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Hard Work Rewarded

My latest manuscript, soon to be a YA novel

The YA novel I’ve been working on for the past year, All Good Children, has found its home with Orca Book Publishers. My editor loves it and sold it to her board and they’re already asking if there will be a sequel. (And just so you know, my editor rejected other manuscripts in between Walking Backward and this new one. It wasn’t a sure thing at all.)

I went through withdrawal after finishing the book, which may be why I haven’t blogged. I’d fallen so in love with my fictional heroes, and I’d been so deeply stuck in the head of my narrator, that returning to real life was a massive downer.

My arms will soon look like this

To combat the blues, I ignored my writing and focused on other aspects of a healthy life. I started a new weight training program. (Lifting, not losing, weight. My muscle-building motto is “Eat, eat, and eat some more.” What’s not to love?) I started a new quilt (log cabin patchwork in blues and oranges; it’ll be gorgeous). And I’ve been hanging out with my family and friends who, although not quite as endearing as my fictional circle, have the advantage of being alive.

Rough draft of a new quilt

The idea of writing a sequel to All Good Children is appealing in the way that cigarettes are appealing after you’ve just quit smoking. I want it, but I know it will bring trouble into my life. 

I have absolutely no idea what might happen in a sequel, and it would take another ten months of emotionally exhausting thinking and feeling and writing and revising to figure that out. I’d have to subject my poor heroes to an awful lot of turmoil and, really, they’ve been through a lot already.

Cabin time with the family

I was a mess writing All Good Children. Can I go back there and torture us some more? Maybe. It’s like childbirth — already I’m forgetting how awful the process was because the end product is so very wonderful.

For today, it’s enough that the past months of hard work have been rewarded. I can’t wait for the world to meet Max and Dallas. All Good Children should be released in Fall 2011.

My picture book, My Cat Isis, will be out before it, in Spring 2011 from Kids Can Press (I’ll blog on that again soon).  As to what will follow it, I don’t yet know.

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