RM Romero (rmr051 on QT) has signed with agent Jenny Bent of The Bent Agency.
I never could have written this book if I hadn’t visited Poland when I was in college. I ended up falling in love with the beautiful city of Krakow and what I saw at Auschwitz haunted me for many years afterwards. The catalyst for the book was a short scene I write in which a doll comes to life and speaks to her creator. I was intrigued by the characters and since I needed to write a book for my MFA thesis, I felt compelled to see it through to the end.
It’s hard to be rejected. We all love our books so much and want them to speak to others as well. But I kept reminding myself as I went through the process that I love to write. Even if no one took an interest in DOLLMAKER, I had plenty of other stories I wanted to tell. I wrote another book while I was querying too, which helped to distract me (and stopped me from constantly refreshing my email!).
Dear Magical Agent,
After Karolina’s home, the Land of the Dolls, is conquered by vicious rats who destroy her people, her soul is sent to the human city of Krakow, Poland by a kindly wind god. There, Karolina is given a new body by a veteran of World War I and toyshop owner known as the Dollmaker. With Karolina’s help, the Dollmaker is able to put aside his memories of the horror of war and reveals the secret of his magic to a Jewish girl named Rena Trzmiel and her father, Jozef.
As Poland’s darkest hour approaches in 1939, the mythical creatures and legends of the countryside arrive in Krakow with the hope of assisting its people in their fight against the invading German forces. Karolina and the Dollmaker realize that they too must use their magic to save their friends from the terrors of the Nazi regime. But to assist others is to put their own lives in jeopardy—and danger that becomes even more apparent when Karolina and the Dollmaker meet a German magician who seeks to either control the Dollmaker’s magic or destroy it completely.
A fusion of fairy tales, rich Slavic folklore, and history in the tradition of “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Jane Yolen’s “Briar Rose”, THE DOLLMAKER OF KRAKOW introduces Middle Grade readers to the Holocaust and the struggles of Nazi-occupied Poland in way they can connect to and stresses the importance of creativity and love in times of great pain.