Posted by: Kathy Temean | November 8, 2022

Book Giveaway: MENDING THE MOON by Emma Pearl

Emma Pearl’s debut picture book,MENDING THE MOON, illustrated by Sara Ugolotti and published by Page Street Kids came out on November 1st. PSK has agreed to send a copy to the one lucky winner in the US.

Just leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Let me know other things you did to share the good news, so I can put the right amount of tickets in my basket for you. Sharing on Facebook, Twitter or reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. So, thanks for helping Emma and Sara.

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. If you want to make sure you don’t miss seeing that you won, please click “Notify Me of Follow-Up Comments by Email” box. I will leave a comment in reply if you win the book. Thanks!

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

One fateful night, the moon shines so big and so bright that it is too heavy to hold itself up in the sky. When it tumbles down and breaks into many glimmering pieces, Luna sees the whole thing. Her grandfather Poppa warns that without the moon in the sky, the oceans will stop moving and the earth will start to wobble. Luna and Poppa must mend it, but they may not be able to do it all on their own.

The mountain is alive with creatures big and small whose watchful eyes also saw the moon fall. Together, can they find all the shards, stick them together, and get the moon safely back into the sky?

In this enchanting tale with a timeless, folklore feel, a girl, her grandfather, and all the animals of the mountain hold the power to set the world right and forever leave their mark on the moon.

BOOK JOURNEY

I have always loved reading and writing. Something about the magic of immersing yourself in a brand new world, whether it’s of your own creation or somebody else’s, never fails to get me tingling with excitement. It’s the anticipation of what might happen, all those possibilities. Stories are the ultimate human experience, allowing us to live through all kinds of extraordinary events and emotions that may or may not happen in our real lives. They allow us to learn, to believe in magic and to imagine.

I think I was three or four years old when I wrote my first story, a fully illustrated tale about a kind frog who befriended a lonely tree. I never really stopped after that. I’ve written countless stories, plenty of poetry and even a novel in my 20s. But it wasn’t until I had children of my own that I began to think about writing for young people, and it wasn’t until they had both started school that I had the time or the brain capacity to start getting serious about it. So in 2017 at the grand old age of 44, I set about learning how to write properly.

There’s such a wealth of information and resources available online for aspiring writers, and I quickly became immersed in the writing community. I was constantly amazed by the kindness and generosity of other writers – so many people at all levels of experience willing to give their time and knowledge freely to anyone who needed it. And I definitely needed it! I could write well, but I realized how little I knew about plot structure, narrative arcs, conflicts, tension, stakes and a million other things.

I started off by writing a novel (lower YA), which was a Big Learning Curve. That novel will never see the light of day, but it taught me a lot. It was also such a huge and daunting undertaking that I often felt overwhelmed, and in those moments I switched out of the novel space to write picture books instead. It was a relief, a release and a kind of therapy. It felt fun and lightweight and easy in comparison to the mountainous task of novel writing. But I was only dabbling. I didn’t pay much attention to learning the craft of picture book writing, which is a lot more complex and difficult than I realized then.

At some point in that first year of learning, I was in picture book mode and thinking of silly questions to spark an idea for a story. What if… potatoes were the only food?…mice ruled the world?… It was a slow day and there were many more fruitless, pointless, useless questions.

And then – What if the moon fell out of the sky? Bingo! From that question, out tumbled four whole stories about Luna – a feisty, kind, brave little girl with a grandfather who guided and supported, allowed her to find answers but never took over. Together, they solved all kinds of natural mysteries and problems, helping to put the world back to how it should be.

I knew instantly that the world I was creating filled me with excitement and wonder, but I never dreamed I would even share these stories with anyone else, let alone that Mending the Moon would end up being my publishing debut.

I wrote the four stories over a couple of days in 2017 and then forgot about them. I finished the first novel and wrote a second – this time a middle grade fantasy adventure. Then I wrote a third – a YA climate fiction/magical realism story. I also wrote more picture book texts and learnt a little more about how to do that properly. I began to enter online pitch contests with my PBs, not because I ever expected anything to come from them but because I enjoyed it and it was a great way to connect with other writers.

In 2020 I applied for the WriteMentor summer program with my MG novel and was surprised and delighted to be accepted for a 4-month mentorship with UK author Lu Hersey. It was a wonderful experience and an enormous boost to my confidence as well as my craft. In the final agent showcase I received six requests from agents. I was so excited! This is it, I thought. It’s happening. But… I was wrong. Although I received plenty of positive feedback, none of the agents offered representation and all agreed the novel just wasn’t quite good enough. I plunged from excitement to huge disappointment.

In October that year I entered #PBPitch with several picture books. Again, I did it for the interaction. I didn’t truly believe that anyone got agent likes from those things. And again I was wrong. I didn’t get an agent like but I got something even better – an editor like! Kayla Tostevin from Page Street Kids had seen my pitch and liked it. I could hardly believe it.

I sent her my manuscript, which in hindsight was still in need of some serious revising, and a week later she replied, saying she had some feedback and would love to see a revised version. We went backwards and forwards a few times. Revisions were hard, but Kayla’s vision was superb and I knew I was making the story stronger with her guidance. She had a quiet confidence that we could get it to a point where it could make it through acquisitions, but even if we didn’t manage to, the manuscript would be in great shape to submit elsewhere.

And then, just before Christmas, I received the official offer of publication. What a perfect way to finish a year that had otherwise been fairly horrendous on a global scale.

It’s a long path from contract to publication, but the whole process has been an absolute delight and I’m thrilled with how the book has turned out. Sara Ugolotti’s illustrations are out of this world and beyond anything I could have imagined. And best of all, one of the other Luna and Poppa stories, Saving the Sun, has also been contracted and will be out next Fall. It’s a dream come true.

EMMA’S BIO:

Emma grew up in a world of books. Her great uncle Roald Dahl was probably the inspiration that started her writing as soon as she was big enough to hold a pencil. She wrote a lot of poetry, storied and a middle grade novel in her late teens, but five years ago when she was almost fifty, she decided to buckle down, find and agent, and get published.

Mending the Moon was discovered by Page Street Kids during a Twitter pitch event that Emma participated in and lead to signing a contract with them and signing with agent Sera Rivers at Speilburg Literary Agency.

Emma’s second book is coming out later in 2023.

SARA’S BIO:

Sara Ugolotti was born in a small town in Italy. In 2012, she obtained a degree in Architecture from the University of Parma, and in 2015, she earned a degree in Illustration from the International School of Comics in Reggio Emilia.

She then specialized in children’s books illustration and she works now as a freelance illustrator for clients worldwide.

She loves art, nature and animals, especially dogs and lives in Italy with her boyfriend and their frenchie Murphy.

Thank you, Emma for sharing your book and joureny with us. I love the folklore feel of this timeless enchanting legend of a girl, her grandfather, and assortment of forest creatures how they must use their creativity to right the world and put the moon back together. A Nice reminder that somethings are too big to be done alone and there is power in working together. Sara did a wonderful job creating the illustrations. They are perfect for telling this story. Good luck with the book.

Talk tomorrow,

Kathy


Responses

  1. 👏🏻🥳Congratulations Emma and Sara🥳👏🏻

    Like

  2. What a great story! It gives hope to those of us still waiting!

    Like

  3. This sounds adorable! I love that it’s a girl and her grandfather.

    Like

  4. Congrats to both Emma and Sara. This book looks perfectly enchanting. Thanks for the post. I subscribe to your blog by email.

    Like

  5. Aw it looks beautiful!
    Retweeted/subscribe.

    Like

  6. The title has a beautiful sound to it. I’m thinking the text and illustrations will be equally lovely. Congratulations!

    Like

  7. Beautiful book, lovely story! I love moon stories, and would love to share this with children!

    Like

  8. What a magical looking story–I love the aspect of working together! The illustrations literally glow! What a cover! Congrats to you both!

    Like

  9. I love the message of working together in this creative and beautiful book. I enjoyed reading about how this author found an editor who believed in her story and both worked hard to revise and strengthen the manuscript. I’m an email subscriber and shared on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and tumblr.

    Like

  10. Congratulations, Emma! It’s so awesome to see hard work pay off. Your book looks amazing! Sara did such a wonderful job with the illustrations.

    Like

  11. This looks magical. I especially love the caterpillar illustration. (Kathy, I subscribe to this blog.)

    Like

  12. Looks like a lovely book, what beautiful illustrations! Shared on twitter, facebook and pinterest. Subscribed daily to your blog!

    Like


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