Jessie Haas reads a passage from her newest book. Two years ago, she received a random email that may make the children's book author a household name.
"In my totally professional way before we even said anything about terms, I was like oh yeah, I'm in, I want to do this," Haas said.
Meet Saige Copeland, American Girl's 2013 "Girl of the Year." Haas wrote the books that accompany her. American Girl has turned into a phenomenon. The dolls are wildly popular with many young girls.
"There are two. 'Saige' and 'Saige Paints the Sky.' She's a fourth-grader and just going back to school and a girl who is passionate about art and discovers that they are not going to have art classes in her school," Haas said.
The story is about Saige's fight to bring the arts back. Haas was selected for the project because of her stories about kids and horses. Saige cares for one. The doll and the books were just released, which a big deal for American Girl collectors. While the writing took place, Haas was sworn to secrecy about Saige, despite attempts by hardcore fans to get the inside scoop.
"I was getting these probing emails back in September and October saying so, we understand you are writing, can you tell us anything?" Haas said.
But now she's out and her story is, too. Haas has written 35 other books, but this one will probably be her biggest.
"It's fun to be a part of something that you don't have to explain to anybody. Everybody has heard about it," she said. "Not somewhere I expected to ever go or something I expected to ever do, but it was a delightful surprise."
As for what it means for Haas' career...
"I have to get back to you on that," she said. "I don't know what it means except it is a really fun way to meet a lot of kids."
All thanks to this popular doll giving a Vermont author her spot in American Girl history.
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