Monday, April 19, 2021

Confessions of a Soon-to-be-Published MG Author

My debut novel in verse, EVERYWHERE BLUE, arrives on June 1, 2021, from Holiday House.

I'm very proud of this book, especially because it's taken me nearly 50 years to get here, and because I had to survive two ruptured brain aneurysms to do so.

But with less than six weeks left before my book launches, I have a confession to make.

I never want to read it again!

This is the one thing I never predicted. Before I had an agent or a book deal, I never imagined not wanting to read my own words ever again. 

It went through at least twelve drafts between 2015 and 2019, when I submitted it to Barbara Krasner. Barbara made me revise it yet again before she offered representation on Sept 24, 2019.

She sent it to ten editors, and one, Sally Morgridge at Holiday House, loved it and made an offer on October 22, 2019. 

Yes, you read that correctly! It really was that fast! (Although, since I've been writing for fifty years, it wasn't fast at all...)

Then I had one major revision to do for Sally. Which wasn't actually that major. She did want me to add more poems, mainly about Strum, but also about Maddie's best friend, Emma, and Eco Club. Altogether, I added around 3000 words.

A hint of something from EVERYWHERE BLUE.
This butterfly is hiding a secret inside its closed wings.

So that brought us up to about 14 drafts.

And still we weren't finished.

There were:

          Line edits.

          Copy edits.

          Page proofs.

That was three more times I had to read through my entire novel, with less and less time for each stage. I had three months to complete the revision (completing it just before the pandemic began in March 2020!), only ten days to read through the copy-editor's remarks, and about a week to look over page proofs.

Some of the other 21ders warned me this would happen.

You reach a point where you're sick of it. And then, by the time you're reading the page proofs and it's basically set in stone, you start to second-guess your own writing. Why did I use that word? Why not this word? 

Oh, I wanted to throw out whole sections and start all over again!

But I can't do that. It's finished. 

And this is what the butterfly looks like when its wings are open!
It's a blue morpho, and it features prominently in EVERYWHERE BLUE

I'll be taking a break from blogging for a while.  Please look for my interview on Jone Rush MacCulloch's blog on April 23rd. 

You can always find me on Twitter (@JoanneRFritz). 

Or you can visit my website and sign up for my occasional newsletter (in fact, it's so occasional it hasn't even started yet!). 

You can even preorder a signed copy from Children's Book World! 

Thank you for being here!


  1. Enjoy your well deserved break!

  2. It's good to know that it's normal to get tired of a book. It makes sense. Enjoy your debut!

  3. Yes, you're sick of it now. Give it a couple years. You'll fall back in love with it. But time and distance will have to pass before you read it again.

  4. I've gotten sick of my own work after reading it too much. Then I have to put it aside for a while. Be proud! And congratulations again :)


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