Friday, September 15, 2006

What It Is -- Jay

“I write children’s books.”

“Are you published?”

“No. I mean…well…not yet.”

“What’s your book about?”

I love that last question because it implies, since I’m not yet published, I’ve only written one manuscript. Cuz how it works is you write one manuscript and sell that before starting something else, right?

In the past few months I’ve had to ask myself, “Dude, what is your book about?” or "what is it about to me?" for two different manuscripts. Both questions came as the result of editors offering to give me a second-look if I make some changes. And the keyword here is if.

With one manuscript, I chose not to make the changes. They would have altered what the book is and was intended to be way too much. It might’ve been a good book, but it would have been a very different book in both tone and theme. The reader would’ve left with a drastically different feeling about their reading experience.

The other second-look offer came for a chapter book series. A series! I would love to write a series. And the editor thinks it would make a great series…if. (Which is fast becoming a two-letter four-letter word.) Right now the manuscript is humorous with characters getting into somewhat sticky situations. If I make the changes, the manuscript will be hilarious with characters getting into ultra-sticky situations. When I conceived the series, I wanted it to be about situations my readers could actually see themselves getting into. But that wouldn’t be the case with the second type of series. It would be like saying, “Ms. Park, could you push Junie B. Jones into some Zack Files type situations?” It would work…and it would be funny…but it would be a different series.

And in this case, I’m okay with that. Mostly because I think the characters can remain the same and it’s the characters I’m excited to write about more than the situations. But it’s also because, Dude, this is for the chance to write a series! How awesome would that be?!?!

- Jay


Nancy said...

That is so cool! Good for you!

Anonymous said...

It would be WICKED awesome. Why? Because Y-O-U spells "girl." Lamy

Gregory K. said...

And Y-E-W spells "boy" I'm told. But yes, it would be cool. And yes, you've isolated the key issue about the fact that it's YOUR story and YOUR characters, so at the end of the day, you only do what you're comfortable with. Rocking.

E-W-E (which spells Greg)

Disco Mermaids said...

Okay, this is my post, everyone. You're not allowed to use jokes that I don't get. Y-O-U? Y-E-W.? Girl? Boy? What are you all talking about?!?!

- Jay

Anonymous said...

a series!!!! That is awesome!

Great post. although I don't get those secret joke comments either!

I have had many suggestions from people about what I am doing wrong since I am still pre-published!


Disco Mermaids said...

Your illustrations are brilliant, Laura. I can't wait to buy your first published book.

- Jay

Anonymous said...

aren't you sweet! thank you!
I think it is great that you have this chance to do a series!
CHEERS! to all the Pre-published!


Miss P said...

Jay that's great about the series. And hang in there. One day soon someone will buy the mss, the way it is. No more ifs!

Anonymous said...

Eve, please explain the Y-O-U spells "girl" comment to Jay. He must not watch Saturday Night Live, but he does hang out with you, so I'm at a loss as to why he didn't get it. Lamy

Pam Calvert said...

Good luck with this, Jay! Sounds like the ed is gonna stretch you and that's always a good thing!