Skip to main content
The Writing Life

What a tough book can teach you

By August 10, 2011No Comments

A cruise on the Cape Fear River

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

Meg Medina

Author Meg Medina

I'm Meg Medina, author of libros for kids of all ages. I'm the 2019 Newbery medalist for Merci Suárez Changes Gears. I write strong girls, tough circumstances, and the connecting power of culture. Thanks for visiting my blog!

More posts by Meg Medina

Join the discussion No Comments

  • Kate says:

    That’s so sweet, Meg! Thank you. I love working with you! And you really did all of the heavy lifting on this one! I’m just lucky to have you on my list and I’m so pleased to see this story making its way into the world. You’ve worked so hard and I think it’s wonderful, though I am biased, of course. 😉

  • Gigi says:

    Oh, Meg, I can’t wait to read The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind! It looks beautiful! The Meg-Kate combo is making some pretty amazing books!

  • Everything about this post is lovely…except having to wait until March to get my hands on The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind. Congratulations! I know your prose is as stunning as the cover.

  • I love the cover, and I can’ t wait to delve inside it. Meg, you’re amazing!
    Val Patterson

  • Becky Mushko says:

    I’m looking forward to reading this. The cover is indeed delightful.

Sign up for News from Meg

Join our mailing list to receive the latest blog posts from Meg right to your inbox.

You have Successfully Subscribed!