Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say Blog Post #5

Long, long time ago, well about 5 years ago,  Stella Díaz Has Something To Say was just an idea for a picture book. Expect that wasn't it's title. It's was called Stella Stares and it was just 32 pages.

I worked on that version of Stella for nearly a year until it was finally rejected by a publisher. In hindsight, I completely agree. It just didn't quite work as a picture book.

Still, that little Stella stuck with me. I've had other stories that weren't picked up, but I couldn't shake this one. In 2014, I began illustrating chapter books and reading a variety of them for visual inspiration. I feel in love with the stories and the voice of those characters. Soon my non fiction shelves were being replaced with middle grade novels by Kate DiCamillo and Erin Entrada Kelly. 

Those books gave me the inspiration to expand Stella to a longer story. A narrative filled with my own experiences struggling with shyness.  I worked with my literary agent for another six months and eventually showed my 7,000 word manuscript to Connie Hsu over coffee. Thankfully she saw the potential, but she also thought it needed to be three times the length... at least!

From there, I worked on it with Connie for several months without a contract. Every step of the way was exciting and challenging. This book is a dream come true and I can't wait to share it with readers. 

The book comes out in just two weeks. If you'd like to preorder,  you can here

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