Friday, February 15, 2019

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Heather Macht's The Ant Farm Escape

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. 

I’m so excited that they picked it up, too!  They had such a fun direction and paired me with a wonderful illustrator. They were a pleasure to work with too, might I add.  Altogether, this was such a fun story to research and write; I’m so glad I took the trip to the bookstore that morning. 😉


Heather Macht is the author of The Ant Farm Escape! (Pelican, 2019), Rex the...We-Don't-Know (Pelican, 2019) and You May Just Be a Dinosaur (Pelican, 2015). 
Macht has a degree in Fine Arts, is an active member of the SCBWI, 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. 





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  1. Researching is truly a rewarding experience and libraries/bookstores are perfect places for ideas. I salute you for your hard work and determination too. Thank you for sharing your story behind your book. More blessings.

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