Status: Out on submission.
Fake Friend Fiasco won Silver in the 2023 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards in the Middle Grade, Unpublished category.
Roxie Parco has awesome writing and roller-skating skills. What she doesn't have is a way to stop Pippa's Roxie-Can’t-Hear Public Service Announcements. She needs her classmate to quit it now, before they move up to sixth grade. This kind of attention in middle school is the last thing Roxie needs.
A spectacular solution manifests itself on Career Day. The local newspaper is having a contest, and they will publish the best student essay about a local event! Roxie is desperate to be that star reporter so Pippa has something else to talk about besides her hearing. And with the cash prize, Roxie would finally be able to afford the leopard skates she and her BFF want to buy. Matching skates will look awesome in the skate videos they post on social media.
Roxie agrees to a favor her teacher requests, only to discover she misheard what it was. Holy cannoli! Now she’s paired up with Pippa for the rest of the school year. And when Pippa’s twin meddles, Roxie could lose not only her big writing opportunity, but her best friend as well.
Status: Undergoing revisions.
The Magnificent Rolling Roxie won a Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Rising Kite Honorable Mention Award in 2020.
Roxie Parco has two hearing aids and a history of mishearing her cues. Classmate Carrie predicts Roxie will now mess up the fifth-grade play. Roxie sets out to prove her wrong with an amazing audition. She misses directions and earns one of the smallest parts.
Roxie’s lucky break materializes when rehearsals go haywire. She concocts a fractured version of the play in an attempt to save the production. Her goal is to skyrocket the class—and her own minor part—to glory. But Roxie had better watch out! If Miss French gets a whiff of the secret script and costume changes, she’ll get thrown out of the production. Feeling empowered by her roller skates, she forges ahead.
Roxie soon discovers something her Magic 8-Ball didn't predict. Carrie has a secret of her own. And it’s one that will force Roxie to make a life-changing decision.
Also included in each book is a delicious recipe mentioned in the story, Roxie's tips for communicating with people who don't hear, a list of famous people who have hearing loss, and some interesting hearing facts.
How can I buy your books? I've searched the entire Internet and can't find them.
Getting a book traditionally published takes a long time. Like Chutes and Ladders time.
Know that game? You work your way around the board, and finally reach the top of a ladder. Whoo hoo!
Next thing you know, you're whooshing down a chute.
In publishing, finishing your book is the top of the ladder. The chute is when you need to revise it. Or when an editor nicely rejects it,
But I'm close to staying up on that ladder, folks. Very, very close.
So, to answer your question: Neither book has been contracted to a publisher—yet. But if you send me your email through my contact page, I pinky-swear you will be the first to know when it happens. Then we can whoo hoo! together.
What made you decide to write about a hard-of-hearing fifth grader?
Hard-of-hearing and deaf kids are under-represented in literature. My goal, as a deaf author, is to raise awareness about hearing loss with a strong main character who doesn't let anything stand in her way.
Roxie is a highly motivated kid who just so happens to be hard-of-hearing. Fake Friend Fiasco and The Magnificent Rolling Roxie are about close friendships, pre-teen drama, love crushes, school issues and special family connections.
Wait ’till you meet Roxie's Grandma! You're gonna love her.
Are the characters in your stories real people?
Yes and no.
While my plots are fiction, I wrote Roxie from my own experiences as a profoundly hard-of-hearing kid in a hearing world.
Other characters are based on real people, or a combination of people. Part of being a writer is observing people and absorbing their mannerisms, speech and behavior.
I will say this: Grandma Parco, with a little embellishment, is based on my grandmother. Her storyline, however, is pure fiction. She never ran off to Atlantic City, that I know of.
I may be wrong.
Copyright © 2023 Jill Watson. All Rights Reserved.