September 9, 2015

Three New Fall Books (the Math!)

I've been writing kids' books now for decades — and they generally come out one a year at best. But this fall, for the first time, I have three new books coming out all at once. See below — three! I'm a little gobsmacked.

Other people are as surprised as I am. A few have said things like, "Whoa, you've been busy." Well, yes . . . but no. These books are all being published this year. As for how long I've been writing them, that's a different story. I checked my files:

Stanley at School — started 7 years ago
When Santa Was a Baby — started 11 years ago
Seven Dead Pirates — started 18 years ago

Add it up. It comes to . . . 36 years! That's not cumulative time, of course, but even so — none of these books exactly tripped off my pen. Most of that time they spent in a computer file labeled "VAULT."  I call it that to remind myself of its value because on the surface, it doesn't look like much. A scrap heap. Messy files, half-baked ideas, semi-abandoned projects.

But that's the thing about writing . . . you never know. Some faint spark might, years later, finally strike and blaze. The 17th draft of that execrable little story might turn out to be . . . the one. And meanwhile, there's the slow, steady polishing.

My three shiny new books all put in time in the scrap heap (VAULT!) of a working writer. Eventually, they found their way to the surface. And from that, two simple thoughts emerge to sustain me in the inevitable years of no-books:

1. Don't be in a hurry.
2. Don't throw anything out.


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