Feb 26, 2016

Might-E Author, Jordan Scavone on how this book came to be; and his journey to being published!

Metro Detroit Mommy is SO EXCITED to have this custom blog written for us by Jordan Scavone - the Author of this adorable book; Might-E!

Without further ado; 

While at a kids and family Expo in Kalamazoo a young girl approached my table with a surprising question. She was about ten years old, maybe a bit older, maybe a bit younger. Her first question was “How do you get published?” I laughed softly and responded stating, “Difficultly.” She paused for a moment, her face showed she was clearly in deep thought. “But how do you do it?” Very rarely when I’m asked about publishing, does someone so young seem so genuinely interested. So I told her a brief story about my experience. Sending query letters, and book pitches to many publishers around the country. Ultimately I told her that if you want to get published, then you have to want to get published. I used a similar inflection that she did from her earlier question.

Really, it comes down to two things. Staying positive that your book is worth it, and luck. Finding the right publisher at the right time can speed up the process. I was lucky. My book Might-E started off as a project for my first semester of graduate school (Children’s Literature). Might-E follows a four-year-old girl named Emma as she starts preschool. Due to her crippling shyness, and fear that her father will not come pick her up at the end of the day, she fears nothing more than going to school. In order to overcome her fear, she becomes the brave and fierce superhero Might-E! I had just started working at a Day Care in Ann Arbor, and I had also just met Emma. While Might-E is not biographical in the story, it is inspired but a real girl, an absolutely brilliant four-year-old(now almost six year old) girl. The first thing she ever said to me was how much she loved Spider-Girl and superheroes in general. When I was offered a chance to do a creative project for Grad School, I had been tossing around the idea of a picture book with a little girl superhero protagonist. I decided to take advantage, and the first draft of Might-E came into being.

Half a year or so later, and a few rewrites, and idea tweaks and I had, what I felt to be the final version of Might-E written. I decided in winter of 2014 (December) that if I was going to try and start my writing career I had to just do it. So off went pitches, and queries, and log lines to many publishers. Most didn’t respond, others simply responded saying things such as “Sorry we don’t accept unagented work.” Or “Great concept, but we aren’t looking for picture books right now.” Things like that. Publishers are very good about turning you down in the nicest possible ways.
Enter Mascot Books out of Virginia. I submitted a proposal, and in eight hours I received an email asking to see a sample of the manuscript. Another eight hours, and I received a phone call, and an offer to publish through them. The rest of the process was less than exciting, paper work, logistical talk including royalties, distribution, and rights. One of the most exciting parts was choosing an illustrator. Looking through portfolios of artists Mascot had worked with in the past, while also talking to some people that I knew personally. However, the instant I saw Caitlyn’s work I knew that I didn’t want to work with anyone else but her. Her art is not only wonderful, but her style was exactly the eye grabbing, color popping, realistic/cartoon style I knew kids (and parents) would be drawn to.

By late 2015 the book was nearing competition, edits were finalized, art was touched up and colored, and pre-order marketing began. Marketing is extremely interesting, and really quite fun, I don’t want to go deep into now but it can be a very rewarding journey. In October I received the first copies of Might-E and was completely blown away by the quality. Though I wanted to be an author for a long time, you’re never quite prepared to see your book, with your name on it, produced with such a high quality. However, I still didn’t feel like an author, I still felt like me. It wasn’t until the book began to get read that things started to change. The feeling of writing something, and having the target audience, really having the shy little girls who hate going to school, love your book is nothing short of magical. It wasn’t until my coworker’s daughter, who is very shy, often worries her parents will not come back at the end of the day, and has a general fear of people took to the book that I felt like I had accomplished something. My book, was doing what I hoped it was going to do. It was helping kids see the superhero that lived inside of them, it was helping kids to break free from their fears, and it helped them stand tall and be mighty.

The girl at the Expo bought a book, and had my sign it not to her, but to her baby brother (who she writes books for). Currently, that is my favorite copy of Might-E. I hope that that girl continues to write stories for her brother, despite the fact that he always colors on the covers. And I hope that one day she does get published. She is truly mighty in a way that everyone has the potential to be. It is for children like her that made we want to start writing, and it is for children like my coworker’s daughter, that make me want to keep writing. Even if I can inspire one child to find their inner hero, to stand up and be proud of who they are. Then that is a is the greatest victory I can hope for.

Jordan J. Scavone
Jordan is currently pursuing is Master’s Degree in Children’s Literature from Eastern Michigan University. He is currently drafting four new books, and plans to work with the same illustrator for all future books. Jordan lives in a small apartment with his cat and fiancĂ©.
Find Might-E online on Amazon, Barnes and Noble.com, or MascotBooks.com

Jordan is available for books including signings, readings, birthdays and more. Contact him via email at jscavon1@emich.edu

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