Story behind the story: The Ant Farm Escape!
By: Heather Macht
I typically like spending my Saturdays in bookstores or in libraries, reading through new picture book releases. Not only is it fun, it’s definitely an important part of a picture book writer’s job! You have to be aware and kept up-to-date on what’s selling and being released.
One particular Saturday I was reading through construction-themed books including Mighty Mighty Construction Site (Sheri Duskey Rinker) and Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night (Brianna Caplan Sayres). Since my son, who was 4 at the time, happened to be big into bugs – including ants – I started imagining hard hat and tool-belt-wearing ants building their nests with tools in hand on the pages. I even started to hear little rhymes form about these super-strong ants!
With this idea in mind, I went home and started writing The Ant Farm Escape!, and researching all about ants, because I LOVE STEM tie-ins and wanted to include some fun facts! The cool thing is, in researching ants, I found out that worker ants, the ants that do all the digging, building, heavy lifting, and hunting in their colony are ALL FEMALE! In fact, ants are a matriarchal group of insects, completely run by tough females. How did I not know this before?!
Within a week I had a completed manuscript to send off to my critique group and start querying. The exciting part of this process was #Pit2Pub just so happened to be close by to my story’s completion. With that in mind, I went ahead and got my pitch ready. When the day arrived for #Pit2Pub, I pitched this, got a request from Pelican Publishing (who encouraged me to include even more STEM facts in my MS). After some minor edits I submitted the revised story to them. The rest is history! I got offered a contract on this story within a month of submitting it to them.
Heather Macht is the author of (Pelican, 2019), (Pelican, 2019) and (Pelican, 2015).
Macht has a degree in Fine Arts, is an active member of the , and is the Assistant Administrator, the Newsletter Coordinator, and a volunteer judge for Rate Your Story. She loves spending her Saturday’s in bookstores or in libraries with friends.
Macht’s happily married and currently resides in Florida next door to a quiet beach. When she's not writing, Macht enjoys painting, reading poetry, and watching scary movies with her husband and children.