Friday, January 25, 2019

Cover reveal: BUTTERFLY GIRL by Sarah Floyd + Giveaway!

I have followed Michelle Hauck for many years. I admire her dynamic writing style—her books are fantastic—and her contests, blog posts, and endless support of the kidlit community has helped so many writers, including me! Thank you, Michelle, for welcoming me to your blog to share the cover of my debut MG novel, BUTTERFLY GIRL.

Michelle suggested that I mention some thoughts about how I found my agent. I wish I could offer a quick and easy formula for “how to wow an agent and land a publishing deal,” but that’s not how it happened for me . . .

When I first started writing, I was eager to query my picture books, confident that an agent would soon snap up my stories. I was a strong writer in high school and college, and loved children’s books, so the long and painful journeys I read about from other writers seemed like something I could avoid . . . but over time I learned that the skills needed to write academic papers do not line up exactly with the skills needed for writing books.  

Like many before me, much of my journey was difficult and discouraging. Mountains of form rejections and long stretches spent hanging out in Cricket Land can leave any aspiring author feeling stuck in place and frustrated—but with the help of amazing friends and critique partners I met at the SCBWI Blueboards, my early enthusiasm turned into a focused, serious commitment to learning the craft of writing for publication. After several years of writing and querying picture books and my MG novel (BUTTERFLY GIRL), I finally began to make progress in the form of personal rejections, and a few requests.  

As my confidence grew, I began entering contests, like Michelle’s Sun vs. Snow (short-listed by one of the mentors) and Query Kombat (winner in the picture book category). I continued workshopping my projects with critique partners, and then jumped into the online conference WriteOnCon, where I met my first agent, Danielle Smith. (This was about two years before she abruptly closed her agency and disappeared from social media.) I was elated when Danielle said she loved the first few pages of BUTTERFLY GIRL and requested the full manuscript, along with any completed picture books—and I literally danced with joy when she offered representation a few weeks later. A book deal was right around the corner, or so I thought . . .

After six months with little communication and nothing on submission, I lost faith in the partnership and decided it would be best for me to move on. I took a month off to decompress and gather my courage, and then started querying again, although I privately worried that other agents might have unspoken questions about why the relationship had ended, and my formerly agented status would be a mark against me. Incredibly, all the agents I queried sent personal responses that were encouraging and kind, and four of them asked for additional material . . . and thankfully, one of those agents was Essie White of Storm Literary, who cares deeply for her clients and is exceptionally hardworking, supportive, communicative, and honest. She’s also super savvy about the industry and has a fantastic editorial eye. Signing with such a phenomenal agent was a moment of pure relief and happiness—she truly is the perfect agent for me.

Essie submitted BUTTERFLY GIRL to Callie Metler-Smith of Clear Fork Publishing—and we received an offer of publication! Working with Callie and her team has been a great experience. After writing a second stand-alone novel (going on submission soon), I asked Callie if I could re-read the manuscript before she created the final proof. I wondered if the things I had learned from drafting that second novel might also apply to my first, since I hadn’t read it in a very long time, other than copying and pasting the first 5-10 pages to query agents. After re-reading I found that I still loved the story, but I noticed places where the writing could be improved. Callie agreed with my thoughts, which meant delaying the release so I could revise, and so she could read the new version and approve it or offer additional feedback. I’m grateful to have landed with such a wonderfully collaborative and supportive publisher!

It’s a fantastic feeling to arrive at this point in the journey where I can finally share the cover for BUTTERFLY GIRL . . .  

By: Sarah Floyd

Release date: March 26, 2019    
Publisher: Clear Fork Publishing                          
ISBN: 978-1-946101-64-8
Available for Preorder Soon

About the book:  

In the summer before seventh grade, Meghan McCoy-Lee discovers there’s magic in the sap of her family tree. She follows instructions in her great-grandmother’s journal . . . and grows leathery wings! Meghan’s story goes viral and her mother, who abandoned Meghan at Grandpa’s Oregon farm six years earlier, swoops back into town with superstar plans for her Winged Wonder Girl. Grandpa says stay on the farm and ignore the paparazzi, but her charismatic mom wants her to leave for Hollywood and start a new life together. The popular girls at school want Meghan gone, like yesterday—she’s getting way more attention than they are.

One thing is certain: Meghan’s going to make up her own mind, and the designer divas aren’t part of the equation. With the help of her brainy best friends, there may be a way to make the queen of the mean girls stumble and fall off her throne. Now Meghan must decide if a glamorous life with the mother she dreamed of is worth moving away from the friends who stood by her—and from Grandpa, who loved her before the whole world knew her name.                    

About the author:

Sarah Floyd was born in Carmel Highlands, California, where she and her friends explored, built forts, and acted out magical adventure stories in the woods that surrounded their homes. When she was in first grade her family moved to San Francisco, and then to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She always brought her favorite books, wherever she moved, and she always found new friends who loved to read. Now she writes books for children and teens—for her, it’s the best job in the world!

Sarah is also the author of the picture book, TEN CLEVER NINJAS, which will be released later this year by Clear Fork Publishing. She is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and lives in Florida with her husband and teenage son. To learn more, please visit, and follow her on Twitter @kidlitSarah

Giveaway details:


THANK YOU for celebrating with me today!! Please comment below with your answer (and include your Twitter handle or email) for a chance to win a signed ARC.

Michelle will randomly select a winner to receive a signed ARC, along with a query and first chapter critique (MG or YA), or a query plus full PB manuscript critique. Entry ends February 2nd.