You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Alice Pieroni’ tag.

by Patti Richards

I’m so excited to be here today to talk about my new picture book, MRS. NOAH (Little Lamb Books)! The book sets sail on October 19th but will be available for pre-sale on October 5. It’s about the unsung hero of the Ark story, Mrs. Noah, and all she does to get the ark ready AFTER Noah decides the job is done.

It seems like every idea I add to my Storystorm list each year has its own story, and MRS. NOAH’s is one of my favorites. So, here’s how it all happened:

I was packing my family for a big trip to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. It was our very first cruise and I was running around like a crazy woman trying to prep for the two-day drive to Florida (we thought that would be fun…yep). So along with planning for the actual cruise, I had to book hotel rooms and make sure everyone had enough clean clothes and toiletries for the two days before and the two days after. Not to mention buying up enough pet supplies and snacks for our house sitter, stopping the mail, making sure everyone had a swimsuit and shoes that fit, plus paying all the bills and getting the house cleaned before we could leave. My husband, who always helps, had to work extra hours so we could have this week away. This meant he was at the office until late every night, so I was on my own. And just six weeks earlier, my son had undergone a big surgery to remove a benign tumor from his skull base, so there were follow up appointments to get the “all clear” just a few days before we left. Needless to say, I was a shipwreck waiting to happen.

Somewhere in all of the craziness, I had this thought… “If I’m this stressed trying to get everything done before we leave for our cruise, how in the world did Mrs. Noah get everything ready for an ark full of animals and the rest of her family?” This made me laugh out loud. The idea of Mrs. Noah settled in and stayed (I call ideas like this “God whispers”) and by the time the trip was over, I had the first lines of the story in my head.

When I got home, I immediately put MRS. NOAH on my Storystorm list, and that’s where it stayed for six years (yes, you read that right)! Each year I’d sign up for Storystorm, and each year I’d add MRS. NOAH to my list at some point during the month. I wanted so much to write this story, but other projects kept bumping it out of the way. Then, in 2018, I was able to quit my full-time freelance writing job, and for the first time in more than 25 years as a writer, focus completely on my work for children. That’s when the idea finally became a first draft. After a year of sharing it with my critique group, revising, sharing and revising again (I had a total of 13 versions at this point), I saw that a Twitter event called #FaithPitch was coming up and I thought, “Why not?” and I pitched the title throughout the day but didn’t get any love.

Fast forward to February of 2019—I had completed another manuscript (also a Storystorm idea) that I thought might be a good fit for a faith-based publisher. I found three small houses that were taking unsolicited submissions and I sent in that manuscript. Months went by. It was now October and I was enjoying a writing retreat day with my critique group. We’d taken a break and I was checking email and there it was…a message from Little Lamb Books about the manuscript I had submitted called MILLIE’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. In that email Rachel Pellegrino said they were interested in acquiring this story, but was MRS. NOAH still available? She’d seen it on #Faithpitch and if I hadn’t sold it, they’d like to have both and publish MRS. NOAH first. WHAT?!

I couldn’t believe it. After so many years in the submission trenches, I was finally getting a “Yes,” and not just for the book I’d submitted, but for MRS. NOAH too! And how sweet to get it when I was with my critique group who knew MRS. NOAH well and loved her as much as I did.

That’s the story behind the story! The real Mrs. Noah’s ark journey was 40 days and 40 nights and then some. My MRS. NOAH’s journey was 9 years. One started on an ark and the other on a cruise ship, but both have an ending full of promise and good things to come. I want to thank Tara for giving us the inspiration each year through Storystorm to always be on the lookout for new ideas. You never know what can happen when you look at an old, well-known story and see something new!

Wonderful, Patti! Congratulations on your dual picture book success!

Blog readers, Patti is giving away a PB critique to celebrate.

Leave one comment below to enter.

A random winner will be chosen in October.

Good luck!


Patti Richards lives with her family in Farmington Hills, Michigan. Her first children’s story, “Fishing on the Black Volta,” was published in Boy’s Quest Magazine. She has three nonfiction books, an ebook, and is part of the award-winning poetry collection, THANKU: POEMS OF GRATITUDE. Patti’s work has also been featured in Highlights Magazine and she’s been a Katherine Paterson Prize at Hunger Mountain honoree twice. She enjoys reading, gardening, singing, playing the piano, painting and tending to her flock, which includes Gracie the dog, Barnabas, the big black puppy, and Willow the cat. Visit her online at pattigail1.com and follow her on Twitter @pattigrichards.

Like this site? Please order one of my books! It supports me & my work!

Enter your email to receive kidlit news, writing tips, book reviews & giveaways. Wow, such incredible technology! Next up: delivery via drone.

Join 12,929 other followers

My Picture Books

COMING SOON:

ABSURD WORDS
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks eXplore
January 2, 2022

TIME FLIES
"7 ATE 9/PRIVATE I" BOOK #3
illus by Ross MacDonald
Little, Brown
April 2022

Blog Topics

Archives

Twitter Updates