The Story Behind the Story

“HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE BOOK?”

Here, more or less, is how it happened.

 
 
 May, 2009 – One Victoria Day long weekend, three sisters went on a road trip in New Brunswick. On a stormy drive somewhere between Fredericton and Grand Manan Island, two of them decided to try writing a children’s story together (and the third one was nice enough to tolerate them).
 
… TYPITY TYPE TYPE …
 
January 14, ’11 – After showing our manuscript to a couple of trusted readers, we submitted it to Kids Can Press. Rather like sending your kid off to kindergarden, not knowing whether she will make any friends.
 
May 16 ’11 – Probably the most exciting email of our respective lives… WE’VE BEEN ACCEPTED BY KIDS CAN PRESS!
 
… TYPITY TYPE TYPE, this time with a lovely and wonderful creature called a substantive editor (ours was the lovely and wonderful Sheila Barry) …
 
August 23, ’11 – In the midst of final substantive edits, we got our first peek at the cover art.
 
September 12, ’11 – After a lot of hard work with Sheila, Margaret was deemed substantial enough. Then she was sent off to another, more elusive editor: the copyeditor.
 
September 29, ’11 – Our last week with our book in manuscript form. Equal parts braindead and fluttery-hearted… with a pinch of grumpiness to see our Canadian spellings and Oxford commas go. (Boo, Noah Webster.)
 
October 21, ’11 – The proof is in the “proofs”… today the computer pages looked like book pages! (And we got to keep some of our favourite commas after all. Yippee!)
 
February 2, ’12 – Arrived home to find a book-shaped package on my desk. Felt like Jo March at the end of Little Women.
 
March 27, ’12 – The day that Margaret found her way onto a shelf in my local bookstore in Toronto…
 
Lately – I still go and check on her there sometimes, to make sure she’s doing all right.
 

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