Like my first novel, A Crooked Kind of Perfect, Hound Dog True began as a picture book. It started with the characters: shy Mattie, gregarious Uncle Potluck, a Mama who seemed not to understand her daughter entirely. The moon was there from the beginning, too. But not much else.
Over the next few weeks, I thought I'd talk a little bit about the evolution of Hound Dog True, from picture book to published novel. It seems like the best place to start is with that picture book. Want to see it?
Now remember, this is an early draft, okay? Okay. Here it is: Promising the Moon Early Draft
Seasoned picture book writers are guffawing right now. Yes, the manuscript feels long. The character is a little old for most modern picture books. It doesn't have that bouncy picture book oomph. It is what many would call "a mood piece". (For the unseasoned: mood piece=kiss of death.)
I sent a later draft out to a few editors and got supportive feedback. They liked the characters. They liked the writing. One or two wondered about the back story and suggested there might be more there.
We'll talk more about "more there" next time. Meanwhile, if you've got any questions about this process or issues you'd like to address, leave them in the comments section. Ready? Let's discuss.