Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sometimes it takes a while

When I first started writing, I was looking for a middle grader to read my work- in- progress. My brother volunteered his friend's 12-year-old son, Mark. Perfect. I sent Mark my story and in no time, I got a response. It was a thoughtful, smart, insightful, detailed letter -- I learned a lot from it.
Here he is, my first middle grade reader, standing near my debut novel in an upstate New York bookstore. You might notice he's not exactly a kid anymore. He's a young man who recently graduated from college. (Congrats Mark!) That wip that he read way back when is locked in a drawer someplace, but Mark read the new one and sent me another letter. (Thanks Mark!)
Getting published took a while. A lot of years. A lot of stories.
BTW, while Mark's appearance has changed significantly over the past decade, I can assure you that I look exactly the same as I did ten years ago. Exactly.


MG Higgins said...

It's writing fiction that keeps us young--we're good at making up nonsense.

It's inspiring to me that you've been working at this business for a while, because your writing in NAIMU&OLMMMTM is effortless. I just finished it yesterday and count me as a fan. Tamara is a character who will stay with me a long time. I had a Kebsie Grobser in my life and Tamara's sense of loss reminds me of my own.

Sliding on the Edge said...

Of course I'm a fan and an admirer of you and all people who stick with something as challenging as 1)writing a book 2)selling and publishing it 3)promoting it.

It seems writers who succeed do almost everything except make the paper and crank the presses. Quite a talented group.

nanmarino said...

MG, I'm so glad you liked Tamara. Thank you for reading my story.
SOTE, but thing thing is that we are not alone. We have great people working with us and supporting us every step of the way.

Catherine J Gardner said...

It's weird, I look exactly the same as I did ten years ago too and yet the little ones are now big ones.

Anonymous said...

It is fortunate, for us! that you persevered. Some great things just can't be rushed and take time to develop.
Oh and that unplanned picture was taken with a cell phone in an upstate NY bookstore. (Thanks Mark!)

Mark said...

Three things...
First of all, I agree with everything vtrebore said. Secondly, I am honored that I was given the opportunity to read your work at its early stage, Nan. Rest assured that I would always jump at the opportunity to do it again in the future. And third, that is a terrible picture of me! It wasn't my fault, though. Somebody said something funny and I couldn't stop laughing.

nanmarino said...

Thanks for being my first middle grade reader, Mark. And it's a great picture. But I know what you mean about people saying something funny. Vtrebore has been known to say things that make people laugh when they're trying to be serious.
Catherine, maybe MG is right. It's writing that keeps us young.