You’ve all read about the numerous ups and downs in my journey to produce the first Centipede Dragon book. And as I’ve shared with you my failures, I hope that somehow, you all will keep in mind the silver linings as I do.
On January 24, I held my focus group for book 2, which I had planned to publish at end of January. But then I realized I had completely forgotten about taking this important step. I quickly turned to a friend, the librarian for Youth Services at Charles Beatley Central Library, who has been a wonderful advocate for Centipede Dragon.
Unfortunately, with having to reschedule this event once already, the intervening holidays, the cold months, and the kids' return to school, our event was attended by only one. HOWEVER, that one, a young lady, ended up being a productive and brilliant participant after I read her both books. Then I essentially got to grill her one-on-one with the questions I had prepared to test for character motivation and plot comprehension.
The success of a focus group lies in polling and numbers, but simply talking to a kid about her take on your book can still bear significant impact. I ended up with A LOT of insight, as well as confirmation that the holes I suspected I had in the plot were indeed there.
My librarian and her assistant also gave invaluable information about how they interpreted some of my choices for visual imagery; in my mind, these illustrations which I had lovingly crafted were absolutely clear to me, but clearly not to others. And now, from my focus group of three, I have critical information to incorporate into the new book that will make it better.
My point in telling you this, is despite the time we (the librarian and I) put into prepping for this event, it's easy to be disappointed by the lack of attendance. But if you persevere, you just might get your silver lining: for me, it was that one actively engaged young lady.
No matter what, I will produce the best book that I possibly can. In the coming months, look out for snippets from the book and a new trailer, as well as a final launch date!