I’m actually writing another book, a middle grades chapter book for my nine year old son Micah and his friends and cousins. I’m planning to self-publish it because I think it will be fun for him to have a real book, that looks like a real book, about himself. But I will only be getting the most limited print run possible, and then give copies to all the kids in the book as Christmas/Hanukah gifts. At least that’s the idea….
What is the working title of your book?
It doesn’t really have one. My file in Word is called “micah’s book.” I guess I should get thinking on a title, huh?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
The idea to write a book for Micah in the first place came from good old-fashioned competitiveness with my wife, Julie, who is like super-mom and does all sorts of really cool things with our kids, like riding 200 miles down the Hudson Valley with Micah this past summer and taking Trixie to so much Shakespeare, starting when she was eight, that the kid is going to be insufferable when she goes to college. And me? I, um, cook dinner. Drive the kids around. Clean up their messes. Yell when they intrude too much on my solitude and try to escape it all on writing retreats. OK, OK, I’m mostly kidding … but still, all those quotidian things that make up a childhood sometimes seem a little small. So I was trying to think of how I could connect with the kids through my writing. And I thought, Trixie is practically an expert in Young Adult fiction, having been a voracious reader since she was seven; and Micah is a pretty picky reader, what with the ADHD and the learning differences. So I thought, I could write a book for him, and I could rope Trixie into being a consultant on the project. And it’s been great, I’m having a ton of fun. I hope Micah likes his book, but it’s already been worth the project to work with Trixie on it, and as soon as I have a draft done, she and several of her pals are going to be my beta readers.
Another reason I’m writing this book is because I am utterly miserable at remembering my nieces and nephews’ birthdays, much less sending them gifts. And I adore my nieces and nephews. I’m just the absent-minded Auntie when it comes to birthdays. And Christmas. And Hanukkah. And then there are all of Micah’s not-quite-cousins-but-best-best-friends whom I also think are just totally terrific …. And well, I figured I could kill a lot of birds with one stone with this book. Or some other, slightly less violent metaphor…
But I do believe that the actual inspiration for the premise and the plot of this book came to me in an antihistamine-induced daze one day during the height of allergy season last spring.
What genre does your book fall under?
Middle Grade/Young Adult /Action/Adventure/Fantasy.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh gosh, there are so many characters in this book, and they are all kids or teens …. I don’t think I could think of real actors. And besides, every kid in this book is so fabulously awesome that they would all just play themselves!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Micah and his best friends and cousins are all a little stunned when they are recruited into a secret society of children who have been cleaning up the messes adults make since the time of Moses; but the real surprise comes when they are given their first mission: to find and destroy a top-secret device for altering the Earth’s climate which has been stolen by a bizarre villainess who speaks only in haiku riddles.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I’ve actually been writing (as opposed to thinking) since the beginning of September and I hope to be done with the first draft by the end of next week. It will be somewhere around 100 manuscript pages, I think. Maybe a little less.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Over the summer I was supposed to read a whole slew of similar kids’ books, and Trixie compiled a great list for me, and even handed me a stack of books. I made it through Enders Game and Hidden Talents and a few chapters into H.I.V.E., but the truth is, I don’t really like this genre at all. So I quit and just started writing. Which is a long way of saying, I don’t really have any idea.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My amazing kids, Micah and Trixie.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Well, if you know any of the kids in it, you’ll probably enjoy reading it. I think it’s kind of funny and fast-moving, or at least I hope it is. But it probably has way too many characters to really appeal to a wide audience, which is fine, since I’m really just writing it for Micah and his friends and cousins.
Whom have you tagged?
I’m not tagging anyone, but if you feel like playing let me know and I’ll post a link!