That was the subject line of an email I received last November.
I knew who sent it, and I knew what it was about, but I could barely open it.
It seemed a bit surreal.
After all, I’d waited for this particular moment for a while.
Okay, a long time.
The picture book in question had gone through about 10 months of revision with my acquiring editor.
But that’s not what I mean by “long time.”
The truth is, I’m pretty sure this entire process began when I was 10. That’s when I wrote and illustrated my very first “picture book.”
Alas, the writing was wanting and the plot was thin.
And then there were illustration issues.
The turtle character I could handle. A rock with appendages — piece of cake. But the frog dude? Now, that was a lot of leg to deal with.
Trust me, you can only hide your amphibian behind a leaf so many times before even a 10-year-old realizes that a book is DOA.
The project was abandoned. And from then on, I left the illustrations to the professionals.
Fast-forward another decade or so, and I was starting to submit manuscripts in earnest.
But the YES did not arrive.
Sure, the stories were likely lacking. But I’m pretty certain that the main reason for all of that rejection was the sad fact that my acquiring editor hadn’t been born yet.
And then he was.
Of course he had to navigate through teething and walking, reading and writing, and all the rest.
He did it with flying colors — especially that reading and writing part.
Then he spent 10 months helping me make my little book the best that it could be so that he could take it to an acquisitions meeting.
And only then...
after all of that...
could he type the words I’d been waiting for:
Yeah, it took a long time...
But not quite as long as the Cubs.
And YES! It was worth the wait.
PROMPT: “Never, never, never give up.”