When my grandson was in early grade school he came to my house announcing “Math was so cool. Look if I do this, this happens!” I was mesmerized. Most kids don’t like math and I was ecstatic that he loved it.
It encouraged me to write a children’s book titled Ian and the Magic Numbers. Ian was a little boy who loved math and found he could perform feats of magic if his math problems were right. He came from a long line of wizards. The book was full of wizards and magic – there was even a magic Ural motorcycle owned by his grandfather that took them to castles where they studied magic.
I joined my local writing group that year and read the first three pages proudly (and nervously) to the group and they liked it too. I may have been the only fiction writer in the place at the time.
We took our grandson to the Grand Canyon that summer and I’d printed out the book in a three-ring binder. I took it with us, and we read a chapter each night in the hotel room before bed. Ian’s Magic Numbers debuted on that trip and at least my grandson liked it. He told his friends his grandma wrote really cool books. Yeah!!
Filled with pride, I pitched the book to an agent at a writer’s conference who said, “After Harry Potter, I don’t ever want to see another wizard.” Sigh. I was deflated. But I didn’t quit on this story. It has seen several themes since the beginning but always the central theme of math being magic was in the book.
I’ve learned a little bit about writing since then. My grandson is a sophomore in college (you do the math) and I still had that little story stored away in the deep recesses of my computer. It has been a million different stories. And finally, this week, I signed a publishing contract on it.
Doodle and Peck has agreed to publish Ian’s Magic. It will come out in spring or fall of 2021. It will have original artwork and be a middle grade reader available in paperback, hard back and electronically. The main character is still in the 4th grade and loves math. I am so glad I never gave up on that book. I have seven published titles to my name now and two more at publishing houses awaiting publication. But the Ian book still looked promising to me and evidently to Doodle and Peck too. It won’t be out for a while, but I’m excited about my one and only middle grade reader. I hope it isn’t my last.
What are you writing? Don’t quit on it.