No One Likes…

…rejections. At least, I don’t think anyone does. Well, I suppose if you were about to break up with someone and didn’t know how and then they broke up with you first, you might welcome a rejection. But that’s a rare circumstance, and besides, I’m talking about rejections of writing.

This post is for writers who want to be published (including me, because I need this reminder too!)
We work so hard on our writing—we plan, think, write, revise, seek feedback from others, revise some more, proofread, research potential agents and editors, write and rewrite query letters, and then after we finally submit. check our inboxes every day. All that, only to—

—get an email back saying “Thank you for your submission” and perhaps “The writing was charming” or “I enjoyed reading it,” followed by the dreaded big BUT…”But I’m afraid I don’t feel it is as strong as it needs to be…” or “But I’m afraid I’ll have to pass” or “The marketplace is crowded…” or “But opinions are subjective and others may feel differently,” etc. You know the refrain. And unlike that song from the ’90s, no one likes these kind of big buts.

Now here comes another one— BUT you gotta submit again. Yep, you really do. Maybe a rejecter just accepted a book with a similar theme. Or had a bad day or is already overwhelmed by their swollen client list. Or has terrible taste in literature. Try someone else! Try lots of someone elses!

Keep in mind how many rejections these wildly successful books received before eventually being published:

Harry Potter — 12
Dune —20
A Wrinkle in Time— 26
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance—121
And Chicken Soup for the Soul was rejected…wait for it…134 times!

Look over your submission and query letter again to see if there are any improvements you can make to improve it. Then submit again! And one day your inbox might have an email that makes you feel like this—

As We Say in Boston, What a Bahgain!

Yep, this holiday season, if you’re looking for a gift for a 7-11 year old who likes funny books, I have a suggestion for you…Me and the Weirdos, my award-winning middle grade novel about Cindy Krinkle’s quest to “unweird” her family is one click away on Amazon—$7.99 in paperback and $4.99 on Kindle.

What a bahgain! 

Page With Full Description

Happy December!

No Supply Chain Problems Here!

Supply chain problems are sending people into holiday gift panic this year! I just realized (duh!) that books on Kindle and Audible bypass this anxious issue. They’re available with just a click!

Esther's Hanukkah Disaster by Jane SuttonAnd fortunately, Esther’s Hanukkah Disaster, my picture book about a well-meaning purple gorilla who forgets to shop and buys her friends amusingly inappropriate gifts, is available…drum roll…on both Kindle and Audible!

Order from Amazon or Kar-Ben Publishing, and you can read or listen to the story before you even start grating potatoes for the latkes!

 

 

Halloween & Crushed Hopes

Before Halloween I always make a stuffed-with-leaves “person” to greet trick-or-treaters. The head has been a red playground ball ever since the gruesome year squirrels gnawed on a pumpkin head.

As I worked on this year’s ball-headed person, I had high hopes for the Red Sox winning the American League Championship and going on to the World Series! Alas, my hopes were dashed when the Houston Astros were the victors instead.

Still smiling

But I’m grateful the team got farther than anyone thought. Red Sox Guy is still smiling by my front steps. Perhaps he’s remembering players shouting with joy every time they pushed a home run-hitting teammate through the dugout in a laundry cart. The memory makes me smile, too.

Essay About Treasured Object

Recently, I contributed to a lovely website called Storied Stuff, with short essays about a pictured treasured object. I’ve pasted mine below, about my beloved grandmother’s doll. Here’s the link.

Marushka is about 130-years-old.

Years before the Russian Revolution, my maternal grandmother, Rebecca, schlepped this doll from Kiev to New York City. Grandma was smart, opinionated, and big-hearted. I was crazy about her and her cooking; she believed in copious butter. When she visited, I would wake up early and hurry to her pull-out loveseat. Nestled against her, I requested stories—how she survived smallpox as a baby, what my mother was like as a child, and my favorites: why she despised certain relatives.

But in Grandma’s eyes my sister and I could do no wrong. I once found an immersion coil on my father’s desk and plugged it in underneath, where it burned a hole in new carpeting. My father chided me, but Grandma chided him, claiming my scare had been enough punishment. She and I were passengers when my new driver sister missed an exit and began backing up on the Long Island Expressway. I shrieked, “You can’t do that!” and she abandoned her strategy before we got rear-ended.

At home my mother asked about my sister’s driving. “She drives beautiful,” Grandma reported.

Grandma died when I was 16. Her loss felt unbearable. In my recurrent dreams she was drowning and I saved her. In the daytime I might spot a white-haired lady with a certain gait and imagine, “Grandma’s alive, just living with another family.”

Grandma’s and my love for each other was warm and fierce.

Long before my daughter was born, I knew her name, Rebecca.

Jane Sutton is a children’s book author who lives in Lexington, MA, with her husband, not far from their grown children and 3 grandchildren who can do no wrong.

I’m Excited to Report That…

…I signed a contract for my next book!

 

The title is still a secret. Shhhh…                                                                                             

 

 

 

 

 

But I can say that it’s a picture book and…
…it will be published in the fall of 2022! Which really isn’t that far off!

 

 

Another Recommendation: Board Book and a Half

Yes, today I’m recommending a board book and a half. What I mean is that it’s huuuuuge, in size and what it covers! Caution! Road Signs Ahead by prolific, award-winning author Toni Buzzeo has realistically shaped pages of 35 signs that the littlest readers can touch and explore. For slightly older readers, the explanations of what the signs mean are easy to understand.

As soon as I learned about this new book, I ordered a copy for my oldest grandchild. Then, when I read it, I bought one for a younger grandchild. And then, I ordered another for a young grandniece. Just because I know they’ll all love it!

My husband and me with our first 2 copies

 

 

 

 

 

 

Readathon Fun

Asked to be a Guest Author for Red Hill Elementary School’s Readathon (Santa Ana, California), I responded with an enthusiastic Yes! And thanks to technology, from 3,000 miles away, I was able to share screen shots as I read my picture book THE TROUBLE WITH CAULIFLOWER and then read the first chapter of my middle grade novel ME AND THE WEIRDOS.

I had fun voicing the characters, and afterwards the students—who apparently enjoyed listening!—got to ask questions and make comments. Two of my favorites were:

“What was your main purpose for writing this Book?”
“You’re a very good author.”

Introducing the story of Mortimer the koala bear, who’s convinced that eating cauliflower brings him bad luck the next day

My turn to listen to my charming listeners’ comments