Sunday, September 22, 2013

So You Write for Children Too? Guest Post by Amanda Flower/Isabella Alan

So You Write for Children Too?
By Amanda Flower

When I tell people that I have a children’s mystery releasing this month, many are excited, but some are also surprised. “You write for children too?” is a common question. What many don’t know is I have been trying to be published in children’s fiction for years. I wrote the very first draft of Andi Unexpected in 2005. That’s right, eight years ago. I had this novel completed five years before my debut novel, Maid of Murder, was published. I tried over and over again to have Andi published, but it was rejected so many times, I stopped counting. Eventually, I set it aside and concentrated on my other fiction love, cozy mysteries. Maid of Murder was bought, finaled for an Agatha, and the rest is history. All-the-while there was this children’s book I loved so dearly waiting on my hard drive, and I kept working on it even as my writing career began to take off and knowing that I was being branded as a cozy author. Part of me couldn’t let Andi go.

Adult fiction is a tough market to break into. Children’s fiction is twice as hard. There are a few reasons for that, but the biggest is the story has to engage the child from the get-go. Because children have less patience than most adults, if a children’s book doesn’t grab the child, he or she won’t give it fifty pages or a chapter or two. The child will move onto something new and more interesting. And why shouldn’t they? That’s what’s so refreshing about children; they don’t pretend to like something. They don’t like it, they tell you. My niece certainly lets me know when she’s not into something.

However, it is no easy task to write for such a discerning group, and I think that’s the biggest reason Andi didn’t sell right away is I needed to be a better writer. The only way I could get better was through the experience of writing other novels, being critiqued, going through the editorial process with those books, and the passage of time.

The other pieces that had to fall into place for Andi were my agent and editor. They are the ones who fell in love with Andi too and could see her on bookshelves. I will always be grateful to them for making this happen. To have written a novel that was eight years in the making, now to be read by children across the country is a dream come true.


It’s SUPER SEPTEMBER! Amanda Flower (also writing as Isabella Alan) has three novels releasing in September 2013. To celebrate, she is giving away an authentic Amish Quilt hand-stitched by Amish in Holmes County, Ohio.

Enter to Win an Authentic Amish Quilt from author Amanda Flower! Click here to Enter!

Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Goodreads Pinterest
Follow Amanda’s alter ego Isabella on Facebook

In addition, I wrote a guest post on Amanda's blog and am having a giveaway of Pink Zebra products. Check out how I combine scent and mysteries!
Contest ends Tuesday, September 24 at 4pm EDT. Winner will be announced in the comments to this post on Wednesday, September 25.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. It's interesting to hear the story behind the story. Thanks for posting.