August 27, 2008

Drumroll, please!

I've taken a big step today, friends. I've sent out my bilingual children's book to two literary agencies.

This means I'm asking for an agent to represent my work to publishing companies in the hope of eventually having my book bought and published.

I've spent the last two years working on this project. Rewriting, finding a native Spanish speaker to check my grammar, rewriting again, more proof-reading, presenting it to a critique group, more rewriting. Oh yes, and procrastinating.

Query letters are scary things, friends. They are what I've been avoiding these past two years. (A query gives a snyopsis of your book to an agent or publisher, telling them why the book is important or exciting, and asking them, basically, to buy it).

I know what you're thinking: Surely, the actually writing of the book itself is the hard part. Not for me. It's the queries that give me writer's block; they are the stuff nightmares are made of, the things that go bump in the night. I'm so not a saleswoman.

But at last, I've conquered the infamous Query-fiend, and sent out my story into the wide, wide world.

And now, for your reading pleasure, I am pleased to present to you for the first time my story in its entirety. I give you:

Egop's Treasure/ El tesoro de Egopeo
by Nicole Neuhauser
(but never fear, I will only present the English story here =)

Once upon a time, a king and queen lived in the great city of Pamplona, which would one day be a part of Spain. They had one child, a daughter named Esperanza. They loved her very much and so did all the people in the kingdom. The princess grew into a beautiful young lady and soon King Hector wanted to find her a husband.
He decided to hold a contest. He invited all the young men in the kingdom to come.
“Whoever wins the contest will marry the princess,” he said. Many young men traveled to the castle when they heard the king’s invitation. Each one wanted to win. Each one wanted to marry the princess.
When they arrived, King Hector gave them these directions:
“You must travel into the Pyrenees Mountains to a small valley named Egop. Follow the Argo River until you reach the mountains. Travel north and you will find some rocks in the shape of an “X”. The rocks are the entrance to Egop. When you get there you will find the ground covered with beautiful jewels. Find the jewel you think is the prettiest of all and bring it back to me. In one month I will look at all the jewels and decide who the winner is.”
The young men left quickly. Each one wanted to be first to find Egop.
But Pedro did not go. He was poor and blind. He did not know the way to Egop and no one would help him.
A few days later an enchantress met Pedro.
“Why aren’t you going to Egop with the others?” she asked him.
“I am blind,” he answered sadly. “I cannot travel to Egop to look for jewels because I cannot see.” The enchantress thought for several minutes.
“Pedro, it is not fair that you were left behind,” she said. “You should have the same chance to marry the princess as all the other young men. I’m going to give you your sight.”
Suddenly, Pedro could see! He was overjoyed, but the enchantress warned him: “You are an honest man, Pedro. Stay honest. If you win the contest dishonestly, you will become blind again.”
Pedro thanked the enchantress and immediately set off for Egop. He followed the Argo River. He climbed the mountains and looked for the rocks in the shape of an “X”. Finally he found the valley of Egop. But when he looked around, he couldn’t find any jewels. The other young men had come and gone already. Though Pedro searched and searched, not one jewel was left.
Discouraged, he picked up a small smooth pebble. It was not beautiful or precious. He knew he would not win with such an ugly rock, but he didn’t want to go home empty-handed. Sadly, Pedro traveled back to the castle.
At the end of the month, the king examined all the jewels the young men had found in Egop. There were enormous diamonds, blood-red rubies, brilliant emeralds, and sparkling sapphires. King Hector looked and looked. But the more he looked, the unhappier he was until he saw Pedro’s little pebble.
“Where did you get this?” asked the king. “This is not a jewel!”
Embarrassed, Pedro told him about the enchantress and how he had left for Egop several days after the other men. “When I arrived, there were no more jewels. I didn’t want to come home with nothing so I brought this pebble.”
The king smiled. Then he laughed.
“There were never any jewels in Egop!” he said. “Only common pebbles like yours. These beautiful jewels came from other places, but none of them came from Egop. You have proved yourself the most honest man in the kingdom, Pedro! You will marry Esperanza.”
The other young men left the castle very quickly when they learned the truth about King Hector’s contest. They were afraid the King would punish them for their dishonesty. But Esperanza, who had been watching nearby, smiled at Pedro.
“May I have the pebble?” she asked. “I want the royal goldsmith to put it on a chain and make it into a necklace. I’ll always wear the necklace. When I look at the pebble, I will remember your honesty.”
And they lived happily ever after.


Linds said...

That's so cool, little sis! Keep me posted on what happens, if and when you hear anything!

Anonymous said...

I love the story! I'm excited that you finally sent it out. Congratulations on conquering the query obstacle. Let me know when you hear back,