Posted by: Kathy Temean | August 3, 2017

Book Giveaway – Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy by Alayne Kay Christian

Book Signing: Gayle Aanensen signing: “Summer of the Suffragists.”
Saturday, August 5th, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Book Towne Bookstore located at 171 Main Street, Manasquan, NJ

Author Alayne Kay Christian has agreed to give away a copy of her first chapter book SIENNA THE COWGIRL FAIRY. If you would like to win a copy, please leave a comment, reblog, tweet, or talk about SIENNA THE COWGIRL FAIRY 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 the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Check back to discover the winner.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Sienna is not your normal cowgirl, for she’s half-human and half-fairy. But Sienna wants nothing to do with fairies. When her ma sends her to fairy camp instead of cowgirl camp, she ain’t none too happy. Not only must she deal with cliquish fairies who reject her spunky spirit and outspoken ways, she must also noodle out how to help Mother Nature end the Texas drought.

BOOK’S JOURNEY:

March 2012 – The idea came from a conversation with my granddaughter. We talked about what we would do if we could fly. She said she’d fly to the ceiling fan and take a ride. It didn’t take long before I wrote the first outline of a picture book with the working title The Girl Who Could Fly.

July 2012 – During an advanced course at The Institute of Children’s Literature, the assignment was to present three book proposals. The Girl Who Could Fly was now . . .

THE GIRL WHO SAVED TEXAS

Book Proposal for Third Short Story – Fiction for ages 4-8

For her seventh birthday, Sienna wishes she could be a fairy like her mother, grandmother and great granny.

Fairy Great Granny grants Sienna a wish for one fairy power. Sienna wishes to fly. Granny gives her the ability to fly, but without wings. She must earn her wings (at this time, she’ll become an official fairy with all magical fairy powers.)

Sienna tries several ways to earn her wings. None of her attempts work. But in the process, she discovers that Texas is suffering from a terrible drought and sets out to find a way to make it rain.

There’s more to the proposal, but I think this gives an idea of the direction I originally took. The idea of earning wings did not stick, but trying to make it rain did.

July 2012 – My instructor, Nancy Coffelt, provided feedback on the proposal.

I looked at your cute and fun idea, “The Girl Who Saved Texas”. You have so many opportunities for terrific illustrations. Alayne, I had some “big picture” thoughts about this proposal. First, I love the idea of a girl saving a town (and I’d keep it to a town) from drought. That’s a great “hook”. But I’m just not sold on the fairy part—I’m sorry. Instead I’d love to see you “Texas” her up a bit—make this a tall tale, Texas style. A town is parched—the horses too dry to neigh and the cows producing nuthin but powdered milk. Even the Gila monsters are begging for sodas at the saloon. Here comes Sienna to the rescue. She could rope clouds like a rodeo queen! Alayne, I know these are just silly ideas and you’ve been working so hard on this. But I’d love to see you stretch here as far as the Texas angle. And if she’s a fairy after all, make her a cowgirl fairy—a rootin, tootin one. Do you see what I mean?

October 2012 – I did exactly what Nancy suggested and submitted the picture book manuscript a couple assignments later. Nancy thought the manuscript was near perfect. She only suggested a few minor changes.

Following are the first lines to that picture book attempt.

Grayson County, Texas was sufferin’ the worst drought folks had seen in a coon’s age. It was so hot and dry that cows gave powdered milk. Jackrabbits moved slower than a three-legged turtle. And chickens laid hardboiled eggs.

All but two words in those first lines have remained the first lines through the whole journey.

July 2013 – My instructor’s reaction to the manuscript gave my confidence a big boost, and I found the courage to submit the manuscript for the first pages readings at the North Texas SCBWI conference. Not only was my manuscript picked, but Lin Oliver read it on stage! She smiled through the whole reading. But then, she suggested that perhaps the voice was more suited for a chapter book.

October 2013 – Since the picture book had received favorable reactions, I decided to test it out before considering a chapter book. I submitted it to several agents. Three agents contacted me! One wanted to keep it as a picture book. One agreed that it might be better suited for a chapter book. One was too slow to respond after the other two made offers of representation. My gut told me the chapter book was the way to go, so I went with the agent who agreed. Unfortunately, she didn’t turn out to be the agent for me and we parted ways a year later.

March 2014 – Feeling that the story was still missing something, I took The Chapter Book Alchemist course co-taught by Hillary Homzie and Mira Reisberg through The Children’s Book Academy.

Also in March 2014, I hit the jackpot when I won Emma Walton Hamilton’s course Just Write for Middle Grade through Julie Hedlund’s 12 X 12. My chapter-book-writing mind was expanded tremendously from this fantastic course. And Sienna was well on her way.

March 2015 – I got the courage to submit to the SCBWI Work in Progress Grant. No luck.

Also in March, I submitted it to some agents and editors from the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York. No luck.

I submitted to six more agents that year. No luck.

May 2016 – I loved Sienna, and I really believed she was a winner. Still, I let the rejections knock me down for a while. But then came the Andrea Brown Big Sur in Cape Cod Workshop. One of Andrea Brown’s senior agents took a liking to Sienna and requested a full manuscript. My confidence was restored. Actually, it soared!

June 2016 – I sent the manuscript to the agent.

August 2016 – I nudged the agent. My heart broke when I received a form rejection. I was so upset by this that I knew if I didn’t get right back on the horse and submit, I would give up altogether. So, I got back on the horse.

September 2016 – Callie Metler-Smith from Clear Fork Publishing saw in Sienna what I see in her. YEEHAW! She made me an offer. I guess it took a Texas publisher to appreciate this spunky character. Because Clear Fork was a small publisher, I had concerns and drug my feet for a while.

October 2016 – After lots of questions, research and contract edits, I signed a series contract with Clear Fork Publishing.

Brian Martin, the illustrator, is a dream to work with. I love how he brought Sienna and friends to life with his wonderful art. I look forward to working with him on the next Sienna books.

I’m happier than a coyote in a henhouse to see Sienna finally go out into the world where children and adults can enjoy her personality and stories.

ALAYNE’S BIO:

Alayne Kay Christian is an award-winning author. Her picture book “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa” won the Mom’s Choice Awards gold medal and IPPY awards silver. Her chapter book series “Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy” began this year with “Sienna the Cowgirl Fairy: Trying to Make it Rain.” The next book in the series “Aunt Rose’s Flower Girl” will be released in spring 2018. Also watch for her next picture book “Mischievous Maverick” in spring 2018. Alayne is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has studied picture book and chapter book writing under a number of published authors. Alayne teaches a picture book writing course Art of Arc: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript (deepen your understanding of picture books written with a classic arc).

For activities to do with your long-distance grandchildren visit http://www.butterflykissesgrandparents.com/Look-Inside.html

To learn more about Alayne and her course visit http://www.alaynekaychristian.com/

Her blog http://alaynekaychristian.wordpress.com/

BRIAN MARTIN ILLUSTRATOR BIO:

Brian is an Author/Illustrator from Richmond, Virginia. A graduate from the Savannah College of Art and Design, Brian started his career as an Internationally Syndicated Cartoonist. Though he was passionate about his work with his comic-strip “Creek”, continuing the rigors of meeting daily deadlines became a labor of love. Brian eventually channeled his love of story telling with his illustrations to children’s picture books. To date, Brian has illustrated over 20 published Children’s Books. Being a Children’s Book illustrator has been an amazing experience so far for Brian and he is constantly looking for opportunities to bring stories to life for both children and parents to enjoy. When Brian isn’t busy making art, he enjoys using his free time to play with his 4 kids.

Thank you Alayne for sharing your book and journey with us and offering to giveaway a copy to some lucky winner. Your book looks (good job Brian) and sounds perfect. Wishing you the best of luck with it.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. Thank you for taking me along on the journey, Alayne Kay! Wishing you all the best.

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    • You are very welcome, Lynne Marie. It was fun to take a step back in time and to realize that most nothing happens overnight in the writing/publishing world.

      Like

  2. Your book sounds lively! Your journey was encouraging, thank you for sharing.

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    • Yay! Any time I can encourage a fellow writer, I am happy. Thank you for letting me know Carleen.

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  3. I really enjoyed reading about Sienna’s journey to publication. It is a great story of not giving up and having faith. Congratulations on your perserverence. I can’t wait to read this book!

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    • Thank you, Annina. Perseverance and faith have definitely been a must for Sienna’s journey.

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  4. Congratulations So excited for you! And what a journey!! Can’t wait to read about this delightful cowgirl fairy!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your publication journey, Alayne. Sienna looks enchanting – can’t wait to read this lovely book.

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    • Thank you, Tracey. I’m excited to have you read it. I want the world to love Sienna the way I do 😉

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  6. Yee, haw, for you, Alayne! Thank you for sharing the ups and downs to a successful publication. I look forward to reading about Sienna, a buckaroo girl.

    I reblogged, tweeted, and pinned this post about SIENNA THE COWGIRL FAIRY on Pinterest. Thank you for the outstanding posts that you share.
    ~Suzy Leopold

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much Suzy. I’m just learning about Pinterest. I appreciate you sharing there.

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  7. I loved reading the journey that Sienna has traveled. It’s wonderful to see how an idea becomes a book. I can’t wait to bring Sienna home to west Texas!

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    • She will be right at home in west Texas, Julie. I’m so clad you enjoyed learning about Sienna’s journey. Thank you for taking time to stop by and comment.

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  8. Not an easy journey, but I love how you kept doing your job and got there in the end. Congratulations!

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  9. I loved hearing about Alayne’s book journey. Her persistence is very inspiring.

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    • Ha! Chris, the hubs would say I’m like a dog on a sock 😉 Thanks for popping in and commenting.

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  10. Congrats, Alayne!!!! This is exciting!!!!!

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  11. What an incredible Journey Alayne!! I’m rootin’ for ya all! Congrats! Kelly

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  12. Alayne, your journey with Sienna is a marvelous tale in itself. Thanks for sharing step by step how this tale grew up. Can’t witnto get this book for my own shelf of treasures.

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    • Oh wow, Damon. That’s first time Sienna has been called a treasure. I like it! I am honored that you plan to have her on your shelf. Thank you.

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  13. Wonderful, Alayne!

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  14. Thank you, Kathy Temean for the opportunity to share Sienna’s journey on your wonderful blog!

    Like

  15. Love seeing how the story changed over time! Congratulations!

    Like

  16. Aww what a cute process. I would love to try and win this adorable book!

    Like


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