Great news! I sent a manuscript off to a small publisher about a month ago, figuring I might as well get started with my 5 years of rejection letters and…THEY WANT TO PUBLISH IT! On one hand, of course I’m not surprised. I wouldn’t be sending out a manuscript if I thought it sucked. On the other hand, I really DID expect a discouraging pile of rejection letters first. Of course, as I’ve had the manuscript sitting in my computer for the last 8 years, maybe I gave myself the pile of rejection letters without ever having sent it anywhere.
The books is a very early childhood memoir called “When The Roll Is Called A Pyonder.” What’s a Pyonder? That’s what I wondered. And I guess you’ll have to read it to find out.
I was raised in a fairly conservative Mennonite family in Lancaster County, PA. It’s a microculture, really. For so many years after moving away, I wanted to write about it, but it’s so delicate that I’felt every time I tried to touch it I ruined it a little. Like a butterfly. Nothing sensational or shocking happened to me as a child – no skeletons in the closet – I just wanted to tell the story of what it’s like to be THAT innocent.
The earliest memory I have of working on this story was in 2001 sitting in a hammock on the front porch of the hotel where I was working in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. I’d already been off to college where I obtained a degree in theatre, moved to Costa Rica, been married and was recently divorced from my first husband and was in the process of becoming an avid surfer. Maybe that’s how far away I had to go in order to turn around and have a look at the farm in Manheim; to see it some sort of perspective to the rest of the world.
The book is like a photo album with pictures taken in words, not with a camera and the photos are taken by the child. The stories are all told in the voice and from the perspective of the child that I was. I grow and learn to ask questions and analyze things in my own childish way.
I personally find most of the book hilariously funny and so do my sisters and my nieces and nephews. I am bursting with curiosity at how the rest of the world will receive it. Apart from spanking there’s no violence and apart from a kiss behind the couch, there’s no sex so I hope it holds the attention of readers. ELectio Publishing seems to think it will. And honestly, so do I.