In the past 24 hours, I've communicated with four agents — my literary agent, my licensing agent, my art agent, and yet another agent who promised a pretty cool writing and illustrating project. But I had to turn it away because . . . well, that agent doesn't represent me in any way. Maybe I need an agent to handle the things my agents don't represent. Oh well.
On another note: Don't judge a book by it's cover. I received a book in the mail, a review copy of The Freedom Business. At first glance, I turned up my nose. The cover and insides feature beautiful artwork. But abstract — splotches and swipes of beige and white paint, and what appears to be coffee stains over blue ink. A headless bird's wing points to the text. Hm, I wasn't sure about that.
I was definitely wrong. The book was published by Word Song, the same publisher of Becoming Billie Holiday (by Carole Boston Weatherford, ages 11–14). I read the first few pages. This book is wonderful! Absolutely wonderful! It's the story of Venture Smith, who was born the prince of Dukandarra, Guinnea, but was captured by slave traders at the age of six. He worked through three decades of slavery before purchasing his own, and his family's freedom. The story is told in verse by three-time National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson. Alongside each verse is Venture Smith's own narrative.
I'm gonna eat this book up!
I still don't understand the art treatment (no offense to the artist, who's numerous awards outweigh my own). I can't wait to read on to find out how and why the art relates to the story.