EDITOR NOTE: Nancy has now joined Rate Your Story as a Judge!
We are thrilled to have her with us.
In addition, we will be reading and discussing FLY, GIRL, FLY at a Tinker and Talk Book Chat on July 25th. Click here for more information.
by NANCY ROE PIMM
As an unagented writer, getting my work in front of editors is challenging. My advice is do the work and don’t be afraid. Put yourself out there!
As for my debut picture book, FLY, GIRL, FLY: SHAESTA WAIZ SOARS AROUND THE WORLD, here's how that book got wings and took flight:
While I worked on a biography for young readers, a new opportunity arose. It all began while I sat in the living room of Jerrie Mock—the first woman to fly around the world. During the interview, Jerrie mentioned that a young woman had stopped by a few weeks earlier to learn about global travel. Jerrie had said, “She was a refugee, from Afghanistan, and she wants to fly around the world.” Jerrie pointed her index finger to her temple and added, “And she’s going to do it. She’s a smart girl.” I jotted down the name of Shaesta Waiz and continued to question Jerrie about her historic flight.
One year later, while giving a book presentation at Oshkosh, the largest air show in the country, I met Shaesta Waiz. We talked about how much we admired Jerrie Mock, the housewife from Ohio who dared to follow her childhood dream. Shaesta interviewed me, and we parted ways. Here’s a link to the interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQGN8ho7VlA.
Fast forward a couple of years. On October 4, 2017, Shaesta Waiz soars around the world and becomes the youngest woman and the first from Afghanistan to circumnavigate the globe in a single engine airplane. Soon after, I received a call from Dubai. Shaesta had read my book, THE JERRIE MOCK STORY: THE FIRST WOMAN TO FLY AROUND THE WORLD, and she asked me if I would tell her story. Shaesta not only had flown around the world, but at each stop she encouraged the next generation to pursue careers in STEM and aviation. Of course, I said, “YES!”
I interviewed Shaesta in person, online, and over the phone. My journey began with lots of rejection. I read more and more picture books and studied the books that hit an emotional chord with me. After writing and revising the picture book manuscript with my amazing critique group in Columbus, Ohio, I had lots of interest from editors. I went through rounds and rounds of revisions. But with each “maybe” came an eventual pass on the manuscript.
In June 2019, I headed to an annual writing retreat in Fenwick Island, Delaware. I’ve been meeting with the same group of wonderful writers for decades! Since the retreat began on the same day as PBPitch, my fellow authors encouraged me to join the pitch party. My bunkmates and I worked on revising the pitch—and with a prayer— I tweeted it out into the universe. My heart thumped. What did I do? Will someone steal my idea? How can I take this back? Luckily, there was no need for my worries. Naomi Krueger, an editor from Beaming Books, liked my pitch. That night, my heart thumped with joy as I sent the manuscript her way.
A few months later, while on a dream trip in Paris, I signed the contract with Beaming Books and celebrated near the Arc de Triomphe with a glass of French champagne. Fly, Girl, Fly came into the world in September 2020 and within a few months the picture book went into a second printing. Scholastic chose the book for its national Rising Voices program, and it is one of five nominations for the Buckeye Book Award, my state’s readers’ choice award for grades 3-5. Thank goodness for storybook endings and thank goodness for PBPitch! So, take part in Pitch parties. Don’t worry about others stealing your ideas. Only you can write YOUR book.
Take a ride with Fly, Girl, Fly by clicking HERE: https://amzn.to/3zECJK6
Bonded by Battle--The Powerful Friendships of Military Dogs and Soldiers The Jerrie Mock Story--The First Woman to Fly Solo Around the World The Heart of the Beast--Eight Great Gorilla Stories Colo's Story--The Story of One Grand Gorilla The Indy 500--The Inside Track
BIO: Nancy Roe Pimm biography
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Nancy now resides in Plain City, Ohio, along with her husband, Ed, who has retired from a career racing Indy Cars and NASCAR. Nancy has drawn from her experience as a pit crew member for her husband's race team to write, The Indy 500- The Inside Track and The Daytona 500-The Thrill and Thunder of the Great American Race.
Nancy Roe Pimm volunteered as a docent for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in the 1980's. After she took an animal handling class, the zoo entrusted her with a vanful of critters to take to local school assemblies. Another docent duty was to lead zoo tours. While giving the tours, Nancy discovered her fascination with gorillas, especially Colo and her family. In 2007, Nancy's book, The Heart of the Beast--Eight Great Gorilla Stories was published and in 2011, Colo's Story--The Life of One Grand Gorilla. All four of Nancy's books are Junior Library Guild Selections. Colo's Story has been chosen as a Choose to Read Ohio book and was selected to represent the state of Ohio at the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C.
She is currently working on her first YA novel.
Nancy and Ed have three wonderful daughters: Allison, Lindsay, and Carli, a son-in-law Rusty and two very adorable grandsons, Tommy and Sammy. Nancy still loves to visit schools, but instead of sharing zoo animals, she shares her love of reading and writing. Nancy wrote her first book at age ten, and she brings it to the schools to encourage the students to believe in their dreams. You can reach Nancy through her web site at www.nancyroepimm.com