In a few days, I'm turning 41 and for most of my life I have had the dream of becoming a children's author/illustrator. It's something I visualize and really feel inside - I am an author/illustrator. However, the reality is that I have never actually had a book published. I'm working on my craft and moving in the right direction, but that moment hasn't arrived yet where I have a book contract for either writing or illustrating. It can be pretty darn disturbing to be nearing 41 and still not achieving the goal. Patience is not my strong point, but fortunately my stubborness is. I've noticed that a lot of my favorite illustrators are posting about their goals/themes for 2008. Mine is to take a risk and never give up. I've got to put myself out there even more to achieve my dreams. I tend to be quiet, so I guess I need to draw more attention to my work to get noticed. I pray it doesn't take until I'm 90 before I break into the publishing world, but I'll hang in there no matter what.
Little fact for ya'll . . . I'm a children's book geek. I'm in awe of those of you who have made it into the inner circle of the publishing world. I'm sure you possess some sort of magical powers or the Universe has selected you as extra special. I get a little star-struck when I meet real life authors and illustrators. You're living my dream.
So, imagine how amazing it was for me to meet one of my favorite authors, Bruce Hale! He writes those hilarious Chet Gecko mysteries. I'm a huge fan and I think Chet Gecko is perfect in every way. Seriously, the first time I read one I thought to myself, "Damn! Why didn't I think of this?!" Anyway, if you haven't read one, my next question is "What chu waitin' fo?" Bruce Hale came to speak at my SCBWI chapter today on the topic of writing humor. Very educational and inspirational too! And you know, he's just really nice, funny & a very normal guy! (I'm still convinced he has magical publishing powers though!) He told me that he found his agent by hearing him speak at an SCBWI meeting, submitted a story and was signed for a 3-book contract. Wow! I really got a big boost today from talking to my fellow SCBWI friends and from meeting Bruce (dare I call him "Bruce" and not Mr. Hale???? hee hee). My head is pounding with excitement to write and illustrate. Just the thing I needed! I'm inspired, determined and more than stubborn enough to be in it for the long haul. And you know what, I'm thinking that may be the magic it takes to break into the inner circle of publishing!