I have some fun updates to share!
- THE TURTLE SHIP is currently undergoing the color correction process. That means Colleen (the talented illustrator), Lee & Low (the amazing publisher) and the printing company are collaborating to make sure the colors represented in the book’s images accurately reflect the colors in Colleen’s original artwork. Jessica (our brilliant editor) thinks that the book will be in warehouses in June, which means it will be released in July/August of this year. Wowza! Anyway, here are some photos of the color correcting process, courtesy of artist Colleen Kong-Savage:
- THE PAPER KINGDOM is in the process of being illustrated by wonderful artist Pascal Campion. He emailed me a few weeks ago to say how much he loves the story and how excited he is to start sketching. I REALLY enjoy the picture book process, and it’s thrilling to work with such talented, smart and kind people. I’ll share more news soon.
- OTHER PROJECT: About four months ago, I sent a draft of a middle grade novel to my agent, Bill. He had some very helpful notes and asked for a hefty revision to change a major plot point and trim down the manuscript by about 5,000 words — yikes! So for a few months, I wrestled with the story. And then, earlier this month, I sent the revised version to Bill and was SO nervous about what he’d think. You see, Bill is a refined fellow with elevated taste, and this story of mine has a lot of wacky humor, goofball scenes and fart references. I was BEYOND relieved when he told me that he loved it! Now, I’m just hoping an editor out there will feel the same…
- AND MY NEWEST PROJECT: I’ve also been working on a young adult novel and was about 100 pages into the first draft. Kind of felt stuck with the plot at that point, so I was taking a break from it. But suddenly, right after the holidays, a new idea grabbed me by the throat and HAS NOT LET GO. I literally go to sleep thinking about it, and wake up thinking about it. Though I always encourage people to finish their current project before attacking a new one, I’m not taking my own advice because this idea keeps NAGGING at me to pay attention to it. So I placed the original YA novel aside, and I’m now 50 pages into this new story idea. I’ve been having a blast writing it and can’t wait for the weekends when I can nerd out for hours at my home computer. I’ve never been so thrilled to delve into a story and the words are flowing fast. Gotta ride this momentum while it lasts…
- CHUBBY SAUSAGE: Sherwin our chubby sausage is turning out to be a popular pooch in our neighborhood. People we’ve never seen before will eagerly walk up to our front yard to ask, “Is your dog around today? We walked over here just to see him.” In my mind, I’m thinking, “Who are you? And should I call the cops?” But my response is usually, “Oh, he’s inside getting a bath.” Then they’ll respond, “Okay, we’ll try again tomorrow.” Another time, a woman hollered across the street, “My son loves your dog!” In my mind, I was thinking, “Who are you and who is this suspicious son of yours?” But my response was, “That’s so nice! Thank you!” And there is one guy who schedules his evening bike ride to coincide with Sherwin’s walk. I think he travels around the neighborhood seeking Sherwin. And when he spots Sherwin, he speeds over and skids to a stop. Then he jumps off his bike, throws it on its side and scoops Sherwin into his arms. He won’t let go until we say, “We’d better run now!” Sometimes, I’m afraid there’s an entire gang of people hiding behind trees and bushes to snatch up our adorable chubby sausage. He’s such a lovable little guy. The only issue is he has a ton of puppy energy that bubbles out of control whenever someone new pops up, whether human or canine, so I can see him happily trotting off with a stranger. Stranger danger, little guy, stranger danger!
I’ll have more updates soon! In the meantime, check out my latest travel post about Southeast Asia here.