The Wikkeling By Steven Arntson

There are a lot of rules on my son’s school playground. This disturbs both of us. Very little running goes on at recess that’s not heavily supervised. We were commiserating about this fact recently and it called to mind a submission I received a couple of years ago which featured a dystopian world where the adults were so consumed with safety that the children could hardly breathe. I really wanted to acquire it, but for various reasons I had to pass. What’s frustrating  is that it’s been haunting me ever since. I had always hoped it had found its way to the shelves, but I had no way of verifying this fact, because I had no current title and I couldn’t recall the author’s name. I remembered the oppressively anesthetic, nearly rubberized town and the three point harnesses that the children had to wear on the bus. I remembered the protagonist was an odd little girl who got migraine-like headaches that were overseen by some nefarious yellow character (a bit of an homage to The Man In the Yellow Suit, perhaps?) and a lot more, in fact.  So much so that the memory of this world still overtakes me at odd intervals. So I finally decided to just enter everything I remembered about the book into Google and VOILA!  The Wikkeling by Steven Arntson.

The reason I’m sharing this story with you, gentle authors, is that I want you to understand that there’s more behind a rejection than you can imagine—even when your rejector doesn’t let you in on it. I liked this story a lot, and I’m sure I let the agent know that, but at the time I had no idea it would leave such an impression on me.

I’m so glad that Running Press was smart enough to “run” with it (tee hee).

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