I've been so busy that I haven't posted in a while, and this is why. My new novel, Jacqueline, a middle grade historical, has just been published by Anaiah Press's "Adventures" imprint. It's based on an experience my dad (a 98-year-old WWII veteran) had while stationed in Rennes, France, shortly after D-Day. The tale of the little French girl he befriended was the only war story he was willing to share, and it became part of our family lore.
After I wrote my first book, my dad started "suggesting" that I write his story. I'd patiently explain that, while we all loved the tale, there wasn't enough material for a book nor an audience for it outside our family circle. This, however, didn't deter him, and the "suggestions" continued.
It was a chance meeting with a stranger that changed things. I was at my oldest son's wedding when one of the guests pulled me aside. "Your dad has been telling me the most interesting story," he said. " He tells me you're a writer. You've got to write a book about it." I started to explain why it couldn't be done when he interrupted me. "I've got a 6th grade daughter who knows nothing about WWII. She'd love to read this story, and it would teach her history." That was my "Eureka" moment. I couldn't believe it hadn't occurred to me to write this as a middle grade novel. I'd spent years teaching middle school reading, for heaven's sake! Once I looked at the story from that perspective, it just seemed to write itself. Eighteen months later, I was fortunate enough to get a contract from Anaiah Press, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Working with Anaiah has been a sheer joy; their enthusiasm about the book was contagious. (The editor told me Jacqueline reminded her of The Book Thief !) The cover artist was even able to incorporate an old photo of my dad and Jacqueline. I couldn't be happier with the final product, and I have to admit that one of the proudest moments of my life is finally being able to put this book in my dad's hands.
So here's the link to the Amazon page if you'd like to take a look: http://www.amazon.com/Jacqueline-Jackie-Minniti/dp/0996329080/ref=sr_1_1_twi_2_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1437832848&sr=1-1&keywords=jacqueline+by+jackie+minniti
If you do read the book, I'd really appreciate it if you'd post a review. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
I'll be back to posting another Fabulous Florida Writer in August.