My Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing is a global blog tour, started in Australia, to showcase authors and illustrators and their current work. I was tagged by the author of G is for Grits: A Southern Alphabet,  Nikole B. Bethea.

After I post answers to the Q & A, I will pass the blog onto Nancy I. Sanders, who will pick up the tour on July 18.


1. What is the working title of your next book?

My current book is The Declaration of Independence from A to Z. It was released January 2010 by Pelican Publishing Company.

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

One of my writing friends challenged me to write an alphabet book in a month. I accepted the challenge and started looking for current publishers of ABC books who were accepting unsolicited manuscripts. Then I looked at the type of alphabet books those publishers produced, and if there was something that I could add to their current line. I saw that Pelican Publishing Company had several holiday books, but nothing on the 4th of July, so I got to work.

3. In what genre does your book fall?

Nonfiction picture book.

4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

Because my book is an ABC book with different elements to it, it would be hard to pinpoint specific actors since the “roles” would be very brief. But, I think it would be a great piece to be narrated. I would choose author David McCullough to do a voice over because of his distinctive tone and because of his love for the history of this country.

5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

The Declaration of Independence from A to Z is a chronological look at one of
America’s most valuable documents.

6. Who is publishing your book?

Pelican Publishing Company.

7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

My first draft was about the 4th of July as a holiday. I wrote out each letter of the alphabet, then went down the list, thinking of words that had to do with our nation’s birthday and how we celebrate it. All this was done within a month, per the challenge I had accepted from my writer friend. When I heard back from Pelican, though, they wanted a more in-depth look at the Declaration of Independence. I asked for 3 months to research, and then came up with the idea that the only way to make it an understandable piece was to write it in order of events.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

When I was researching to see what type of books Pelican had published, I looked at Laura Crawford’s The Pilgrims’ Thanksgiving from A to Z. Although I wrote my book differently, Laura’s book helped me figure out the style Pelican was looking for and how I should handle certain letters. As for an actual book that compares to mine, I know of no other alphabet book based only on the Declaration of Independence.

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My love of American history and my wanting to produce a book that I would be proud to show my children was my inspiration. I have always loved reading about our nation’s founding, so I think it was icing on the cake that my first book dealt with that era.

10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

What really fascinated me as I dug deeper into our founding was that our grievances with Britain weren’t only about taxes. There were many other issues that angered the colonists, but most particularly that someone who lived over 3,000 miles away could have a say in how a group of people lived without ever having stepped foot on their soil, or without having someone from America representing us in England. That’s why our government became a republic, so that those who speak for us are from the areas they represent.

I also want to thank Pelican for choosing Layne Johnson as the illustrator. He was right in line with the type of artist I wanted, and his paintings are beautiful depictions of my words and feelings for this work.

The Declaration of Independence from A to Z is also part of the Accelerated Reader Program.

Thank you for taking the time to help me celebrate my “Next Big Thing.” Now onto the next candidate on the blog tour who will post on July 18th. You can see Nancy Sanders’ Next Big Thing here.