The best thing about being a children’s book author is getting mail from kids who have read one of my books! The majority of it comes via e-mail, but sometimes I get actual letters in that big, black mailbox out by the curb, too. And so far, I’m able to answer every letter and e-mail I receive. I sometimes get kids who e-mail me a second time (or more), but I’ve never had a kid write me more than one “real” letter. Until this week. “Jade” in Missouri wrote to me a couple months ago, and now she’s written to me again. In my other letter, I told her about this science fiction mystery that I’m working on (this is the one I’m reading to Andy’s class). Jade wanted to know if I was done with it yet because she’s looking forward to reading it. I wish! I have made such a mess of that book that by the time I get it all figured out, rewritten about ten times, sold to a publisher and finally published, poor Jade will be grown up and will probably long have forgotten me. But I will persevere! I WILL get that story figured out…eventually.
Most of the mail I receive from kids these days is in reference to my Do You Know the Monkey Man? And most of the kids who write to me about this book want to know if I’m going to write a sequel. I WANT to write a sequel. I’ve always planned on writing a sequel. I even talked to Lisa (my editor) about it when I did the final revision (apparently somebody at Peachtree had suggested I change the ending, but Lisa liked the ending as it was because “it sets up nicely for a sequel”). But we have to see how this book does before we talk about a sequel. Well, it’s been out for a year now…and it SEEMS to be doing pretty well… If I was smart, I’d put together a proposal for book 2 right now rather than keep banging my head against the wall, trying to get my science fiction mystery to work. But I’m almost to the end…I just need to finish this draft (so at least it ends for the kids I’m reading it to), then I can go on to these other projects that are probably a little more of a “sure thing.”