I've written many children's books, ones I read to grandchildren and great-grandchildren, but I Like Pink is the first accepted for publication and with an illustrator who has been able to apply time and effort enough to have a tentative release date. This book is the first that uses the name Vivian Zabel, rather than V. Gilbert Zabel or Vivian Gilbert Zabel.
I entered the manuscript in the OWFI (Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc.) yearly competition. As per the guidelines for the contest, I waited until after the entry deadline to submit it to a publisher. 4RV accepted it immediately. I can hear your thoughts, you know. You're thinking, "What's the big deal. You are the head of 4RV Publishing." Ah, but I don't have any say in what is accepted. All submissions go to an acquisition editor anonymously, even mine. In fact, many of you know the story of one of my manuscripts being rejected, and it's still rejected until I improve it -- some day when I have time.
Now, back to the subject at hand: I like Pink. I submitted the manuscript, which was accepted within two days. I contacted (yes, here is where I used my position and knowledge of our illustrators) Ginger Nielson, one of our fabulous illustrators, and asked her if she would take the project. She agreed, gave a timeline (tentative release June, 2013), and began work. Ginger finished the cover as one of the first steps, but I couldn't reveal it or even the title until I knew all judging of the OWFI category was finished. I didn't want to influence any judge, whether for or against my entry.
Until now, no one had seen the cover except Ginger, me, and Sonia Gensler. I'm soooo excited. I think it's gorgeous.
The book is based on something my great-granddaughter Haylee told me at the family Thanksgiving get-together. Therefore, she had to be the main character. The book is one that helps little ones learn colors, but guess which color is Haylee's favorite? Oh, now she has added purple, too, but pink is still first. Haylee informed me, "I like pink: dark pink, light pink, and almost white pink." That from a three-year-old begged for a story, didn't it?