Happy 5 Years of Kidlit to me!

Actually, i had tried writing kidlit a couple of times previously.

But five years ago came the fateful day that I quit my non-fiction writing job and the fiction just came pouting out. I still love that first book, even if no one else seems to want to look at it. It’s a sort of Dickens, Wodehouse, The Three Investigators, Daphne DuMaurier mix-em-up.

Beyond quitting my job, it was Dickens that had gotten me primed to write. That was in the midst of one of the great reading experiences of my life:


Kafka’s The Castle, Bleak House and yet another rereading of Gormenghast — all overlapping and linking up and getting my dusty brain gears turning.

But Bleak House had a more immediate impact. The continued references to Lady Deadlock this and Lady Deadlock that really amused me. So I set out to write a little tiny something that would use the same gag – repeating a long name over and over. The name I chose: M’Lady Luggertucks and soon I had the title:

The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset

(Yes, this name might be one reason why no one wants to publish the book. It might sound naughty, but it ain’t.)

After this came Qwikpick, which really did get published. But not before I had also teamed up with Michael Hemphill to write the Civil War Time Travel Extravaganza. (Coming in Spring, 2009 from Dial.) That had such a humble start and just grew and grew into a real epic.

Plus, it’s what brought me to my great great great agent. And I never ever would have gotten published without her…

Several more unpublished MSs followed: a Wodehouse pastiche, a Lloyd Alexander/Leon Garfield tribute and, certainly least… “I, Nosepicker,” the story of a boy who seeks to master his nosepicking impusles and achieves a higher state of consciousness.

And then, I had the idea to write a story aboout this little paper Star Wars finger puppet I had made: Origami Yoda. And, lo, an editor moved mountains and Lucasfilm smiled on me and that will be coming out in 2009, too.

And now I’m sitting on this chapter book, hoping…. ever hopeful…

Plus, I’m still waiting to hear from Dolly’s people…


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