Well, we’re back from the beach and feeling rested in a way that only a seaside vacation can provide.
But this year, instead of coming home and feeling gloomy, I had a present waiting for me from my fabulous editor, Kate Fletcher. Ta-da! The galleys for The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind due out in March.
I started writing this novel a few years ago, thinking it would be the story of a girl named Sonia, a seasonal crab worker on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Originally, the title was Jaibera – which means “crab girl” in Spanish. If you know anything about crab picking, you know it’s hard and dangerous work. The young women who pick crab these days are increasingly from other countries. They come to feed their families, but they miss home — and they’re vulnerable.
My early manuscripts were met with very mixed results, and the truth is that I almost gave up on this book many times. Was it an adult book or YA? What was most exciting — her life at home in her own country or her life here? And what about that little taxi-boy, Pancho, who kept snagging my attention? Was romance going to be part of this story?
I think every book teaches the author something new. My first novel taught me to dare to be a writer. My picture book taught me to try new forms. This novel taught me to be fearless in revision and to have faith that a solution will always appear. Today, there’s not so much as a buttered crab leg in this book — and I’m not sorry. It is still the story of what a girl is willing to risk for the future she wants, but an entirely different set of events took form for Sonia.
I had many angels in my path, but chief among them was Kate. She had faith in the bones of the story, and her questions and patience were just what I needed to “re-vision” Sonia’s path. To say I’m grateful to her is ridiculously inadequate. When this title pubs in March, I will honestly be able to say that this is our book, a project we wrestled with and saw through together. Gracias, Kate….XO