Kirkus Reviews notes resemblances to TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and what a strong character Emily is in the face of national changes during the last year of Theodore Roosevelt's presidency-- as well as personal changes. You can tell Darlene loved researching this time period -- lots to love here!
I gave Darlene three short prompts. Here's what she had to say:
Sending the “baby” out into the world. Editors saying fix this and that. Agent finally saying, “deal first, then repairs.” Signing the 16 page contract tasted better than the sweetest birthday cake.
Changing the manuscript from a Picture Book to Middle Grade. Would there be enough meat on the bone? More than enough meat…so which piece to cut? Which to savor, swallow and slowly digest? Which to smother in gravy? Which to toss out and start over? Everyone’s taste is different. But I am the cook; I control the ingredients. The final meal is satisfying.
In the story, Emily meets Theodore Roosevelt. My grandmother met him, too. How did I get Kermit Roosevelt – the great-great-grandson of TR - to write a blurb for the book? I asked.
Darlene Beck Jacobson has loved writing since she was a girl. She wrote letters to everyone she knew and made up stories in her head. Although she never wrote to a president, she sent many letters to pop stars of the day asking for photos and autographs. She loves bringing the past to life in stories such as WHEELS OF CHANGE, her debut novel.
Darlene’s stories have appeared in CICADA, CRICKET, and other magazines. When not writing, Darlene enjoys baking, sewing and tea parties. She also likes hanging around forges watching the blacksmith work magic. She’s never ridden in a carriage like the one in the story, but hopes to one day.
Her blog features recipes, activities, crafts and interviews with children’s book authors and illustrators. She still loves writing and getting letters. Check out her website at: www.darlenebeckjacobson.com or on Twitter@dustbunnymaven