Ps of publishing! Time to crack open the bubbly. Cheers!