“The summer I turned eleven, I found out that ghosts were real . . . ”
Secret notes in a blue bottle tree, a mysterious charm bracelet, a mother who magically heals people and owns a pet owl, and a dangerous, broken pier that leads to a deserted island. Critically acclaimed author Kimberley Griffiths Little weaves a haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Louisiana bayou.
Goodreads Review: “Hauntingly beautiful. Terrifying, yet compelling. One of the best Middle Grade novels I’ve read in years. Kimberly Griffiths Little is a master at bringing readers the perfect story with the exotic flavor of the Bayou mixed in.” LuAnn Staheli, Middle School teacher and book reviewer.
Kirkus Reviews: A steamy Louisiana bayou is the atmospheric backdrop to a tale about a daughter’s estrangement from her mom, the mother’s long-held guilty secret and a restless ghost’s long-sought closure . . . A very dramatic climax leads to a sweet, satisfying ending with some surprising twists. For readers who like their ghost stories more friendly than terrifying. (Suspense. 9 -12)
Mixed-Up Files Question: What is all this talk about “Book Armageddon Survival Tips?!”
I had a wild ride getting a viable book written 15 months ago, the book that is now Circle of Secrets: Take one completed manuscript, written over nearly a year’s time, including a major research trip, university research and multiple on location interviews. THEN throw away the manuscript because you accidentally wrote a teen book instead of a middle-grade book that was under contract. (Tip: Verify and Define your Synopsis when you sell a book based on one.)
MUF Question: Please Define “Throwing Away a Completed Manuscript”! We’ve got the heebie-jeebies picturing someone writing a whole book and burning it!
“Throwing away” means “With brimming tears and wringing hands, gently place Manuscript in a sealed envelope and store in a locked safe for later rewriting”.)
MUF Question: So you had a manuscript for a new book due to your publisher and suddenly no more book? What did you do?
I . . . paced the floors in shock. Cried a bit. Turned into a Zombie. Laughed hysterically. Put on ten pounds. Watched as my family giddily rubbed their hands together and discussed admitting me to the local psych ward. Then I realized that if I wanted a book published in 2011 I needed to buckle down and start writing like a mad woman. My deadline was about six weeks.
MUF Question: Six weeks—Impossible!
Yeah . . . I talked to my agent. I talked to my editor. And I crazily said, “Yeah, okay, I’ll get a book to you by end of August.” Inside, my mind was screaming, “You’re INSANE!!!” This was July 1 – the same day I was packing and getting the car repaired to leave at dawn for two weeks of book launching for The Healing Spell during the summer of 2010. Over the next two months I had 11 book events, a blog tour, and mailed out a thousand postcards to schools.
So I Dug Out . . . My Smart and Savvy Personal Survival Strategy:
1. Pull out hair in bits and pieces. Chew on a lot of pencils.
2. Eat Frozen pizzas and a LOT of chocolate chip cookies.
3. Cross fingers and toes (and eyes) a lot.
4. Get editor’s love a lot.
5. Tell myself I can sleep next year.
6. Write a lotta words. Every single day. Don’t think. Just write. Anything. Everything. Pages of it. You can edit later. (Which I did. In my second draft, begun immediately upon completing the first draft, I added about 15,000 more words).
Mission Accomplished. I’m proud to say I am now a member of the Book Armageddon SURVIVOR Club!
Leave a comment to win an Autographed Copy of CIRCLE OF SECRETS!!! Winner announced this Saturday, October 15th.
Kimberley Griffiths Little has been taking lots of recovery bubble baths since sending off her third manuscript to Scholastic for publication in January, 2013 called When the Butterflies Came. Teacher’s Guide for Circle of Secrets & Mother/Daughter Book Club Guide