Today is the day my debut picture book How the Finch Got His Colors is released!
I’ve waited two years for this moment and it’s finally here! It’s been an amazing journey and I’ve learned so many things about publishing and about myself along the way. My blog post today will focus on how Finch was created….
It all started in April of 2016. I was teaching First Grade (had been bumped up from teaching Kindergarten) and needed to teach a unit of study on Folktales. I wanted to expose my students to some folktales that they might never have heard before. As I was researching titles, I discovered that there weren’t a lot of folktales in picture book form that were written for the younger children. Many were found in anthologies that are no longer used in classrooms and I really wanted standalone folktale picture books.
After pulling what I could from libraries, I decided that I was going to try my hand at creating one. I realized there was a gap in the market and since folktales are part of Common Core, I felt that it might be my opportunity to get something out in the world.
My aunt was a former 1st grade teacher and left me a wonderful collection of old books and I knew that some of them contained folktales. I knew if I found one that resonated with me I would be able to revive it and do a retelling of it. As I flipped through one, I came across a paragraph about a finch that included a moral of patience. It wasn’t a story per say but it had enough to it to create a story from. That is how Finch was born.
It took two months from the time I submitted Finch for it to go under contract. I submitted Finch to a select few houses that accepted unsolicited manuscripts. When I signed with Familius that June I had 4 offers on it. I can’t say enough great things about my experience. The entire Familius family has supported me every step of the way. I can only hope that I have a chance to work with them again in the future.
Thanks for letting me share a little bit about Finch. You can purchase it where books are sold… Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target, Walmart to name a few.
Thank you for supporting me. Please be sure to reach out to me at annemarierileyguertin.com. I’d love to hear from you.