My journey to publication involved a lot of reading, a lot of writing, and just as much submitting. I initially started out pantsing an MG pirate story, moved on to poetry and then discovered the wonder of picture books. By that point, I thought I really should find out how to approach this writing lark properly and did a PB course where I met my lovely crit group, The Book Bees.
I had some poetry published shortly after that and entered lots and lots of competitions with some success – including the fantastic opportunity to be mentored by Amy! Against that cheering backdrop of ‘wins’ were the rejections. Billions of them. Stingers! I particularly remember ‘We tried very hard to find something about your work we liked’. Ha ha – brutal! Luckily, someone did find something to like, and I hope they didn’t have to try too hard.
The lovely team at Maverick plucked ‘Sid’s Big Fib’ from their slush pile, and, after a few months of tweaks followed by the magical illustration process and unavoidable pandemic delays, Irina Avgustinovich and I finally have a publication date of 28 July 2022. That’s nine years and four months from my first pantsed MG to PB publication! The rejections still roll in – I think they do for most of us, but it’s been a blast and I hope one day to get something else out there.
Sid’s Big Fib focuses on two children caught in a tornado of one upmanship. Determined to out-do the quick-witted Lulu, Sid launches an epic fib, but unfortunately, his tall tale captures everyone’s imagination, forcing him to extraordinary lengths to keep the story in orbit. Hamsters and custard may also feature.
While the story highlights the issues bragging and fibbing generate, that wasn’t for me the point of it. I hope children delight in the fun language, silly phrases and increasingly bonkers caper that ensues when Sid loses all sense of proportion. Irina’s illustration style compliments the story perfectly. She is amazing, and I am sure children will love poring over the detail and energy in her pictures.
You can buy “Sid’s Big Fib” at the links below: