It’s true…I’m DONE with Yes, I Know the Monkey Man. I’ve read through the typeset pages…gone back and forth on a few last minute changes…and I think the manuscript is off to the printer’s now.
And guess what? My editor is still speaking to me! (It probably helps that we’re bonding over our new golden retrievers and training class experiences right now, too.) She said I showed “remarkable restraint” during this page proof stage…which means I didn’t ask for TOO MANY extra changes.
There was a time I didn’t think this day would ever come. I wasn’t sure I’d ever finish this book. I think the main problem was I’d gotten all these letters and e-mails on Do You Know the Monkey Man that when it came time to buckle down and start working I became paralyzed. I was afraid nothing I wrote was ever going to live up to Do You Know the Monkey Man and all these kids who wrote to me were going to be disappointed. It was a lot of pressure! So I started doubting my proposal and I tried to come up with all these brand new ideas, none of which worked as well as what I originally proposed.
I wrote a sequel to Trading Places with Tank Talbott, but I didn’t feel that same kind of pressure with that one. I’d gotten nice letters and e-mails on that book, too, but not as many…and not with the same insistent you’ve-GOT-to-write-a-sequel-to-this-book theme. So that one came pretty easily. It was probably the easiest book I ever wrote.
But I DID finish Yes, I Know the Monkey Man. I’m even happy with it. I hope all those girls who wrote to me will be, too.