Monday, January 9, 2012

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday - May B. + Guest Post


Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Shannon Whitney Messenger decided it was time to give middle grade stories the attention they deserve, and "Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays" was born.  

May B.
 by Caroline Starr Rose

Goodreads Blurb:
I've known it since last night:
It's been too long to expect them to return.
Something's happened.


May is helping out on a neighbor's Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it's hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May's memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she's determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose's fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.
May B. is written in verse--truly beautiful verse, full of imagery and emotion. I loved every word of it! May is such a lovable character, and we experience every hardship, every uncertainty, right along with her. You MUST read this one. I promise.

MAY B. will be released TOMORROW!! 

Caroline wrote a guest post for us about her author journey. Enjoy!
Fourteen Years, Hundreds of Rejections, Eleven Books, and One Sale

Fourteen years ago this December, I started writing in earnest. I’d always heard you needed to have some magazine pieces published before writing a book, so I wrote an article and mailed it in.

I never heard back.

By the following summer, I figured I had nothing to lose and everything to learn by working on a book of my own. After two whole weeks of research (!), I wrote a mid-grade historical about the Oregon Trail, a terribly sappy, confusing thing that nevertheless taught me a lot. I sent it out into the world, starting a pattern I’d continue for years: writing, revising, submitting, and starting something new. In that time, I wrote three more novels and seven picture books and collected hundreds of rejections.

Everyday I’d wait for the mailman, anticipating word that someone, somewhere had connected with something I’d written. Some rejections came weeks after submitting; others took over a year to find their way back to me. Somehow, I held onto the belief that the next editor or next idea would be the one.

It was only after I got serious about finding an agent in the fall of 2009 that things started to happen. Within four months, my agent sold my very non-commercial, non-flashy literary historical at auction. This little book has so far earned a starred review from Kirkus and has been selected as a title for the Junior Library Guild.

Those years of submitting on my own weren’t wasted. I learned how to write, develop my craft, and stick it out. May B.’s January release will mark a lot of things for me, the most amazing being the realization I’ve taken on (and accomplished!) a task that for years seemed insurmountable.


** Others who can be counted on for MMGM: **
 Happy Monday!

26 comments:

Susan R. Mills said...

What a great story! It has inspired me to keep on trying. Keep on writing. Keep on dreaming. Congrats to Caroline!

Elaine AM Smith said...

Caroline, thanks for posting your story, I found it inspirational.
You have reminded me that writing, and everything else worthwhile, takes "Hard work, perseverance and hard work." ;) Although in this case the balance might be two lots of perseverance and a lot of hard work.:D
Congratulations.

Meredith said...

This sounds like such a wonderful book! I love the setting--can't wait to read it!

Diane said...

Wow....what a story! Perseverance pays off and the book sounds incredible!!! :O)

Joanne Fritz said...

YAY for Caroline! And YAY for MAY B!

I adore this book. I can't wait to start handselling it tomorrow.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

Thank you, Shannon, for hosting me today! So glad you connected with Miss May.

mshatch said...

sounds like a wonderful story and what a great example of how not giving up pays off. Congratulations to the author on her book :)

Laura Pauling said...

I've been hearing about this story since I started blogging and can't wait to read it. I love verse novels! congrats Caroline!

Old Kitty said...

Oh wow! Caroline Starr Rose! First you have an AWESOME name!! Second - thank you for sharing your fraught writerly journey here - I love that you were so determined to get your unique book and style to the big wide world and were most persistent while gaining writerly knowledge and now you have a fabulous book!! Wonderful wonderful! Good luck!

Thanks lovely Shannon for the info and post! Take care
x

Barbara Watson said...

I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS ONE!! And I've been waiting. I don't purchase many books without reading them first and knowing I'm going to love them, but this is one I will buy because I know I will LOVE it (and so will my kids).

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

This looks good! I need to try it.

Pam Torres said...

Wow! What a journey, Caroline. This sounds great. I hadn't heard of it. Thanks for such a great review, Shannon!

C D Meetens said...

Such an inspiring journey! I admire your tenacity at sticking with it, and crafting novel after novel despite the rejections.

Gina C said...

nice pick - i definitely look forward to reading it :)

i just posted my first MMGM recommendation today. excited to follow along and find more great reads!

-Gina

Natalie Aguirre said...

So excited for your debut Caroline. I loved May B. I loved learning more about your writing journey.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I've heard great things about this novel, but I think this is the first time I've heard that it's in verse.

Jemi Fraser said...

So excited for Caroline!!! :)

Susan Fields said...

Wow - that sounds like a fascinating story! And congrats to Caroline!

Gina Gort said...

Looking forward to reading this book. Thank you for sharing your story about your persistence. It truly is inspiring.

LTM said...

what an awesome, inspirational story. Hooray for Caroline, and her book looks awesome. Thanks, Shannon! :o)

Kristen Wixted said...

I'm a little late to the party but that is the kind of story I always love to hear. I simply cannot hear it enough times. All that time and effort, not wasted.
Yaay!
Thanks.
Congratulations to Caroline.

Jennie Englund said...

That is an enormously inspiring story. Caroline's name lends itself to being the author of great books!

Shannon, I hope everything is going well for you, halfway into your school year.

Are you writing?Revising?

Deb Marshall said...

I am so, so looking forward to reading this one.

Jennifer Rumberger said...

Wow, May B is certainly getting the love this week in the blogosphere! I can't wait to read it!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

LOVED Caroline's words here. What a story. I am SO SO HAPPY for her. She's the model of working hard to achieve your dreams.

TerryLynnJohnson said...

LOVED Caroline's words here. What a story. I am SO SO HAPPY for her. She's the model of working hard to achieve your dreams.

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