With two books underway in the ‘vehicle dreams’ series, there was only one thing left to do. Write another book, of course! During one of my many fun conversations with my agent, Jessica, we were tossing around thoughts for our option book title for the series. There are so many super-fun ideas to choose from, but we wanted one that demanded to be included next in the series. I mentioned a title idea to Jessica and she immediately cheered “Yes! DO THAT ONE!” so I knew it was ‘the one!’
Quickly I started thinking about what exactly would this vehicle do? What would be the end game? What would his dream be about? How can I use funny puns and terminology for this vehicle in the text?
Over the next few days, I drafted what I thought was a sure fire winner. Not! I shared this with my husband, some critique partners, and ‘The Mod Squad’ (the blue board moderators) who loved the idea, as well as the beginning, and the end but they didn’t love the middle. So . . . I decided to send it over to my super, savvy agent early on for her opinion and guess what, yep, she agreed with the others. The beginning and the end were great but the rest just didn’t measure up. Time to scrap the middle and get back to work.
About a week later, after quite a few tweaks and many back and forth brainstorming sessions with Jessica we were almost at the finish line when she sent me an email asking, “What happened to the ‘blank?’ Low and behold, I had cut out the ending that Jessica loved so much! ‘Oh no!’ Right? Note to self, not a good idea to cut something that your agent loves and that works so well in the storyline.
I replied back that it had been cut during the last revision. Then, I asked if she wanted me to add it back and that it’d be tricky to do in just one stanza. Her super sweet response, “Yes, Please. At least give it a try.”
My husband and I were actually pulling into one of our stops as I emailed Jessica back to let her know I would get to work on it asap. But in all honesty, I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I had to get a lot of information in those few short, rhyming lines. And as rhymers know, that is not an easy task to do.
Thinking it would be days before I could get that stanza completed, I got out of the bread truck empty handed! No phone, no pen, no paper, nothing! And bam! Halfway into the stop, the last stanza hit so hard and so fast out of nowhere that I had to chant it to myself over and over until I made it back out to the bread truck. As I approached the truck, Ricky, my husband, who was unloading the bread at the time starting talking to me and I raised one finger up and rushed toward the cab of the truck. Lucky for me he knows me so well that he knew that one finger held up meant I had a thought I just had to get down before it was gone. I opened the door, grabbed my phone, typed that last stanza in and hit send to Jessica. AND she loved it!! Score!
She told me as soon as I got home, get all the stanzas together (we had been doing some back and forth on various stanzas to get them just right) and get it over to her right away so she could see the entire story on one page.
I rushed home (safely, I promise!), typed it all up, sent it over to Jessica, who right away emailed me back that it was perfect. Double score!
She immediately sent it over to my editor, Julie Matysik, who emailed back that she was looking forward to reading it and would be in touch soon. Well . . . that soon happened soon and with an offer to purchase the third book in the series titled ding, ding, ding . . . FIRE TRUCK DREAMS! I am so excited! And I couldn’t have done it without my very talented agent who collaborated with me the entire time to get each word just perfect. Or without the help of my husband, my critique partners and ‘The Mod Squad’ for quickly pointing out what worked and didn’t work early on.
Check out the PW Children’s Bookshelf announcement!
Julie Matysik at Running Press Kids has bought world rights to Sharon Chriscoe‘s Fire Truck Dreams, to be illustrated by Dave Mottram, about a fire truck preparing for bed, nestling in for the night, then dreaming of a parade in his honor. Publication is planned for fall 2018; Jessica Sinsheimer at the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency represented the author and Anne Moore Armstrong at Bright USA represented the illustrator.
And the blurb of FIRE TRUCK DREAMS who will be joining the ‘vehicle dreams’ series in the fall of 2018:
After a day of protecting his town, a fire truck is drained and he prepares for bed. All quiet and safe, he stretches and yawns as he heads to the Bubbles-and-Suds for a shower, the Swishes-and-Swigs for a fill-up, and the Rescue-Readers Library for a bedtime story . . . soon his pressures release as he drifts to a sweet dream celebration, with a parade in his honor.