Sunday, April 19, 2009

we love Janice Repka!

The Stupendous Dodgeball Fiasco
six years back, i picked THE STUPDENOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO from the slush. it is a funny middle-grade, which is, take note, the consistently most sought-after kids' book category. the book-buying population peaks during the middle-grade years and few writers can reach it. the stories we see are derivative, trite, dreary; the storytelling is wordy, ill-shaped, and in a fake voice; the characters are flat, wooden, inauthentic. authors do not dig deeply enough into their imaginations to realize the children's experience. these readers are still children, but they are not cutesy, gosh-golly know-nothings, and i suspect fantasy and reality are more fluid constructions for them than becomes true for teens.

not only can Janice write for these illusory creatures, at once it was apparent how seriously she takes her craft— this is what i look for— and her work would only get better. through her own promotion, THE STUPENDOUS DODGEBALL FIASCO achieved solid hardcover sales (especially for a debut). even so, Dutton's paperback arm, Puffin, declined to publish a mass market edition. (it may yet correct its mistake.) nevertheless, we sold audio rights so at least you have two formats to chose from. we just sold Janice's second book and our expectations are high. Janice is a writer to watch.

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