We celebrated Keila Dawson’s good news in our 2014 Year of Success post. Today Keila is sharing her query letter that she sent to Pelican Publishing. It brought her an offer for her book THE KING CAKE BABY which has come out this month just in time for Mardi Gras! Keila sent in the manuscript in May and it was acquired in June. Now that’s a pretty quick turnaround time! Hooray for Keila!
Keila says about her query, “Ahem, note newbie error, I addressed it to “editor”. Think I read somewhere to do that so I did! LOL!” Looks like it worked out fine. And Keila targeted her submission just right! Here’s her query:
Is it possible to have a King Cake without a King Cake Baby? No! Without the plastic baby, the pastry is just a large oval cinnamon roll. When hidden inside the cake, the plastic baby becomes a symbol, an important part of the Mardi Gras tradition which begins on King’s Day, January 6, twelve days after Christmas and ends on Mardi Gras Day. The eagerness to discover if your piece of cake contains the King Cake Baby is as enticing as the pastry itself.
THE KING CAKE BABY is a 649-word picture book. The repetitive text follows a similar rhythm and rhyme pattern of the classic story, The Gingerbread Man. After his escape from home, the King Cake baby meets characters in his French Quarter neighborhood on his way to the Mississippi River. The colloquial lingo is easily recognizable and gives the characters special cultural significance.
I am a native of New Orleans, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Central and South Ohio Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (COSCBWI). This is my first submission.
Included at the end of the book will be an easy King Cake recipe that can be made by young children supervised by an adult. Bon Appétit!
Keila V. Dawson
You can find out more about Keila at www.keiladawson.com
Follow her on Twitter @keila_dawson