About Me | Button Nose the Sad Little Bear | Cinderella — A Love Story | Contact | Erik and Isis | Fact Sheet | Favourite Sites | Home | Janet Gaynor — Star, Legend, Friend and Faerie God-mother | The Joy of Pen Pals | My Boys | Pegasus — A Dragon’s Tale | Photo Gallery | Sarah Brightman — Lady, Queen and Goddess | This and That
Okay, this is my baby!!! It was the first major writing project of my career. The original version was a stage play that I titled Cinderella — A Play in Two Acts. I wrote it in 1980. In 1981, I started the novel. I took each scene in the play and wrote a chapter around it, thereby fleshing it out. I tried for years to get it published without any luck. In 1984, I got fed up and stuck it in a drawer, where it stayed for 17 years!!!!! Then, in 2001, the Audio Book Club announced their Second Annual Short Story Contest. I had a good feeling about it, so I dug out my manuscript, made any necessary corrections, retyped it per their format and submitted it. In December, I received a reply from Traci Cothran with the delightful news that, while I didn’t win the contest, my book had scored in the top five finalists. Wow!!!!! I was elated and began to search again for a publisher. I still had no luck until the Fall of 2007 when I began searching one day for a children’s book publisher for my other book Pegasus — A Dragon’s Tale. I found, instead, Amazon’s first Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I entered Cinderella but didn’t make the semi-final round. My prize, however, was an account with Create Space — a print-on-demand self publisher. I was over-joyed! Finally, a chance to publish my book the way I wanted it, without hearing the usual schpeel from a bunch of boneheads with no taste in anything good!!!!! For anyone who’s tried main-stream publishing you know what I’m talking about. Hearing comments like “It’s good, but it’s not what we’re looking for” are more than frustrating — they’re downright infuriating!!!!!
Anyway, after getting my original proof copy back from Create Space, I decided to have it illustrated, instead of just plain text. After trying several well-known illustrators I opted for an art student. I tried at the college level first, figuring they’d jump at the chance. When no one responded I tried my high school theatre teacher. Tony suggested one of my former teachers, who was now head of the school’s art department. I contacted Barry and, while he couldn’t promise anything, said he’d mention my request to the class and see what would happen. A few days later, Barry contacted me again with the name of a student interested in doing my illustrations. Her name was Stephanie Zuppo. Steph and I soon got together and the first afternoon, while sitting at my kitchen table, she created the pic you see above. Ella. I love her as much as my niece Kameela does, she’s just so precious!!!!! I can’t thank Barry enough for connecting us — Stephanie is positively BRILLIANT!!!!! She’s now a Senior at the Moore College of Art in Philadelphia and I can’t wait till she completes the art for my second book. In the meantime, she has been working on redoing the art for Pegasus. Check out her website at www.aioazech.net to see all her amazing work. Meanwhile, I thought you might all like to check out the version of Cinderella I had as a child, the book that started my obsession. It was published in 1961 by the Whitman Publishing Company as one of their Top Top Tales series and illustrated by Catherine Barnes.
Wasn’t that beautiful? Keep checking back here for any future updates on the publishing of Cinderella — A Love Story. I will put them up as soon as they become available. Meantime, if you’d like a sneak peek check out www.createspace.com/Preview/1057358. You can also leave me a review. Enjoy!