RWO March 2018

Page 106

{ READS & WRITES }

LOVE LIKE SKY. BY LESLIE YOUNGBLOOD

Hello Rochester Woman Online! I’m Rochesterian and writer, Leslie C. Youngblood. One year ago, I landed a publishing deal with DisneyHyperion for my middle grade series Love Like Sky. It’s a writer’s dream come true!

from other works-in-progress that are still files in my computer. Middle-grade fiction isn’t my first genre. I’ve written literary and mystery. But the bottom line

As many writers know, the path to publication is difficult, to say the least. Whether you self-publish, or go the traditional route, like I’ve chosen, writers face similar challenges: How do I find the time to write? How do I overcome rejection or negative reviews?

a little about my middle grade novel Love Like Sky. Love Like Sky follows eleven-year old Georgie (G-baby), and her six-year old sister, Peaches. Georgie and Peaches are still getting used to their “blendedup” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her. G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t seem to know how to help Peaches get better.

How will the public receive my work? Am I ever going to make a living at this? I still face all of those questions and more, but my advice is “Don’t give up.” Okay, not that original. But for me, “Don’t give up” encapsulates the only way to make it as a writer. I usually share a quote from James Baldwin with other writers: “…Beyond talent lie all the usual words - discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.”

It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she could only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky. Preorder your copy of Love Like Sky, today! [Live Amazon link]

Writers have no control over how others perceive our work. What we can control is our efforts, our hustle. On my Facebook page, and website (www. lesliecyoungblood.com), I often share sampling of my rejections. Hundreds! These are not all from Love Like Sky, but 106

ROCHESTER WOMAN ONLINE :: MARCH 2018

is I kept writing. RWO, I love sharing my story. Please stay-tuned for a more in-depth feature on my writing journey in an upcoming edition of RWO. Here’s

Sincerely, Leslie

Thank you, RWO, for your support. It’s good to be home!