I remember it all. The rejections from agents that said, among other things:
"It's too short to be a novel."
"It's too sad."
"Poetry isn't my thing."
"I wouldn't know a good verse novel from a bad verse novel."
And then, an email from the wonderful woman who is now my agent of almost twelve years.
"I enjoyed it immensely."
“The verse works here – never getting in the way...”
“I would be the most enthusiastic of advocates.”
After many, many rejections, we found the perfect editor, who really got the book. He, along with many other fabulous people at Simon Pulse, helped turn my manuscript into this book.
More than any other book I've written, this one has brought me many, many heartfelt letters from readers.
Letters from reluctant readers who said, "I usually hate to read but I love this book."
Letters from kids who never finished an entire novel until this one.
Letters from parents of children with dyslexia who were so happy their kids found a book they could read and enjoy.
Letters from people who had lost someone and found comfort in the pages.
It went into a second printing only a month after it had been released.
It's now in its 11th printing with over 100,000 copies in print.
I call it "The little book that could."
If you have a few minutes to spare, you can watch the video I made to celebrate the book's release. I originally put it up on my blog at the time at livejournal, and then took it down at some point, maybe because I was embarrassed by it?? Well, I'm older now and have less you-know-whats to give. Anyway, while my book hasn't aged much at all, I can't say the same about myself. Ha!
Happy birthday, little book. I'm so happy you are here and that so many people have found hope and comfort and love in your pages.