Hello Readers! Welcome to the Kid Lit Village blog. I’m glad you decided to stop by. Today I’m featuring the book A GIRL’S BILL OF RIGHTS by Amy Mucha, illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda. A GIRL’S BILL OF RIGHTS is published by Beaming Books. Amy will share a bit of her writing process with you, so read on!
SYNOPSIS: “I have the right to be bold, and mighty, and LOUD!” In a world where little girls must learn to stand tall, A Girl’s Bill of Rights boldly declares the rights of every woman and girl: power, confidence, freedom, and consent. Author Amy B. Mucha and illustrator Addy Rivera Sonda present a diverse cast of characters standing up for themselves and proudly celebrating the joy and power of being a girl.
I’m pleased to welcome Amy Mucha to the Kid Lit Village blog. Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to answer a few questions.
What part of being a writer do you love most?
This is tough, so I’m going to choose two things I love most:
The first is brainstorming. One of the best afternoons I’ve ever had was right after an idea for a middle grade novel had struck. My then eleven-year-old daughter was out of school for the day, so off we headed to our favorite outdoor café to see if we could make it grow. It was a perfect October afternoon and we sat for hours over hot cups of tea, tossing the idea back-and-forth. “What if the character does THIS?” she’d say, mischief in her eyes. “Yes!” I’d grin, catching the drift. “And then after that, THIS could happen, or maybe THAT!” I adore brainstorming in any circumstances, but getting to share the fun with my daughter was truly a highlight of my life.
What’s far more typical for me is brainstorming alone, and I love that nearly as much. I’ll cover my dining room table in a huge sheet of paper and start writing down anything and everything that comes to mind in colored markers. By the end it’s a wild jumble of scribbles and arrows in every color. Courting that mess and seeing what comes out of it is the most delicious feeling. After that, once I’ve got a plot and need to pin it down in words? That’s the hard part. Sometimes I think I like everything about the writing but the actual writing!
Which leads me to the second thing I love best: Meeting with my writing group. I adore the camaraderie, sharing our work, and supporting each other through the whole publication process. Thankfully we’ve managed to keep up online through the pandemic: I’d be lost without them. I often say that children’s book writers are the very best kinds of people. I may be biased, but I still think I’m right!
What strikes me about the parts of writing you love is how your writing process involves interactions with others. Sometimes we think of writing as a lonely process but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Tell us how you build yourself up in the face of rejection.
Ugh, rejection. It’s part of this business at every level, so it’s definitely good to learn to handle it early on. Don’t be fooled into thinking it ends when you get an agent. If anything, the rejection intensifies, except now you’re letting your agent down, too. Ack! Even once you’re published, you’ll still face plenty of rejection on subsequent projects. And you may find yourself facing new, more public (and thus more humiliating) rejections in the form of bad reviews or lackluster sales. I’ve heard that even award-winning, best-selling authors struggle with the specter of becoming has-beens. Truly, it never ends!
Perhaps this sounds grim, but facing it head-on is exactly what’s helped me transcend it. I stop and remind myself at regular intervals that *this* might be the furthest I ever get on my writing path. *This* moment, right now, might be the peak. Can I handle that? Of course I can. Once I no longer rely on success or even expect it, I’m freed up to feel grateful and thrilled for every bit of it that comes my way.
I should add that part of knowing I can handle it, for me, is having a fail-plan. It’s wonderfully secure-feeling, knowing exactly what you’ll do if the whole writing-thing doesn’t work out. It reminds me of back when I was dating: It wasn’t until I’d 100% accepted the idea that I might never find “the one” that I began to truly enjoy the experience of dating for its own sake. Then, once I met my husband, he was just a huge, amazing bonus, not something I needed or relied upon. I try to cultivate that same attitude towards writing and have found it similarly gratifying.
As you say, acceptance of your current situation is the key! Great advice, Amy.
What do you hope readers will gain from your book?
Anyone who’s ever seen a toddler throw a fit can attest that most girls are born knowing their rights. Sadly, somewhere along the way lots of girls learn to hide their opinions, push their feelings down, and put others first. I’m hoping that by reading my book while they are still young, the words will soak into their subconscious, helping them stand tall against the challenges they’ll face as they head into middle school and beyond.
Amy, I hope that your book will empower girls towards a brighter future. Awareness of human rights is so important to nurture in our children. We wish you the best!
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Also coming soon on Kid Lit Village will be our Spring Giveaway! Stay tuned for some great prizes!
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