I Just Turned In My First Draft!

A few weeks (months?) ago I shared that I am writing an eBook — not the one of the ones I’ve had in my head for a few years (I have all sorts of ideas floating around in my head of eBooks I’d love to write based on my blog’s content; maybe someday I’ll get around to writing one of them!) — but rather a children’s story for the NPMA (National Pest Management Association).

I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about the topic and how to approach it. I had the option of continuing the story that Susan Carraretto wrote for the NPMA last year called The Pest Detectives, about the adventures of Millie, an 8-year-old insect lover, as she solves real-life pest mysteries with her father, a pest professional. I could write Chapter 2 of Millie’s story and create another pest mystery for her to solve. Or I could create a spin-off and invent a new main character and incorporate Millie into the story.

I thought about it for a while and decided it would feel like a cop-out to just write the next chapter of Millie’s story. And also, I was a bit intimidated at the thought of trying to impersonate Susan’s lovable character. I was afraid I couldn’t do it justice or would miss the mark, so I decided to create my own character and then bring Millie into that story.

From there, I decided to write the story from the perspective of the family who has the pest infestation. I envisioned bringing Millie and her dad to their house to solve the mystery, and upon arrival, the main character of my story would recognize Millie from school and they could work together to solve the pest problem!

The folks at NPMA loved the idea, so I set out to develop the story.

I spent a few days perusing the NPMA’s website, PestWorld.org, for ideas and trying to figure out which critter should be the pest in my story, and I finally honed in on the idea of a mice infestation.

I will never forget the evening 15 years ago, in my very first apartment, when I  noticed out of the corner of my eye a mouse scurrying across my family room floor while I was reading a book on the couch. To say that I freaked would be an understatement. This set my husband on a mouse hunt, and thanks to a few well placed traps, we soon had our mouse problem under control. To this day, he lectures the kids to put the trash bags full of food and waste from our kitchen into the sealed trash can and not leave them sitting in the garage to attract mice.

I knew immediately that I could use my own experiences to make the story believable, so mice it was!

I’ve been pondering my storyline for days, anytime I find myself with some downtime, and I yesterday finally had a chance to sit down and plot out my story on paper. Or, you know, in a Word document.

This morning I put the finishing touches on my outline and sent it to the NPMA for approval!

I can’t wait to actually start writing the narrative. Now that I have the plot line figured out, I think it will come together quickly. Or at least, it should be fun! Nothing I write comes together quickly; I’m way too obsessive for my own good. But I enjoy the process, and I’m excited to move on to the actual writing of the book. Stay tuned!!