See? It's a real book! Somehow there's something not-quite-real seeming about a novel that's working it's way through the publishing process — I mean, months can go by when it's just off in limbo somewhere. But once there's an actual cover, and it's in the catalogue — then it feels real.
So here it is, my spooky new story, due to be released (sooner than I thought!) January 17, 2017!
What's it about, you ask? I'll let the catalogue copy fill you in:
Fairy tales can come true. And not in a good way.
One minute Jack’s in math class. The next, he’s on a dark, cobble-stoned, empty street. Empty,that is, except for a skinny girl wrapped in a threadbare shawl. “Matches, mister?” she asks, and just like that, Jack’s life collides with one of Hans Christian Andersen’s grimmest tales. And as soon as he has almost convinced himself it was merely a weird dream, it happens again.
Suddenly, Jack’s ideas about what is “real” or “possible” no longer apply. While he and his new girlfriend, L...
So, what have I been doing all these weeks? In terms of fiction writing, that is, not everyday life. I've been lurking in theatres, that's what. Doing research—serious, hard-core research.
Here's the thought process that led me there:
1) Orca, my publisher, has a series (Limelights) on the performing arts. What a great idea. I should write one!
2) I have a pretty good idea about a kid who gets a role in an outdoor summer theatre production. (Pretty good, because we have a local outdoor summer theatre in this neck of the woods and I happen to know a couple of kids who spent some summers there.)
3) I pitch the idea. Orca says yes, and gives me a deadline. Gulp.
4) I have coffee with one of these kids (no longer a kid, but anyway) and we have a nice talk about her memories of what it was like.
5) I start writing, and soon realize that while I know quite a few people who are active in quite a lot of theatre, I actually have no idea how a play gets put together. What's the process? What hap...