When I was 6 years-old, my crowd of Los Feliz Elementary School first-graders convinced shy (very shy!) me to go with them to Woolworth’s and steal what we called Little Big Books [I can only now find Big Little Books (R) online and they don’t look like the books the 6-year-olds were after]. I was after Tony Foster. Or was it Forester?* Clearly 6 years-old was a long time ago. But I remember perfectly when my supposed friends scattered and I got caught because the Little Big Book I was sneaking off the shelf fell out of my (little) white sweater and I had a very large threatening brick-house of a woman scowling and bellowing down at me, “DO YOU WANT TO WORK IN THE ROCK MINES?” (Managing not to throw up on her thick-soled sensible black shoes, I think I said, “No.”) Then she took me to a back room and left me there. Alone. With the door open. I tossed the Little Big Book for good and ran out those Woolworth’s double swinging doors back to school, my white sweater screaming behind me, and hid under the slide. Because a late-1960s slide as a hiding place makes so much sense. My thieving friends came to find me and couldn’t understand where I’d gone. I can’t remember if they were carrying (books). “She was going to send me to the rock mines!” I sobbed. (I like to think that Tony F. tried to comfort me, but the memory is hazy — or just not showing itself.) I was sick with worry and never went back into a Woolworth’s anywhere until at least 20 years later (and that was in a different state). You don’t know how personally thankful I was when Woolworth’s generally closed.
But I digress.
I read a lot of manuscripts as a literary agent. I’d like to read a manuscript that my first-grader friends would want to steal (as I’m obviously incapable). Check out the submissions page for details. Send me amazing stuff.
*I’ll save another Tony F. story for another day. It has to do with being on a TV. If you’re interested. And the Candy Cane Game.
About Erzsi Deak
Erzsi Deak is the founder of Hen&ink Literary Studio, a writer, and an editor. With nearly 30 years of experience on the international stage, she is most happy connecting individuals around the globe who can make things happen – no matter where you find yourself or what hat you are wearing. She is an editorial agent, pushing her authors and illustrators to go the extra kilometer to achieve sometimes surprising insights and results. A two-time SCBWI Member of the Year awardee, she speaks on craft, “the market,” and current industry topics. She is pleased to announce that the new MAB Media will publish PERIOD PIECES: STORIES FOR GIRLS as one of its launch books in 2015. Her first picture book, PUMPKIN TIME! (Sourcebooks, 2014, illustrated by Doug Cushman) has just been picked up by the Scholastic Book Clubs. Thanks to technology, she can work from France and be in New York and London at the same time.