BOOK GIVEAWAY WINNER: Jama Rattigan
Please send your address.
Author Joyce Hostetter has agreed to give one lucky winner a signed copy of her new book AIM, published by Calkins Creek Books, a Highlights Company is coming out on October 4th.
Joyce was nice enough to send me a copy of her book and I was very impressed. AIM is an extremely well-written, interesting story. I felt like I was living with the character in the early nineteen forties, but it is the voice that really makes this book shine. If you enjoy middle grade historical fiction, you will definitely be delighted reading AIM.
All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you did to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back on October 3rd to discover the winner.
Rather than summarize the story- because that’s available at other online sites, I’ll share the prologue.
It was Pop, who taught me to shoot.
He showed me how to aim and
hold that gun real steady.
But when it came to life
aiming wasn’t so easy for him.
Seemed like he mostly stumbled around
looking for something to make him happy.
Maybe I can see why,
after getting stuck with Granddaddy
and hearing the stories of how
back during The Great War
he turned my father into his own personal enemy.
Pop was just a boy, then.
The way I figure it,
what I learned from the two of them
and from my own dumb mistakes
is enough to fill a book.
And so, Junior Bledsoe proceeds to tell a story of a nation moving into war and of family dysfunction and the community of neighbors who help him through the most confusing year of his life.
AIM – A Historical Novel’s Journey to Publication
Like every writer I’ve had my share of rejections. In fact my latest book grew out of a phone call that involved a “no, thank you” to a manuscript I’d submitted.
Maybe my editor, Carolyn Yoder, was tired of saying no to me. Or perhaps the editorial committee realized I needed an assignment to set me in the right direction. At any rate, they gave me something to aim for. The committee suggested I submit a proposal for a prequel to my books BLUE and COMFORT. The marketing director envisioned an A book so we’d have A, B, C.
The titles, BLUE and COMFORT coming in alphabetical order, as they did, were purely random. I’d never considered a prequel and I certainly wouldn’t have thought of choosing the title’s initial letter before knowing my story.
However, after spending nearly eight years on books that hadn’t found a publishing home, I decided if my publisher was asking for a book starting with the letter A, I would write it.
I had no idea what the title would be but I knew immediately who the story would be about—Junior Bledsoe, neighbor to protagonist Ann Fay from BLUE and COMFORT. Junior is one of my favorite characters and my readers seem to be fond of him also.
So, working from a line in Blue in which Ann Fay, says of Junior, ”He’s the man of his house too, ever since his daddy’s heart gave out a few years ago”, I began to imagine a story. I pondered the health problems Junior’s father would have had and why. And I considered Junior’s relationship with his father. I honestly had no idea what Junior’s pop had been like. I’m not one of those writers who knows the back stories of all her characters. I discover a lot of things as I write.
So I began to write a few chapters, hoping to see if a story would evolve. Then, just when I was getting the lay of my story’s landscape, my editor sent an email saying she wanted to take a proposal to committee in two weeks. And oh, wow! Suddenly there was no lollygagging around with discovering plot. I took what had evolved so far and did some serious outlining. I had a brainstorming session with an author friend, Carol Baldwin. (I like to blame Carol for Junior’s slip into illegal behavior.)
I wrote an outline and a synopsis and submitted those with five chapters.
And wouldn’t you know, after eight years of wandering around in my own personal writing wilderness, I received another email from Carolyn Yoder. The committee loved my proposal and a contract offer was forthcoming.
That was late June of 2015 and I asked if the prequel could publish in 2016 – the year of BLUE’s tenth anniversary. I proceeded to write. Fast!
By mid-September I submitted a complete manuscript and after two rounds of edits from Carolyn, AIM moved into production.
Several times along the way, I’d opened a dictionary and perused the A words for title possibilities. But of course, I mostly listened to the story. Aim emerged as the obvious choice.
Here’s Joyce’s BIO:
Joyce Moyer Hostetter lives right where many of her characters do –in rural North Carolina. She’s always on the lookout—hoping to bump into them. In the absence of a time machine that would take her to the 1940’s she immerses herself in research to discover what their world was like. Her book, BLUE won the International Reading Association Award, The NC Juvenile Literature Award, and Parent’s Choice Silver Honor. It is used widely in North Carolina schools. AIM is a prequel to BLUE. COMFORT is a sequel.
HEALING WATER, set in Hawaii’s leprosy settlement is available via E-book.
Thank you Joyce for sharing your journey with us and offering a book to one lucky winner.