#theapostropheposse #blogtour #booksontourpr #day3

Author Article by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Timing. We know how important it is to dance and music but it’s easy to overlook the role it plays in a writer’s life.

We tend to focus on finding the right words and creating interesting characters. Editing gets due attention and tremendous effort goes into ensuring our manuscripts are the best we can make them.

But none of that counts if our timing is out. Unfortunately there’s no way of predicting whether our stories are going to land on the right editor’s desk at the right time. Neither can we be 100 per cent certain the market is ready for what we have written.

We simply have to put our stories out there – and hope. Of course it makes sense to do the homework. Check submission guidelines. Learn our craft. Pay attention to what’s going on in the world of books and publishing.

My newly released chapter book, The Apostrophe Posse, should have been released back in 1991 when it was first written and picked up fairly quickly by a small independent publisher. The publisher was enthusiastic, an illustrator was engaged and it was exciting to see the initial artwork take shape.

Six years later, however, the publisher was still waiting for the timing to be right economically for her to go ahead and produce my book. I had run out of patience so politely requested we cancel the project and fortunately she agreed.

Over the next few years I unsuccessfully submitted it to a few publishers before giving up. But the story refused to be forgotten and in 2007 I rewrote it and tested the publishing market with the new version, again without success.

Some stories refuse to be ignored and five years later The Apostrophe Posse received a complete rewrite. My list of publications had been slowly growing and I figured I’d probably learnt a thing or two about writing for children along the way. The resubmission process began once more. I’m nothing if not persistent!

Enter Karen McDermott of Serenity Press, an inspirational publishing dynamo. Karen published my picture book Friends and my middle grade novel The Seven Day Dragon in 2017. But her greatest role in my life as a writer has been to inspire and encourage me to take a leap of faith and independently publish some of my books.

For times have changed since those long ago days when I wrote the original version of The Apostrophe Posse of Tea Tree Bend. Twenty first century technology has made it easier than at any other time for authors to become their own publishers.

We still have to find the words that work best, create engaging characters and devise interesting plots. Our manuscripts must be edited and revised, crafted to a professional standard. A touch of sparkle won’t go astray, either, for while it is easy to publish our own stories, finding readers is probably harder than it has ever been in a market saturated with publications.

As with any of my publications, I can’t predict reader response to The Apostrophe Posse. Only time will tell if the timing is right for this story that had its inception when my children, now parents themselves, inspired a story about a group of kids who wanted to fix all the incorrect signs around town.


Teena Raffa-Mulligan: website | blog | facebook

Please visit the home of Norah Colvin to read a fascinating interview with Teena Raffa-Mulligan. You won’t regret it! 🙂

On Your Marks. Get Set. WIN!

Kids! This challenge is for you! Fix the apostrophe mistakes for a chance to WIN a paperback copy of The Apostrophe Posse by Teena Raffa-Mulligan!

Click the link to enter.

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