A few years ago, I wrote a picture book that was based upon a childhood experience of mine. It deals with an issue that all children face in some form or another. Author friend, Cynthia, was kind enough to read it, and offer feedback. One suggestion she made in particular was to rewrite my story using animals. I had planned to do just that, but never did, discouraged when another book published with the same concept.
I hadn't actually read the other story, and avoided doing so as not to be swayed by it, should I decide to revise my story. Recently, I dug up that old manuscript, and rewrote it. Then, I read that other, previously published story by another author. It was too close to mine — same concept, similar animals, same problems for the MC to solve, same everything.
Next weekend, I'm meeting with Chris, my critique partner, and for now, I'm leaving the story as is, with the exception of tightening it up. Maybe he'll have some ideas on how to retain my basic premise, while making enough changes that I won't be rehashing a story already on the market. Anyway, that's what I'll be up to this week.
A big congratz goes out to author friend, Cynthia Leitich Smith, who recently debuted the cover for her upcoming YA novel, Tantalize.