We decided early on not to tell anyone. How many people had we met who were writing a book, had a great book idea, or were planning on writing a book when they could find the time? We had heard the stories of people who had written books with bestseller potential that had received dozens of rejection letters and knew the odds of getting published were slim. Even if we could find someone interested in our book, it could take years. But with the odds stacked against us, we knew – knew in the same way I knew when I met my husband – that we would be successful.
I had been painting my basement when my sister-in-law Karen first called me with the idea. I was still holding a roller full of Sherwin William’s Ivoire when Karen told me of the book series she had been formulating for over a year. As a mother of four, Karen had read her share of children’s books. Her youngest were both reading at a middle grade level and above and to encourage their good reading habits, she had formed a mother/daughter book club. The challenge for her wasn’t getting her girls to read, it was finding them books that were educational as well as entertaining.
Just talking with Karen about her ideas gave me goose bumps. I had to set down the roller because I began pacing with excitement. We hurriedly began talking over each other with storyline topics and ideas for the main characters. It all felt so right and as parents we were thrilled to be creating something that not only would our kids be interested in, but that we would want them to read.
My husband had watched with interest as I had worn down a patch of carpet with my brainstorming session pacing. As soon as I got off the phone I filled him in on the details: Karen had asked me to write a middle grade book series with her. We had established the main characters and had a very promising storyline for the first book and general topics we wanted to explore throughout the series. Best of all, we were going to weave educational topics amongst the plot lines and focus on using high level vocabulary words for advanced readers.
So, we had the book topic, we had envisioned the main characters and we knew what educational elements we wanted to include. Next came the hard part – finding the time to write it! Our first phone conversation took place right around Thanksgiving. Since Karen and I live in separate states, we were going to have to do all of our communicating via email and by phone. As a mother of two grade school-aged children, I knew the holidays were going to fly by in a blur so we agreed to get down to business after the first of the year.