Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sweat and Tears -- Jane Kelley

It's raining today. When I was a child growing up in Wisconsin, we were desperate for spring. Unfortunately when it came, it was often cold and rainy. We wanted the adults to wave their arms and sweep away the clouds. Instead they offered slim comfort and said: April showers bring May flowers.

Of course they were right. I'm older now; I'm kind of wiser. I'm a mother; I learned patience. I'm a writer; I know a character takes time to grow. And so I wondered how I nurture the flickers of my imagination? I hope there's the sunshine of inspiration. I try to offer fertile ground. But mostly I provide rain in the form of sweat and tears.

Sweat. Because it's hard work. Don't let anyone ever tell you it isn't. There's research--because you have to get the facts about incantation bowls right even though this is fiction. There's world building-- because even if you're writing about your city, you have to describe that obelisk behind the Metropolitan museum to someone who's never seen it before. There's tension to build, clues to place, and multiple balls to juggle in the air.

Tears. Because you care about the character. Of course you care! Why else would you choose her? She's going through the pain you felt when you were humiliated that time (which is still too painful for me to tell you about). She's daring to stare at the glittering skyscrapers and dream. She's wanting more than an ordinary life. And she isn't getting it…. at least not yet.

But she will. Because thank goodness this is middle grade fiction and it's okay to have a happy ending.

April showers bring May flowers. Sweat and tears eventually bring this book which will be on the shelves in July.


  1. I love that cover...and I'm with you on the sweat and tears!

  2. Love your analogy and your cover Jane. Thanks for an inspiring post!

  3. Thanks all! I love the cover too.

  4. Add my love to the cover and the post.