Author Guest Post With Caroline Starr Rose

Caroline Starr Rose has kindly agreed to guest post here about her work, and share her inspiration for becoming a writer in honor of her debut release, May B.
 About The Author:

Caroline Starr Rose spent her childhood in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and New Mexico, camping at the Red Sea in one and eating red chile in the other. As a girl she danced ballet, raced through books, composed poetry on an ancient typewriter, and put on magic shows in a homemade cape. She’s taught both social studies and English in New Mexico, Florida, Virginia, and Louisiana. In her classroom she worked to instill in her students a passion for books, the freedom to experiment with words, and a curiosity about the past.
Caroline has recently returned to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she lives with her husband and two sons.
Find Caroline Starr Rose on the Web:
Official Website | Goodreads |
Facebook | Blog
 Guest Post:
I started May B. in 2007, signed with my agent in 2009, and sold it, at auction, in 2010. Easy, right? Here’s the part of the story you don’t know:
Before signing with my agent, I counted up over three hundred rejections from editors and agents spanning eleven years and eleven books. This was largely in the era of snail mail submissions, long before the quick-response process it has become today; oftentimes I’d wait 12-18 months to hear back on certain stories.
I was overjoyed when Random House Children’s Books bought May B. and worked on revisions, line edits, and copyedits with my wonderful editor. Then something completely unexpected happened: Random House closed down my imprint, Tricycle Press. This meant my editor and all her colleagues lost their jobs and May B. was without a home. For six weeks, I had no idea what would happen to my book. Thankfully, another RHCB imprint, Schwartz and Wade, picked it up. I went through revisions, line edits, and copyedits again. My publication date moved from 2011 to 2012. As hard as this was, I’m so glad I got to work with two different editors. My work is better for it.
Writing is not for the faint of heart!
May B. didn’t start as a verse novel. My first few attempts at writing the story felt distant and lifeless. It wasn’t until I returned to my research (and specifically a book called Read this Only to Yourself: The Private Writings of Midwestern Women, 1880-1910) that I saw the patterns these women’s writings had in common: terse language, stark circumstances, a matter-of-fact tone. The heavens had opened for me (really!), and I was able to climb inside May’s world, using the voices of the women I’d encountered through research.
A confession: I’d read two verse novels before writing May B. (Out of the Dust and Heartbeat). This both terrified and liberated me. I didn’t let myself anywhere near Karen Hesse’s Newbery-winning Dust while writing, for fear of crumbling into a heap of worthlessness (though I felt I understood for the first time why she told her story this way — the immediacy verse brings speaks volumes, especially in trying times). On the other hand, I wasn’t bound by patterns or rules. Several readers have said May B.’s pacing reads more like prose (swifter than the typical verse novel), which ultimately served the story.
My pre-teen years have influenced what I write today. There is an intensity to young children that I want to honor in what I create. I remember feeling passionately about certain things as a girl and how easy it would be to brush off those “childish” ideas now. Books like Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series remind me that those first experiences with fear or anger or confusion or joy are valid and okay. I hope my writing shows children the same.
 May B.:
Title:May B.
Author: Caroline Starr Rose
Publication Date: January 10, 2012
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade

I’ve known it since last night:
It’s been too long to expect them to return.
Something’s happened.

May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again. Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

Find May B. Online:  
 Book Trailer:

Happy reading until next time!