I’ve read it took J. R. R. Tolkien about 17 years, from start to finish, to publish The Lord of The Rings. While Elsewhereville is no middle earth, just knowing it took one of the greatest writers that long to finish his book makes me feel a lot better about spending 14 years perfecting mine, Elsewhereville, my new portal fantasy children’s chapter book for ages 7-12.
It’s just that I realized Myrtle Hitchabocker , Elsewhereville’s protagonist, had more to say than the characters in my usual picture books.
Anyone who knows me personally will see that I tucked a little of myself into Myrtle. As a child I struggled with wanting to fit in. I was a head taller than most of my classmates and “chunky”. Back then Sears and Roebuck politely called it “Pretty Plus” (as if we were pretty and then some).
There were other things that separated me from others including the fact that I was a day dreamer, constantly imagining outlandish escapades or just downright silly stuff.
But I learned, as Myrtle does in the book, that the things that make us different, quirky or odd are often the things that make us special. They set us apart. And those things can be celebrated, as the inhabitants of Elsewhereville do each day with their “Everyday Parade”.
If it wasn’t for my constant day dreaming I don’t think I’d be the person I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be a children’s book writer.
So let’s teach our children to celebrate their differences and honor the “other”. We really are all beautiful.
Elsewhereville releases on March 15th.
If you are interested in preordering an author-and-illustrator-signed copy of Elsewhereville please contact me at Melaniejvogel@yahoo.com to set up arrangements.
To check out and/or shop for my other children’s books, please visit my Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/melaniejvogel.author.