I am so excited to finally get to share this news. Here it is, in the February 8, 2016 issue of Publisher's Weekly:
Inside, on page 9, is something crazy-wonderful:
Here's a close-up:
Wind Takes 'Queer History" to Aladdin
Lindsay Brown at Aladdin's Beyond Words imprint nabbed world English rights to Lee Wind's nonfiction middle grade book, The Queer History Project: No Way, They Were Gay? Wind is a writer and LGBTQ activist—he's behind the popular blog "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?"—and was represented in the deal by Danielle Smith at Red Fox Literary. Smith said the book will "explore surprising LGBTQ loves and lives across time and around our world." The Queer History Project is set for a September 2017 publication.
Beyond Words is a super-cool imprint of Simon & Schuster, and I'm so so so so so so so excited!
My 11-year journey so far in children's literature has been a roller coaster of hope and rejection and working on my craft and encouragement and then rejection and hope again... I know the ride will continue to twist and turn and even loop-de-loop, but knowing I've sold a book (!) means I will probably have this silly grin on my face for the rest of the ride!
Most of all, this book of LGBTQ profiles and primary sources matches my mission that I printed out and hung on the wall above my desk some seven years ago:
"My mission is to write the books that had I read them as a kid would have changed my life."
Had I known just one of these true stories of men who loved men, women who loved women, or people who lived their lives outside gender boundaries...
Had I known that Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln, was in love with another guy, Joshua Fry Speed, and gotten to read some of Lincoln's letters to Joshua.
That Shakespeare, William Shakesepeare, wrote over 120 Sonnets—love poems—to a young man, and gotten to read some of them.
That Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi, was in love with a German-Jewish architect, Hermann Kallenbach, and gotten to read the contract between them pledging "more love and yet more love... such love as, they hope, the world has not seen."
I didn't come out as a gay man until I was in my mid-twenties. A book like this, like my The Queer History Project: No Way, They Were Gay?, would have changed EVERYTHING for me. So since I don't have a time machine, I'm writing it for young people today.
I'm writing it for every LGBTQ young person out there so that they can be authentic now.
I'm writing it for every hetero and cis-gendered young person out there so they know that our history—the world's history—is full of amazing men who loved men, incredible women who loved women (like Eleanor Roosevelt and Frida Kahlo), and remarkable people who lived their lives outside gender boundaries (like the Pharoah Hatshepsut and Christine Jorgensen.)
I'm writing it for every LGBTQ adult who, like me, never learned any of this in school,
and for every hetero and cis-gendered adult willing to consider that it's just not that likely that everyone famous and important in history was hetero and cis-gendered, too.
I'm writing my book to change the world.
And it's going to be published by Beyond Words/Aladdin/Simon & Schuster!
There's a huge circle of people to thank, and most of those appreciations will come later. For now, three THANK YOUs that can't wait:
Thank you, Danielle!
Danielle Smith of Red Fox Literary is my literary agent, champion, and friend. I'm so grateful to have you with me on this journey!
|The news is sparkling, and so is the photo!|
Thank you to my awesome kid! No one has been more excited (or encouraging) about this. I'm so blessed to be your Papi.
|The smiley face inside the "d" makes my congratulations note even sweeter!|
And thank you to my words-can't-really-express-it-but-I-keep-trying-wonderful husband. Your love gives me wings!
|Best. Guy. Ever!|
And one more appreciation that can't wait -- to you, reading this. Thank you for being part of my fantastic community, and for letting me shout my news from the rooftops:
I'VE GOT A BOOK COMING OUT IN SEPTEMBER 2017!
|One more 'Thanks!' to my Dad for the celebratory bottle of Champagne!|