News, Notes & Inside Info from a Children’s Book Author

Status Update: Spinning Plates

October 18th, 2012 Posted in Scary Tales, the writing process

As you may know, I’ve been writing a new series for Feiwel & Friends. It my first return to writing a series since”Jigsaw Jones.” These past six years I’ve published exclusively in hardcover: picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult. But I haven’t written anything for my old core readership, that 3rd-grade audience. I’ve been happy getting back to that age group (grades 2-4 really), and shooting unabashedly for big entertainment, pleasure reading, pure fun.

What’s it like to write a series? The pace is faster, for starters. Most recently I spent a full year writing Before You Go, and a lot of time fussing with it, and then another full year waiting for it to come out. It was slow-going, more about depth than speed, mostly in a good way.

Whereas writing a series feels more like this . . .

Status Update on the SCARY TALES Series:

Book #1: Home Sweet Horror

My work is done, just about. It’s been written, revised, and type-set. The illustrations are in, and the cover is done. Though the book isn’t “final,” exactly, it’s moved off my radar. Due out: July, 2013.

Book #2: I Scream, You Scream

I had forgotten the title for this one, actually had to look it up. That fact alone tells you something about the blur. The story, a thriller, has been written, revised, and copyedited. I have not seen galleys yet — that is, the type set in the exact way it will appear in book form — and that’s an important “last-best chance” to make chances, corrections. Those pages are due to me next week. The illustrations are works in progress, and I’m eager to see them. No cover, either. It’s been so long since I’ve seen this book, I feel like I’ve lost touch. I’m eager to read it again, deal with it one more time. Due out: July, 2013.

Book #3: Night of the Zombies (tentative title)

My first draft got a little too long, and a possibly a touch too old. So in revision I had to do some real cutting — eliminated an entire character! — and now my editors and I are very, very happy with it. I’m awaiting the copyedit (think: grammar, punctuation, clarity, continuity, consistency). Usually when I receive that, I’ll also receive some additional comments from the story editors. “Little things,” I’m told. Due: October, 2013 (I think).

Book #4: Untitled

The general story concept has been approved. I haven’t written a word. Well, not exactly. I have started scribbling on index cards, thinking about characters, plot points, doing some research. The real writing has not yet begun, since I just finished the revision for #3 two weeks ago. I’m shifting gears. After four books, the contract runs out — and ultimately the next move will be up to the purchasing public. I have a lot more ground to cover with this series, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. High hopes! Due: January, 2014 (wild guess).

  1. One Response to “Status Update: Spinning Plates”

  2. By Mary Lee on Oct 28, 2012

    YAY! Looking forward to these!!

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