You’ve read (and fallen in love with) Kristin O’Donnell Tubb’s middle grade novel, Selling Hope, right?
(If you haven’t read Selling Hope, read it right this very second. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
If you have read Selling Hope, then yay for you and please continue reading this post.)
Because I love everything about this smart, heartfelt, historical book, I stalked Kristin
O’Donnell Tubb on Facebook. Here’s the first thing I ever wrote to her:
Hi! I signed with Quinlan Lee at Adams Literary and I am a super-huge fan of your writing (just sad that Hope and Buster Keaton never smooched. . .) so I hope it’s okay to reach out. Here’s to your continued success.
Not only was Kristin wonderful enough to write back, but look what that genius of a writer shared:
Hi, Kate! Congratulations on signing with Quinlan! And a huge THANK YOU for your nice words! I really appreciate it. (I was kinda rooting for Buster to make a move, too.;-)) Thanks for reaching out! I enjoy “meeting” other Adams Lit writers – it feels like a true team to me. Are you on submission now? Please keep us posted on your career, and I hope our paths will cross soon! (SCBWI-LA, maybe?) Here’s to YOUR continued success as well!
Of course I freaked about every word of her return message, but guess which part knocked my creative socks off?
“I was kinda rooting for Buster to make a move, too”.
I read and reread that sentence. Why? Thanks to Kristin, it was suddenly super-obvious that as an author you should not make your characters do anything. You can root for them (and you should be rooting, either for or against), but that’s where your control should end. Let characters act and react naturally, regardless of what you want. See? I told you Kristin’s fantastically amazing.
Our paths did cross at the LA SCBWI and Kristin helped me again. When Jon Scieszka plopped down across from me at a cocktail party (Yes – THE John Scieszka), I started to hyperventilate. I mean seriously. Lucky for me, though, Selling Hope popped into my shaking brain.
When Hope feels overwhelmed at a fancy party, Buster Keaton’s mom tells her, “Act like you’ve seen it all before, honey.” (Page 166) So that was my silent mantra as I chit-chatted away with Jon Scieszka. And Marla Frazee. And Denise Fleming.
Please join me in celebrating Kristin’s newest novel – The 13th Sign – which will be available on January 8, 2013. Can’t wait!