The Power of One Writer
Back Yards, Ethiopia and Children's Books

Crawling out from under the bed now

I never intended to crawl under the bed and stay there.

Yes, it’s scary and hard and unnerving to take pieces of your innards and put them out for everyone to see.  But I’ve survived a lot of scary things in my life.

maji520Once, I watched my dad in a wild windstorm clinging to the grass roof of the first house we lived in when we moved to Maji.  He was trying to pin a tarp or something, and I thought he was going to lift up and sail into the valley below.  That was scary.

And mostly good things happened when my book popped into the world.

I liked the way the reviewer at Publisher’s Weekly called my new book, “An appealing mix of humor and substance.”

I liked the reviewer for School Library Journal, who said, “Anna’s safety tips on everything from rattlesnakes to clouds are sure to entertain readers….this is a sweet book with a lot of heart.”

But I especially liked the Kirkus starred review.  “Anna’s internal voice is pitch-perfect, and her pithy safety rules and ability to connect the dots between religion and life are often hilarious.”  I often find my writing hilarious.  Nothing feels better than someone else thinking so, too.  The reviewer wrote, “An amusing and richly rewarding tale that features a very likable, one-of-kind protagonist.”

The problem with reviews, though, is that lots of librarians have lost their jobs and lots of the ones who are left are stretched and pummeled and don’t have time to read reviews (and sometimes don’t have money to buy books).  So reviews don’t have the power they once did.  And I worried about whether my book would find its way into the hands of readers.

Then came an email from my editor that had a subject line called WAHOO.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/10/books/review/anna-was-here-by-jane-kurtz.html?_r=0

Wowee zowee.  DSC04796I feel the fairy dust sprinkling around me and I’m dancing with the lions.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee.

 

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