I keep a notebook for each book I write. I thought it might be fun to share some of those pages with readers through a series of posts. Today’s post, the fifth in the series, will focus on my second picture book, Ride On, Will Cody!: A Legend of the Pony Express.
After visiting the Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave in Golden, Colorado in 2012, I knew I wanted to write a story about this larger-than-life showman, but I wasn’t sure where I’d focus. As often happens when I research, my reading started out as broad exploration. I trust I’ll stumble on something I want to study more deeply. When I found out Cody claimed that as a teen he’d taken the third-longest ride in Pony Express history, I knew I’d found my story.
Like Over in the Wetlands, there were rhyming words, rhythms, and refrains to play with.
Here I am getting closer! Some of these stanzas made it to the final book with little alteration. This one’s my favorite:
This book’s publishing journey was much like Will’s ride: three years on submission parallels the Pony Express’s third longest ride. Twenty editors read (and rejected) the manuscript. It was editor twenty-one (like Will’s twenty-one horses) who finally took the book on.
Whew and hee-haw! A journey indeed.
Read the post about May B. here.
Read about Over in the Wetlands here.
Read about Blue Birds here.
Read about Jasper and the Riddle of Riley’s Mine here.