Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What a Book in the Hand is Worth...


Last week I received a surprise package in the mail. It was my very first hard-bound copy of COOL DADDY RAT. What a surreal experience it was to hold it in my hands. The rhythm drove me along as I wrote this story. I could hear a smooth saxophone and some low drums with a few faint cymbals behind them. It was a jazz rhythm, cool and lingering, the kind that gives you a whole new walk and a breathy talk. You've gotta snap along with it--that's what I thought, but didn't know whether anyone else would "feel" it too. Setting up the internal rhyme was tedious: "He bowed proud to a wowed crowd."

As the manuscript survived countless rewrites over the years, I similarly went on a personal journey of change, growth, and introspection. Revision, especially revising oneself, is always a struggle. To hold COOL DADDY RAT in hand now feels a little bit like swimming underwater though a long, winding channel and finally coming up for a delicious breath of air.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Release Date for Bedtime at the Swamp















It looks like there's a tentative release date set for Bedtime at the Swamp... and it's July 22nd, 2008. At least that's what Amazon.com is announcing. It's interesting that my first two books will be on the shelves just months apart. The sale of Cool Daddy Rat came years earlier than Bedtime's sale. Yet because two different publishers and illustrators are involved, schedules vary. We had to wait a while for an illustrator for Cool Daddy Rat, postponing the production process. But Mr. Lester was well worth it. His "Times Square" spread is my favorite. And I'm thrilled with the rich landscapes and darling characters Mr. Pamintuan created for Bedtime. Here's a sneak peek.