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Sold my first picture book!

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So happy and proud to announce that I've sold my first picture book!!! Here's the note from Publishers Market Place:


December 2, 2013

Children's:
Picture book    

Carmella Van Vleet and astronaut Kathy Sullivan's TO THE STARS!, the inspiring story of Kathy Sullivan, a little girl curious about science and the world who grew up to become the first American woman to walk in space, to Karen Boss at Charlesbridge, by Marie Lamba at the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency (World).


People, you have no idea how long and hard I've worked on this project. (I've always said that if it sold, I'd have one heck of a story to tell if I was ever invited to speak at a conference!) It started ten years ago when I first met and interviewed astronaut Kathy Sullivan for Highlights magazine. I was just starting out and Kathy was my first big interview. Because I was new and nervous, I talked way more than I should have. But Kathy liked the piece I ghost wrote for her and so when I approached her a couple of years later about doing a book together, she was game. I thought I'd be able to sell the book no problem. But it didn't work like that. For years, I worked on this project. I have a folder that's two inches thick of various drafts and the book is only 1,400 words long - and half of that is end material. You name an angle/approach and I tried it. I wanted to give up so many times. It got to the point that my own mother suggested I walk away - and you know it's bad when your MOM says, "Give up!" LOL But I dug in and after (yet) another "it's almost there but not quite" from my agent, I threw a little tantrum in the car with my daughter. But out of that tantrum came a flash of insight that became the hybrid format I used to tell the story.

I guess what I'm trying to say is - hang in there, everybody. You know that pet project you love but can't seem to sell? Keep on loving it and believing in it. Feed and water it. You never know when the right agent or editor is going to show up and want your strange, wonderful little story.

Cyber brownies for everyone!!!


Edited to add: Kathy is the co-author of this story; her name will be on the cover as well. Didn't want anyone to miss that! The two of us worked very hard and I'll be forever grateful that Kathy didn't give up on me when we kept getting No's. 
#1 - December 03, 2013, 07:01 AM
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 07:46 AM by Car »
To the Stars! (Charlesbridge)
Aviation: Cool Women Who Fly (Nomad Press)
Eliza Bing Is (Not) A Big, Fat Quitter (Holiday House)

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CONGRATULATIONS! Such wonderful news!
#2 - December 03, 2013, 07:14 AM
www.heleneboudreau.com

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Congratulations and thanks for sharing your journey!

 :goldstar :goldstar :goldstar :goldstar
#3 - December 03, 2013, 07:20 AM

Car!!! I'm so happy for you! Your persistence is inspiring, and your cyber brownies are delicious!  :)

Enjoy your moment!
 :snoopy
#4 - December 03, 2013, 07:30 AM
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Fabulous news! And thanks for sharing the 'back story'. Very inspiring.
#5 - December 03, 2013, 07:36 AM

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Car, this makes me sooooo happy to hear! What a fabulous story -- both the book and behind the story inspiration.
Congratulations!!!!
Vijaya
#6 - December 03, 2013, 07:44 AM
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Congrats!!!
#7 - December 03, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Melissa
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What an inspiring story! CONGRATULATIONS!!! :carrot :carrot :carrot
#8 - December 03, 2013, 07:48 AM
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Reader, reader, reader...
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Congrats, Car -- wonderful news! :fireworks
#9 - December 03, 2013, 07:53 AM
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 :applause Yay! Awesome news! Congratulations!

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#10 - December 03, 2013, 08:00 AM
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 :yay Congratulations!!! And what a *fantastic* story of how it came to be. So inspiring!
#11 - December 03, 2013, 08:29 AM

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And you ***should*** tell this story at conferences! Here's to many conferences in the NEAR future~~~
And-
 :jump: :jump: :jump:
#12 - December 03, 2013, 08:30 AM
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Wonderful news!!! Congratulations!  :yay
#13 - December 03, 2013, 08:32 AM
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That's fantastic news, Car! Congrats!
#14 - December 03, 2013, 08:36 AM
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How wonderful! Kudos for sticking with your story for the long haul, and huge payoff!   :yay :yay :yay
#15 - December 03, 2013, 09:31 AM
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Hooray! :confetti
#16 - December 03, 2013, 09:37 AM
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 :yay Congratulations!  :yay
#17 - December 03, 2013, 09:38 AM
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Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful story!!! Makes me want to cheer!  :carrot

Congratulations!!  : :yay :yay :yay :yay
#18 - December 03, 2013, 09:42 AM
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Well, Car, I'd say that I'm one person who knows just how long and hard you've worked on this manuscript, having read several versions over the years. I knew you'd sell it eventually. 

Anyway, HUGE congrats!!!

#19 - December 03, 2013, 09:47 AM
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:45 AM by Betsy »
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PICKY EATERS
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Great news...great story...thanks for helping me not give up! :yay
#20 - December 03, 2013, 09:52 AM
I've always said I'll write someday...my someday is now.

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 :goldstar :star2 Two great stories! Great achievement and thank you for inspiring!
#21 - December 03, 2013, 09:54 AM

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 :star2 What a wonderful story! Hooray!  :goldstar
#22 - December 03, 2013, 10:04 AM

 :yay :yay
What an inspiring book journey!
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
#23 - December 03, 2013, 10:07 AM
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 :fireworks  HOORAY!!!! Go you, for not giving up!! What a wonderful success story!   :congratswave
#24 - December 03, 2013, 10:12 AM

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That's fantastic! Congrats!  So glad to hear your story sold. 
#25 - December 03, 2013, 10:22 AM

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Whoooo! I'll be looking for your book-- it sounds great. When will it hit the shelves?
 :goldstar :goldstar :goldstar :goldstar :goldstar
#26 - December 03, 2013, 10:29 AM

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 :congratswave

Fabulous!
#27 - December 03, 2013, 10:47 AM
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Wonderful news!  :yay :yay :yay :yay :yay
#28 - December 03, 2013, 11:00 AM
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 :fireworks

Go you!! And go perseverance!!
#29 - December 03, 2013, 11:06 AM
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Yay!! :superwoman
#30 - December 03, 2013, 11:14 AM
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