Update on editing and publishing

2741287341_29cff8903f_zI notice I haven’t posted in eleven months. I’m not very focused on promoting myself, I guess.  But I have been a busy bee!

I have a manuscript that is ready for publication, in my professional opinion and that of other professionals, but it’s not *exactly* what is most popular in the middle school-tween market these days.  (It has similarities to The Cay, a 1969 award-winning novel for young people, than anything else I’ve seen lately.) So, I’m sending it out to agents and also getting busy on another project that’s more in the mainstream. I’ll keep you posted on that!

Meanwhile I’ve been editing for Castle Gate Press, and for some other people too. I’m thrilled to tell you that one of Castle Gate Press’s books published in 2016, Cruel Messenger by Timothy W. Ayers, has been named finalist in several contests: Selah Awards, Realm Awards, and Excellence in Editing Award. Another book, Misconceptions, is a finalist for the Grace Award.  This is the first year that our small press has been able to submit to the biggest of these contests as a traditional publisher, after some rule changes on the part of the people that run them to accommodate the changing publishing industry. We’re proud of the recognition for our quality work.

Editing Jane Austen!?!

Jane Austen, review, Love and Friendship, film

A teen-aged Jane Austen wrote a novella that she never even titled, much less published herself. It's been called Lady Susan, and now it's been made into a movie, "Love and Friendship." Austen is known for originating the romance novel. She really … [Continue reading]

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, a review

MoonOverManifest

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool Published 2010 by Delacorte Press, 351 pages Genre: Historical middle grade/tween fiction, Newbery Medal winner Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker arrives in the dusty, underpopulated town of Manifest, Kansas, … [Continue reading]

Book Review: Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Newbery Award winner historical fiction set in medieval England, for tweens

Crispin: The Cross of Lead, by Avi, Book 1 in the Crispin trilogy Published 2002 by Hyperion Books for Children, New York, 262 pages Genre: Historical drama for tweens This book won the Newbery Award when it was published, and more recently the … [Continue reading]

Why is this car grinning?

author Phyllis Wheeler discusses the family car, Monster

Monster the car is grinning. He thinks he won. I've been fighting with this car ever since we got him, nearly ten years ago. Took him home, and our mechanic discovered somebody had put antifreeze where the brake fluid ought to be. The car … [Continue reading]

My mother, mom and opera singer

Jane Elder Hough 1923-1995

Jane Ruth Elder, my mother, grew up in Tacoma, Washington, during the Depression in the family of a teacher. In those days, teachers were paid little. It became apparent that her parents could not afford music lessons for her, even though that is … [Continue reading]

My father, engineer

Eldred W. Hough 1916-1990

This slide rule belonged to my dad, the engineer. Eldred W. Hough, although he was the oldest son, wasn't named for his father, Thomas C. Hough. Instead, his younger brother got the name Thomas Hough. So, why did the younger one get the … [Continue reading]

Thomas Hough, immigrant and entrepreneur

626 Church St., Carrollton

Thomas Hough, an enterprising young man, was born in 1844 into a lower-class family in Yorkshire, England, and didn't like his prospects. His education stopped at the sixth grade, and his dad was a wagon driver. He got a job at the local  cotton mill … [Continue reading]

Granny Jennie’s mother, stuck on the prairie

Switzerland?

This is about Granny Jennie's mother Mary Jane, who dominated the Illinois prairie around her in the late 1800s but may have longed for a trip to ... Switzerland? My great-grandmother, Mary Jane Robertson, always wanted to go to Switzerland, or so … [Continue reading]

Granny Jennie, a genteel lady

Phyllis Wheeler's family heirlooms

My Granny Jennie, born in 1885, hand-painted this pitcher in an art class in college. She had a college degree, rare for her generation, especially for women. I remember her the best of all my grandparents, because she traveled south to live with … [Continue reading]