The Long, Winding Road to a Magical Debut
by Kate Kennedy, editor of The Bird Sisters
When I first read The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen, I knew it was special. Rebecca clearly cared about her characters and about the world she’d created for them, and she was able to draw me in before walloping me with an ending that I had never-in-a-million-years seen coming.
Rebecca included background information: the idea for this novel had all started with her grandmother’s journals, who at age seventy-two had created a list of things that she loved and that made her heart sing (“the scent of cotton drying in the sun, mud on my feet, honeysuckle twirling up railings, my mother”).
And yet. There was something missing. The novel felt – the most dreaded word in the publishing world – quiet. I wrote up a detailed letter for the agent to pass along to Rebecca. I thought the story had promise, and I thought that Rebecca did too, but I also believed that Rebecca needed to do more work on this book.
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Six months later, the agent delivered a newly revised version of the book, and this time, it hit all the right notes. Rebecca had done all the work I’d asked of her and more, and what had once been “quiet” was now nuanced and thoughtful. I quickly made an offer and thankfully, it was accepted.
Most authors do not have such a long or winding road to publication, but this experience demonstrates everything that I’ve discovered about Rebecca as we’ve worked together.
If I were to create a list of everything I love about this novel, and what I have learned from and been inspired by in its author, Rebecca Rasmussen, it would include these. Generosity. Respect. Unwavering enthusiasm. Inspiring the best in those around you. Creativity. Boundless energy. Tenacity. Faith in every opportunity, every friendship, every possibility. Hope.
It’s been a true pleasure working with Rebecca on her magical debut, and a true joy to see this beautiful book find its place in readers’ hearts.
Download an excerpt of The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen
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