Zilpha Keatley Snyder was my very first muse. After I read The Changeling in the fifth grade, I was transformed. It felt like she wrote that book for me. She understood my freaky, depressive, glue-eater soul and made me think I wasn’t the only stringy haired odd ball in the world. Maybe there were other misfit kids somewhere out there beyond the playground of Middletown Elementary.
Ms. Snyder also inspired me to write; after reading more of her books I became obsessive about writing. If I could someday write a book half as brilliant as one of hers, I would live happily ever after.
I’m still trying.
Medusa’s Muse is opening a new branch of publishing for those kids who feel like misfit toys. The kids who ride the “short bus”; roll around in wheelchairs or use a white cane to travel; who have life threatening allergies; parents who argue all the time, or they just feel like no one listens. We’ve all felt like the outsider from time to time, but there are kids in the world who are outsiders because of an illness, a disability, severe shyness or a cultural difference.
I remember how empowering it felt to be ten and alone on the playground, reading one of Ms. Snyder’s books. Who cared the other kids teased me? My best friend was “Ivy” from The Changeling, a weird girl just like me.
Medusa’s Muse is now actively seeking submissions for this new branch of the press. If you’ve written a story a ten year old with a “difference” would love, send a query to firstname.lastname@example.org. Currently, we have one book in production with a launch date of Summer, 2013.
What books changed your life when you were a kid? Did you have an imaginary best friend from a favorite book? Who was your favorite writer? What do you recommend I read to learn more about publishing for the 10 to 12 year old market?