Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How BAKE Came To Be (or Warning: Sappiness Ahead)

Tip of the Day: It's not too late to enter THE ESPRESSOLOGIST contest! All you have to do is snap a pic of the book at a coffee shop. It's too good a deal to pass up!

I've got an exciting, Subbing for Pubbing news bite for you!


I got my first rejection.

I know, I know, you're all in tears for me, but I'm not! I have faith. Just send good vibes into the publishing world for my MG, BAKE, SET, MATCH if you have a spare minute. Can I tell you how much I love this book? I really love this book -- and what it has become through all of its visions.

Oh, you want the whole saga in abridged form? Of course! Here it is.

When I was in 3rd grade, I met another 3rd grader named Beth. She, her older brother, and her parents were new to the neighborhood. And both her parents had cancer. Her dad's was really bad and her mom's was a passing thought as she spent all her time caring for her family. My 8-year-old self didn't even know her mom was sick, but Beth and I became super friends.

At some point, Beth began spending nights at my house. Sometimes weeks. Of course to me this was fun and new and exciting to have a friend over 24/7! But the reality was that her dad was in the hospital all the time and her mom was there with him and she didn't want to leave Beth alone.

Mix in what happens when pre-adolscent girls spend tons of time together (bff love + sisterly beeyotching), a step into the tumultuous fourth grade, best friend necklace drama, and material jealousies and you have the makings of an MG novel 20 years later without even knowing it.

Very sadly, Beth's father passed away while we were in fourth grade, and her mother while we were in sixth. At my older, wiser age of 12 I couldn't believe all the materialistic, trivial stuff I thought about and went on about with Beth in elementary school. I mean, her parents were really sick and I would get upset when my mom let her eat candy before dinner but not me.

So a few years ago in super hindsight, I wanted to explore the relationship between two girls who are trying to forget about the scary cancer surrounding them. Yet if they completely forget about it, nothing else is really in perspective anymore. It's a balance between what's real, what's right, what's important. And I think it's a good lesson for ALL of us at any age to think about.

BAKE, SET, MATCH is not a memoir of my time in 3rd through 6th grades, but rather a story about friendships and baking and tennis based on that kernel of best friends who are forced to become nearly sisters in the midst of drama and heartache. OK, so my first drafts were a bit more true-to-life, but once I got that out of my system, the true plot of the book came out and I think it says what I want to say and have needed to say for all these years.

Fortunately, Beth and I remained friends after she had to move away in sixth grade, and are still friends today despite the miles between us. She also gave me permission to keep the name "Beth" for the Beth-like character in my book. What friend could ask for a greater gift than that? :)

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing


Kate Fall said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm sending out good vibes now! I know your novel will be picked up and loved by many!

Emily Marshall said...

What a great story. Thanks for sharing. And I can wait to read the newest version of Beth's story.

Kristina Springer said...

Awwww, I love the background!! Now this HAS to be published (of course it did before the story too...). You hear that publishing world?? Snap up this book!

Christina Farley said...

Wow. What a story.It sounds like a story that needs to get out there into the big world. Good luck!