Don’t worry, I haven’t slid off the children’s book wagon to blog about the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. No, “the new deal” to which I refer is my first picture book deal.

Did you hear what I said? FIRST PICTURE BOOK DEAL!

Tara Lazar’s debut THE MONSTORE, about a shop which sells only the most useful monsters, and has only one rule: no refunds, no exchanges, to Emily Lawrence at Aladdin, for publication in summer 2012, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (NA).

I’m thrilled to be working with Emily, who not only loves tacos as much I as do, but also made an appearance on this blog two years ago (unbeknownst to her). Joining Emily in the monsterly hijinx is assistant editor Alyson Heller, who shares my passion for figure skating.

(Note: Please don’t send these editors stories about TACO HARDING AND JEFF GUACAMOLE. Mexican food and figure skating don’t mix! Not even with some good queso!)

Next up, an illustrator will be chosen and then we’ll work on revisions.

And hey, what the heck, I’ll drag you along on the journey. I’ll share as much as I can about the behind-the-scenes process–from getting a book signed to signing books!

The journey thus far:

1. I was born.
2. I wrote my first picture book with my 2nd-grade BFF and told my great-grandparents it would be published soon.
3. I apologized to my 80-something great-grandparents for making them drive an hour to the bookstore.
4. I went to college and wrote awful short stories and lousy poetry.
5. I worked in high-tech and wrote awful press releases, shouldering some of the blame for “irrational exuberance.”
6. I got married and had two kids.
7. I decided to take up my 2nd-grade passion again (without BFF).
8. I wrote.
9. I revised.
10. I conferenced.
11. I rinsed and repeated.
12. I submitted.
13. I wrote this post. (And you commented!)