I’m feeling a little Olympic today, as yesterday it was announced that Leaving Kent State has won a 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Award Gold Medal in the Young Adult Historical Fiction category. Independent Publisher magazine runs the awards, which are “intended to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to celebrate children’s books and life-long reading.” Those are two goals that I can definitely support!
One thing that I have learned on my journey of being published is that getting a publisher to say “yes” is kind of like a marriage proposal. You ask, they say yes, and then the hard work begins. Just like a marriage, putting your book into the world takes a lot of dedication and hard work. It’s difficult to get one little book noticed the sea of thousands that are being published each year, many to large houses with actual budgets to spend money promoting their lists. When I see authors talk about their new book tour, my jaw drops a little at the idea of what it means to have a budget for that. Independent bookstores live on small margins and are not willing to take the risk on an unknown author, especially for something SO un-trendy as historical fiction. I’ve spent a lot of time just trying to get the word out that my little book even exists. So this recognition is very heartening to me. If you’ve read Leaving Kent State and have a moment, please leave me a review on Goodreads or any of the book selling sites (Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, your favorite bookseller, or Amazon). It’s a great way to spread the word, and it really helps small press authors to have reviews (and if you didn’t like it, that’s okay, too-just please let people know why so that they can decide if the reason(s) would be an issue for them or not).
So, thank you for being on this journey with me. Thank you to everyone who helped me write this book, because it could not have existed without the input and talents and knowledge of many, many wonderful people. Thanks to my publisher, Harvard Square Editions, for loving my story and for bringing to light an event and a time that was largely ignored in fiction so far. And thanks to every one of you who gives your valuable time to read it. I hope you like it.