“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?!?!