During the week as I talked to people about WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME?, I realized a lot of the same comments and questions come up at each event. My current favorite, even though it makes me cringe a bit, is 'When is the next book coming out?' (All of you writers out there and anyone who's followed me for any length of time will understand the cringing part of this.) The answer to that question is: I don't know, although I hope soon.
For the rest of the questions, I thought I'd put together a Fun Facts sheet about my first book. It covers questions asked as well as some other little fun tidbits about the book. Ready? Here we go.
10 Fun Facts About WHO WILL DANCE WITH ME?
- This book was inspired by my son. When he was three, his dance teacher asked them all what they were going to be for Halloween that year. All the girls (ie - the rest of the class) all were going as princesses. When it was my son's turn, he proudly told them all he was going as a rhino, which drew some laughs. I went home, told my husband about the incident, and the next thing I knew the first draft was written.
- I still have the rhino mask that started it all. I should start bringing it with me to my events.
- Both my children appear in different ways in the book. My son appears not only as Rhino, but his name (Wesley) was inspiration for the town name - Wesalopolous, a nickname he had as a baby. My daughter, Bridget, appears as the second princess with her constant companion, Bunny.
- In the first draft, there were eleven princesses and their names all started with different letters of the alphabet (Abigail, Bridget, Cindy, etc.). I cut it down to seven princesses and changed all the names to start with 'B', with the exception of Grace.
- I met Linda, my illustrator, when we were both performers at a Renaissance faire. She is a professional children's book illustrator and gave me several of her books when she learned I was expecting my first child. A few years later when I picked up my own pen again, she was the first person I thought of for illustrations. She very quickly agreed to help me out when I asked her.
- Which brings me to the bubbles throughout the book. If you look at all the pages, and even on my bookmarks and marketing items, there are bubbles everywhere. This was Linda's idea. If you go to the last page, you'll understand why. (Not giving spoilers away here. ;-) )
- Linda also made sure a variety of princesses were represented in her illustrations. The only ones I gave input on were Bridget (because she was based on my daughter) and Grace's final appearance (again, spoilers. You'll have to read the book to find out why.)
- Rhino's first sketch had him in a t-shirt and tye-dyed vest. After some back and forth, we decided Rhino needed to be more formal. The colorful, playful tye-dye was regulated to his tuxedo vest and toned down a smidge.
- The book took roughly three years from first draft to publication.
- This book is self-published. (This has been the biggest surprise for most people.) I wanted to make sure my children were able to enjoy it before they outgrew the picture book age, so the decision came to publish it myself. I'm glad I did since Wesley is already past the stage, even though he'll humor me by listening to all my stories anyway. ;-)
There you have it, ten fun facts about my book. Have a question or comment I didn't address? Ask me in the comments! I'm always happy to chat.