MIDDLE GRADE FICTION: You Have To Really Want It!

Middle Grade FictionMiddle Grade Fiction: You Have to Really Want It

Writing a Middle Grade Fiction novel has taught me many things, but the one thing it’s really taught me is that you have to really want it.  After 7 cities and a grueling 14-day tour that took me as far as the Big Easy of New Orleans, Louisiana, I am back on the road of adventure that will make Saltwater Taffy a best selling book for Tweens.

We have had some amazing things happen at the Saltwater Taffy Network as of late, most of which will be a mention in the upcoming issue of Scholastic Instructor Magazine, hitting shelves in May.  Yes, that is HUGE for an independent book, but as one Teacher of the Year remind me in an email, ‘it is not a surprise.’  The story of adventure offerred within the pages of Saltwater Taffy, a middle grade fiction title distributed by Perseus Distribution, coupled with the moralisitcal viewpoints sprinkled throughout, has even me believing in the book and I wrote the darn thing!  Oh, and by the way, that’s right, I did make up the phrase ‘moralistical viewpoints.’ With your best pirate voice, say: ‘Arrrgggg….be gone ye ol’ literary snobs of New York.  We must chart the unencharted.  How can we do that if we are to follow your ‘rules’ every waking hour?’

I’m writing today because of a last minute change that took place this past Friday on the Northwest Tour of Saltwater Taffy as I was ‘Honey-Doing’ for our upcoming baby. King TV here in Seattle called for a guest appearance for their morning show on Tuesday, February 15th.  NEW DAY NORTHWEST is an NBC morning show focusing on community and on Tuesday at 11 am on Channel 5, Saltwater Taffy (and it’s author) will be a featured guest.  The call came on Friday at 11 am.  After working with my partners at Southwest Airlines (thank you again), we changed the flight and I left town this morning…yes, this Valentines Day morning.  Thanks to my wife Julie for her continued support in the Saltwater Taffy adventure.  She truly is an awesome woman!

The call to be on the show is great, but a call like this also carries a book giveaway for the entire studio audience.  75 books for a giveaway means 75 books in my bags and on the plane.  I never knew how heavy paper could be.  Super duper heavy.  So, with 20 books in a carry-on, and 5 in my backpack, and another 5o spread out in the two giant ‘kitchen sink’ suitcases with me, you can only imagine what kind of adventure I had on the Rail just now on my way into downtown.  Have you every tried to carry 4 bags with you on an escalator?  Good times.

Alas, we reach the purpose of today’s posting on the WhatAGreatBook.com website as I sit in my favorite writing space in the entire country, Starbucks Cafe (currently at the Starbucks on 2nd Street/University Street).  When you hit the road to becomming a best selling author you have to really want it because 4 bags…4 super-duper-way out-heavy bags can either make you angry and crazy or make you fill yourself with laughter.  The end result of an adventure is entirely up to each one of us, moment by moment.  Which is why it is paramount to engage our passion as we embark on any adventure like the one currently before me.  Without it, 4 bags can make a man so mad that he will quickly forget why he’s out here in the first place.  I say this because when I face-planted on the train, preparing for my exit at University Street, I had to laugh.  Not at the elderly couple looking down at me squirming on the floor like a displaced King Salmon, but how deeply I am engaged and dedicated to my adventure.

I had to laugh because what is my alternative?  Getting mad only stops the joy of my adventure.  Getting mad only makes me become more and more mad.  When we become more and more mad, we get more and more things to be mad at.  Yes, it is a vicious cycle, so if you want something….I mean, really want something, you have to want it with all that you are.  Otherwise, I encourage you to go out and get a ‘good paying job’ and never look back.  However, when the going gets tough, and it will, don’t blame anyone when you say, ‘I hate my job.’

Happy Valentines Taffy Heads, you’re super SAWEET in my book.  😉

Eric DelaBarre is an award winning filmmaker and the author of the Saltwater Taffy novel for Tweens.

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