From my query letter:
Pasta is the perfect food to Petunia! There are so many different varieties! Why should she eat anything else? Her mother, her teacher, and even the lunch-lady, warn her that she might turn into pasta if she doesn’t try something else. Could she really turn into pasta? Would it be farfalle? Or maybe fettuccini? Petunia finds out, to her dismay, that “you are what you eat.”
On a whim I sent it to 4RV during their submission window in October 2010--I knew of several people who had published with 4RV and I thought THE WORST CASE might be a good fit. On a snow day in early February 2011, I got an email saying they were interested in it. First I hyperventilated. Then, I composed a calm and professional email about how excited I was about working with them. I had a contract in my inbox later that afternoon.
Reading the contract took a few days. I had a few people help me decipher some of the legal language. I asked some questions of the editor. I signed it, notarized it, and sent it back to Oklahoma.
Today, I received my executed contract. My first contract that isn't work-for-hire. My own work. My own character. My own idea. I'm going to have an illustrator bring my character to life.
My daughter is now 8 and eats slightly more than just pasta, but the story still resonates. She'll turn 13 just after the book is published--I hope she's won't be mortified! On second thought, hopefully her culinary palate will be broader by then. :)
For those of you wondering, I'm still working on my work-for-hire. And I'm still querying my YA novel. And, yes, I've got a few more picture book manuscripts up my sleeve. You never know what's coming next!