by Danielle Dufayet
Much to a writer’s dismay, we sometimes have to put a manuscript aside. It may be because it’s not selling, it may be because it’s just not the best it can be yet and needs more revision; or it may be that there are other, more established authors, who have similar books already in the publishing queue whose themes are a bit too similar to yours.
Such was the case with my third picture book, Waiting Together.
By Danielle Dufayet
Illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
Published by Albert Whitman, 2020
Waiting is not easy and there are so many kinds of waits, but waiting doesn’t have to be so hard…especially if you’re waiting with a friend
Waiting Together was the manuscript that landed my agent, the wonderful Karen Grencik. It had taken me about 2 years to write it. The original version had a ton of potential for illustrations. It was a humorous -the dead pan kind, but it had no arc. Karen shopped it around to various publishers, but no sale. I revised it and revised it, still no contract. Then the terrible news came. In 2015, Karen told me that two well established authors had sold manuscripts already to two different publishers with books that were similar in theme to mine. Kevin Henkes’s, Waiting and Antonette Portis’s, Wait. She advised I put the manuscript away for a few years.
About 4 years later I woke up one morning and knew it was time to bring it back to life. I started a new revision. My goal was to make it even more succinct, add onomatopoeia and rhyme wherever I could to make it more lyrical. I made sure I had a strong arc – sunrise to sunset – and I worked on a little surprise twist at the end. My goal was to show waiting through action – and it worked!
I made the rounds a few times to my critique groups until I felt it was the absolute best it could be then I resubmitted it to Karen. Fortunately, she loved it and submitted it right away and within about 2 weeks I got an offer from Albert Whitman!
When Waiting Together was finally published, it was completely different from the original manuscript. I believed in my book, and I was determined to not give up on it. I felt like I had an original idea worth fighting for and it paid off. Bringing an old manuscript back to life and seeing it published is an absolute dream come true and absolutely worth the time and effort and patience.
Ms. Dufayet’s first two picture books, You are Your Strong and Fantastic You!, have been sold to Magination Press. You Are Your Strong won the 2020 Teacher's Choice Award. Her third picture book, Waiting Together, was published by Albert Whitman. Her fourth book, Blank, will be released in 2022 byo Capstone Publishers. She holds a B.A. in English Literature/Creative Writing and a M.S. in Psychology. Her work has been published in Good Housekeeping, Modern Maturity and Well Being Journal. She is an active member of the SCBWI and teaches English and Self-Empowerment classes to kids, K-12.
Next book: Benford Draws a Blank, Capstone Publishing, January 2023.
We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome new bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with editor/art director, & CBA Director Mira Reisberg PhD who is handing her Mondays over to awesome former now traditionally pubbed students to widen their audience.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays will feature Libyan American author Koloud Tarapolsi sharing wonderful diverse books.