And You Can Love Me a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD
the process of getting this picture book published
Having received positive feedback at the picture book workshop facilitated by Alison McGhee, I pondered what next. Alison helped me to wordsmith Ethan’s story, and then suggested we send it to her agent. Seriously, I’ve never had an agent or even thought about getting one. I was introduced to LHP by a friend, and I’ve been loyal to Victor Volkman and LHP ever since.
I agreed, however, to have Alison McGhee send And You Can Love Me to her agent. The agent, however, had concerns about “political correctness” and that was that. But I believed in Ethan’s story-it was his story, although fictionalized. I took the agent’s concerns into consideration and asked others, with experience and knowledge relevant to the story and the responses were overwhelmingly positive and supportive of the diversity of opinions within the autism community.
I, again, professed loyalty to LHP and submitted Ethan’s story to the indie publisher. The response was “yes”-yet, with an indie publisher I needed to take responsibility for the art whether paying an artist or finding someone to participate by accepting a share of the royalties. Eventually, the granddaughter of a high school friend, agreed and we set out on a multi generational journey, which also, eventually, included a woman whose age was between the artist and the writer, to hand letter the story. We were, all three of us, newbies to the world of picture book publication. Thank goodness, LHP has a history of picture book publications, and Victor was supportive and patient as we created a manuscript print ready.
Reviews are slowly appearing on Amazon and Goodreads (see below) , but the review that meant the most to me was the simple note my grandson’s public school teacher sent home with him:
“Thanks for the book! It was great. We read it in class & Ethan was smiling the whole time. Such a great book.”