Author Archives: Luke Reynolds

In the Nick of Time

Years ago, I used to pride myself on working ahead of time. I used to see some kind of deadline off in the distance and plan out how I would try to get it done a little early–a paper, maybe, or grading some essays, or a reading assignment for a class.

Okay, it was a short phase.

Maybe a year at most.

But I loved it. I loved the feeling of walking to my teaching post, or driving in to a night class, feeling somewhat rested and thinking, yup, that was done a little early. Finished. Finalitisimo. Nada more to do!

And this small bit of excitement gave me a real hunger for more of it (as well as for flour-based bakery items such as: blueberry muffins, banana bread, banana muffins, and blueberry bread).

Even though the phase was short lived, that feeling was pretty amazing.

Fast forward many years, and the reality is very much the opposite. (However, the flour-based bakery items still come along for the ride.) Now, I find myself rushing to complete any task: grading the essays, working on that revision, starting the first draft, getting to the copy edits, putting the kids to bed, putting myself to bed, putting an idea to bed, laying off the flour-based bakery items, and doing the paper for the night class.

All of it happens, pretty much, in the last minute.

Or the last second of the last minute.

For a while, I mourned the loss of the getting-things-done-early kind of life (eating copious amounts of flour-based bakery items was crucially helpful in this stage.)

Then, for another while, I worked vigilantly to get that done-early mentality back (in which case flour-based bakery items were fuel for the drive, pricing energy and courage and chutzpah!).

Finally, I came to a deep acceptance, sat for long periods of time realizing that such a life was not to be had (at least for long time) and proceeded to eat copious amounts of flour-based bakery items to console my heart and stomach regarding this fact.

(Didn’t someone incredibly wise–like Mozart or Oprah or Einstein–remind us of this fact with the immortal words: IF YOU CONVINCE YOUR HEART AND STOMACH OF SOMETHING, THE MIND IS SURE TO FOLLOW THEREAFTER; IF IT DOES NOT, YOU ARE EATING THE WRONG KINDS OF FLOUR-BASED BAKEY ITEMS. BUT THAT IS OKAY BECAUSE ALL OF LIFE IS ABOUT SECOND CHANCES. RETURN TO THOSE FLOUR-BASED BAKERY ITEMS IN THEIR SPLENDOROUS GLASS-SHIELDED DISPLAY CASES AND CHOOSE YE AGAIN!)

So, I am happy (resigned?) to now report that I am coming to a place of peace (giving up?) on getting things done ahead of time and then proceeding with calm confidence towards the due date.

I am coming to an acceptance that, in certain stages of life (maybe thirty or forty years?), getting things done in the nick of time is okay. It is fine. It is fun! The adventure of rushing! The joy of jovial justice that such things still actually DO get done is cool enough! Right on! Right…on? Right?

Or maybe something bigger is at play. Maybe the reality is that all of the goals we make, and all of the hopes and dreams that we seek to accomplish as writers, cannot be completed in a single burst. So we work diligently, we consume our flour-based bakery items, and we pray that we’ll make it on time.

And when we do–instead of feeling guilty for the nick in which we finished, maybe we should eat another banana blueberry muffin bread item and whisper a pray of thanks that we even had the chance to pursue it in the first place. Or, to use much better, more refined words that do not mention anything at all about flour-based bakery items, hear it from Meister Eckhart: “If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.”

Yes, that sounds much better and saves an awful lot of space.

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Filed under Anxiety, Editing and Revising, Happiness, Writing, Writing and Life

The Fun of Fibbing!

As we continue our grand celebration of Adam Shaugnessy’s The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable Fib, the Emus Debuts are chiming in to share their own stories of fibbing. What little (or big!) lies have we all told? Let’s have a quick read to find out, and in the meantime, get psyched for Adam’s AMAZING novel!

Tamara Ellis Smith: When I was in kindergarten I told my class that my parents has gotten a divorce.  They had not gotten a divorce.  (And I can report that they haven’t yet.  Forty-eight years and going strong.)  All of my friends’ parents were getting divorces—or at least two of them were.  🙂  I remember feeling the attention energy in the room shifting and honing in on these friends and wanting desperately to harness some of it.  So I did.  I told this big fib, embellished with details like how I never ever got to even see my dad.  Attention on me.  I loved it.  I basked in it.

Two days later one of my friend’s mothers drove to our house.  The minute she got out of the car and I saw the expression on her face, I knew I was cooked.  And after her conversation with my mom…I felt it, boy oh boy.

Not so happy mom.  Not so happy me.

But great practice for making up stories!

Jason Gallaher: A few years back, I used to have this habit of making up a new life whenever I traveled on an airplane. If ever the person next to me asked what I did for a living, I would improvise fake work-related reasons for heading to our destination. My favorite Jason Alter Ego was when I told my seat neighbor that I was moving to Las Vegas to join the latest Cirque de Soleil show (for the record, the most flexible thing I can do is touch my toes while stretching). It was fun to pretend for a little bit, and fortunately nobody ever asked to stay in touch via social media to find me out! I thought of the many faces of Airplane Jason as a great off the cuff writing exercise!

Janet Fox: For years I told people I was a writer, long before I became published. This was a fib that worked magic.

Mylisa Larson: My first documented fib was when I was a very little kid and my mom served eggs for breakfast. They were not a favorite. They disappeared rather quickly but since I was an inexperienced fibber, my plate and silverware disappeared along with them which made my mom just the tiniest bit suspicious. She asked if I had eaten the eggs and when I said I had, she switched tactics and asked where my plate had gone. I showed her—plate, eggs, silverware, all neatly covered by a napkin and stashed in the shoe closet.

Carole Gerber:  I consistently take 5 pounds off when I must state my weight. My weight is in the normal range. Those pesky 5 pounds don’t enhance my self-image, but they certainly accentuate my belly and rear end!

And there we have it! Getting excited about the lives of lies? Want to read about a really UNBELIEVABLE one? Then order your copy of Adam Shaugnessy’s AWESOME The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable Fib now!

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Our First-Draft Selves…Our Tenth-Draft Selves

When I first heard the news that a second Harper Lee novel was going to be released, I did an actual jig. Even though I am not much of a jig-dancer, I did. (I created my own jig, which probably would have made the Riverdance professionals hang their heads low in embarrassment on my behalf.) Yet, as journalistic reports and media coverage of Lee’s hotly-anticipated second novel, Go Set a Watchman, came out, I began to view the release with a certain sense of ethical dread.

Was this what Ms. Lee wanted?

Was it about money for those involved on her behalf?

Why was the novel only being released after the death of Lee’s close confidant and handler in all legal issues, her sister Alice Lee?

But as the release approached, I knew that I would have to read the book. My first thought: I’ll put my name on the library waiting list so I don’t have to necessarily support the whole money-possibility-scheme, etc…

So I put my name on the list, and BAM! There I was: 298th in line for our town of Acton, Massachusetts.

But I was resolved to wait it out.

Until I wasn’t. I was on my way home from the library one day and my car kind of drove itself to our local indie store, Willow Books. There, I purchased a copy of Go Set a Watchman, went home, and promptly read the thing as fast as possible.

Like many readers who once idolized the heroic and calmly brave Atticus Finch, I cringed as I read about him in this semi-sequel. I finished the book, and I almost as though it was my own father who had been pretending–and many years later I had found out who he really was, what he really believed.

And I mourned–for a little while–the fact that I had even named my own character in The Looney Experiment after him: Atticus Hobart! An eighth-grader who learns what real courage is all about. I saw the “new” Atticus through the eyes of my own Atticus, and I could hear my character asking, WHAT DOES THIS SAY ABOUT ME!!??

I tried to calm him down, let him know that everything was going to be okay. That his courage is still courage. But when I read an article about an actual couple changing the name of their seven month old baby after Watchman was realeased because they no longer wanted him to be named Atticus, I admit I lost some sleep.

After all: I couldn’t change the name of my eighth-grader! And he certainly felt like a real son to me.

And then I proceeded to devour every news story released about the saga. And my heart kind of flooded over with a certain gratitude when I read about Tay Hohoff, Lee’s editor for To Kill a Mockingbird. From all evidence gathered, The New York Times did an incredible job of painting the scene: Mockingbird had been the EVENTUAL draft–the final draft–of Lee’s masterpiece. But Watchman had been the first foray. It was only through Hohoff’s extensive revision requests and effusive encouragement that Lee was able to get to many drafts later and the masterpiece we have come to know.

In essence: First-draft Atticus Finch was not the man that later-draft Atticus became. And it was only through the insight, counsel, and support of an astute editor that we came to meet the real Atticus Finch.

I began to think about this in terms of my own character, Atticus Hobart. And I realized that, at the start of The Looney Experiment, he is definitely his first-draft self. He is terrified of life: of speaking up in class, of talking to AUDREY HIGGINS, or being real with his Dad, of using his voice in any way to speak his truth.

But Atticus Hobart doesn’t stay there. His first-draft self is not his real self.

And then I began to think about myself, too. And about the people I love. And I realized that we all long to grow from our first-draft selves. We try things, we get it wrong. We try again, we get it wrong again. We make mistakes, mess up, miss opportunities, remain silent when we should speak, speak when we should remain silent, attack when we should repent, repent when we should attack–and so on.

We all mess up, and were life a courtroom drama, I suspect we’d all be found guilty of a jury for all of the above. For our missed moments and our unkind actions. But the thing is, life is more a novel than a courtroom drama. We get to see our first-draft selves and then we’re not stuck with them. We get new chapters, new revisions, new drafts–and we get the chance to create second-draft, third-draft, fourth-draft…tenth-draft selves.

And the truth is, this process of getting to out next draft-selves is a lot easier if we’ve got someone supporting us. We can’t do it alone. Just as Lee had her editor, Hohoff, to help Atticus Finch become his best-draft self, we too need others to love us, challenge us, hold us, push us, see us, and–especially–see what we can yet become.

Sometimes, I remind my character, Atticus Hobart, of this fact. Atticusyou don’t have to be like anyone but yourself. You are free to become the best-draft of yourself that you can be. 

And I sometimes remind myself of this, too.

We are all masterpieces–classics of a sort–waiting to become a new draft that is just a little bit stronger, a little bit bolder, a little bit braver. And we all need someone to help us along that road.

In this way, I see Atticus Finch in a new way. No longer do I view him as a perfect model of sensitive strength. Instead, I view him as a draft–because now I know where he began in Watchman, and how far he came along to get to Mockingbird.

I too have a long way to go and a long way to grow. Atticus Hobart does. We all do. And the good news is, that’s a journey worth taking. That’s a journey worth talking about, writing about, and believing in–no matter how long it takes.

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Straight from the Editor: Penny & Jelly!

For the grand finale of our week-long celebration of Maria Gianferrari’s sublime Penny & Jelly, we’ve got a special treat: an interview with Maria’s editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Cynthia Platt. While we are all woof-ing it up for this delightful picture book, Cynthia was the editor who first saw and fell it love with it way back when, and here she shares her wisdom regarding the process of acquiring Maria’s AMAZING book and of guiding it through through preparation until it arrived, this week, to the world. Without further ado, say hello to Cynthia Platt!

What about PENNY & JELLY hooked you–and how did you know you wanted to publish this book?

I’m always saying that I want young, funny, character-driven picture books–and there in my inbox was just that. Also, from the start, I loved the DIY and crafting aspects of the story. And Penny and Jelly’s relationship is so wonderful. I could keep going….

What process did you and Maria follow after the offer had been made and accepted? Anything particularly interesting happen along the way?

After the initial email introductions, we got to work editing with lot of back and forth, sifting through the small details–of which there are always so many of when it comes to picture books. We were also lucky in that Maria lived in Massachusetts at the time so we got to sit down and spend an afternoon together talking about the book and getting acquainted.

What inspires you most about a picture book?

I’ve always been a die-hard reader, and I can easily trace the books that have both meant the most to me and inspired me to love reading even more. Those special books, for me, go back to the picture books I loved as a girl. So, as an editor, it’s a real gift to be able to assist in the creation of a picture book. Part of me always hopes that each picture book that makes its way into the world might be that special one for a young reader.

If you had to use three adjectives to describe PENNY & JELLY, they would be:

Warm, funny, and smart–then again, I’d describe Maria that way, too!

What qualities do you admire most in a writer?

Not to sound like a politician, but that’s a really interesting question to answer–because I think I’d answer differently as an editor and as a reader. As a reader, you just are looking for someone who writes a good book–someone whose worlds and characters you find engaging. As an editor, though, the writer isn’t some distant figure. It’s someone with whom you not only work closely, but with whom you work with on something near and dear to their hearts. So, you hope to work with writers who not only inspire you creatively, but also with whom you can relate on some level.

As a book is launched, what do you most hope will happen for it?

That someone picks it up and reads it. That lots and lots of someones do. And not only that they read it, but that they love it and find something in it that speaks to them.

Do you have a favorite book or a favorite quote or both? 🙂

Without a moment’s hesitation: Middlemarch. I love many books, but this one has become my bedrock.

What surprised you about publishing when you first got into this work?

As a sometimes overly-passionate reader who grew up pre-internet, it wasn’t always been easy to find people who shared that level of enthusiasm. Then I went into publishing and found this rich world of book people. It was a “these are my people” kind of experience.

What part of PENNY & JELLY do you love most (if you HAD to pick just one moment in the beautiful book)?

Well, if I HAVE to pick one, I love the moment when Penny begins to despair that she really doesn’t have anything she’s truly good at, and that she and Jelly solve the problem together–and that what she’s best at is being Jelly’s friend. Every time I get to the end of the book when they’ve been declared “Best Friends,” I smile. And believe me, I’ve read the book a lot of times at this point!

Thanks for sharing your ideas, wisdom, and all your love for Penny & Jelly with us! And readers, remember that by leaving a comment below, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a signed copy of the book and also some serious swag from Maria. To order your copy of the book today, visit http://www.pennyandjelly.com. Happy Reading!!!

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A Fiesta of Favorite Friendships Inspired by…Laurie!

Every day this week, we’re falling more and more and more in love with Laurie Ann Thompson’s My Dog is the Best. Celebrating timeless friendship and love that lives down deep, Laurie’s book is a joy that lingers with us long after reading! And remember that Laurie is giving away a FREE, SIGNED copy of this gem of a book–just comment to be entered into the drawing.

Now, to keep this week-long party going, let’s turn towards a literary Fiesta of Favorite Friendships from the EMUs. What bookish tales of unconditional friendship inspire these elusive EMUs?

Let’s check in and see…

Laurie Ann Thompson herself: One of my favorite books about friendship is Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt. A girl discovers that her best friend’s fridge is white empty, but her friend makes her promise not to tell. This a touching picture book about childhood hunger, but, more importantly, it’s about friendship and making choices.

maddis fridge

Christine Olson Hayes:  I love the Frog and Toad books by Arnold Lobel. Their friendship is simple but true. Plus I have a lot in common with Toad, like making lists and trying not to eat too many cookies!

Maria Gianferrari: Two nonfiction ones: Tarra & Bella by Carol Buckley about a friendship between a stray dog, and a retired circus elephant. It will melt your heart. And Two Bobbies by Kirby Larson & Mary Nethery: a poignant and true story of a friendship between a dog and a cat orphaned after hurricane Katrina. Get your tissues ready! And for fiction I love The Farmer and the Clown–so touching, and of course, those lovable hippos, George & Martha.

Penny Parker KlostermannA Visitor for Bear–the unlikely friendship between Bear and Mouse melts my heart. I also love Nugget and Fang by Tammi Sauer–adorable!

visitor for bear

Mylisa Larson: I love the Poppleton books with Poppleton and his friends Hudson, Fillmore and Cherry Sue. I think the one about the grapefruit is probably my favorite.

Susan Vaught: Hands down, my favorite childhood book about friendship was Charlotte’s Web. All the different relationships between animals and people, and the animals with each other. Wilbur and Charlotte, oh, Wilbur and Charlotte–I tear up just thinking about those two, and how their relationship was so powerful it rallied even Templeton the Rat to their side in their time of need. They loved each other in a way that makes me warm inside, and that I can’t ever forget. I still remember my joy when Charlotte’s babies hatched, and some of them stayed with Wilbur, little pieces of his friend, to carry on that so-special bond. Sniff.

Tamara Ellis Smith: We love Henry and Mudge in our house, as well as Mr. Putter and Tabby. Lovely friendships that ring very true. I also love A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Such sweet friendships at that zoo.

Janet FoxTeddy Bears Cure a Cold was one of the books I read to my son over and over–he loved it. Friends who come to the rescue. There’s nothing like that!

Kevan AtteberryOdd Duck by Cecil Castellucci, illustrated by Sara Varon.

Jennifer Chambliss Bertman: Some current favorites with me and my son are: Boy+Bot by Ame Dykcman, Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggie books, and Up and Down by Oliver Jeffers.

Elaine Braithwaite Vickers A Visitor for Bear  by Bonny Becker, illustrated by Kady MacDonald, is such a fabulous friendship book. It’s beautifully written and illustrated and a ton of fun to read aloud, but I also love its sweet, subtle message that everybody could use another friend.

Frog_and_toad_cover

Megan Morrison: I love the Frog & Toad books. I loved them as a child, and I love seeing them now through my son’s eyes. He brings the complete collection with him everywhere, and I am never sorry to read every single story to him again. They’re funny and tender and true.

Adam ShaughnessyCalvin and Hobbes. I know it doesn’t quite fit the parameters, but I think there’s something so special about their friendship despite—or honestly, maybe more so because of—the fact that one of the the friends is imaginary(ish).

Carol Gerber: “Some pig.” These are the first of many words spider Charlotte spins to save Wilbur from being slaughtered. Of all the picture books I have read (including my own!), Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White remains my all-time favorite. Just writing about it makes me want to read it again. Sigh. I love, love, LOVE it!

And there we have it: a Fiesta of Favorite Friendships inspired by the supremely sweet and tender friendship in Laurie Ann Thompson’s My Dog is the Best.

To have a shot at winning a signed copy of Laurie’s beautiful book, leave a comment below, and share your favorite literary friendship. Keep the fiesta going! And to buy a copy of Laurie’s lovely book, visit University Book Store, or also order it at: Amazon, Powell’s, or Indiebound.

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What Seeds Do We Plant?

As writers, we love to see stuff blossom. Anything, really.

Flowers? Yes! We want to see those colors, see those shapes, see that–aah, wow, yes!–stunning growth from what was once a tiny seed.

Kids? Yes! We want to see our kids–whether those we parent, those we teach, or those for whom we write–grow into confident, bold, kind, and wise human beings.

Stories? Yes! We want to see the characters about whom we care so deeply, the plots into which we pour our minds, and the conflicts through which we split open our hearts all grow, develop, and yield something beautiful.

And because we are writers, we know that stories need endings. We know that planting a seed–starting something off–can be satisfying in its own way, but were we to always stop at the Starts, we’d feel somehow aloof, adrift, maybe even…angry. (For more on anger, read Susan Vaught’s remarkable post on the emotion here.)

But as writers, our desire for strong finishes, redeeming denouements, blossoming finales leaves us, well, kind of with our hands tied when it comes to one issue: publication. We can create and craft and revise and submit to our heart’s delight, but we have no control over the endings. None.

And if you’re anything like me, this kind of hurts to admit. It feels powerless, scary, and confusing.

So when I found a line from Robert Louis Stevenson that spoke directly to that fear, I wrote that line in my journal, posted it on the wall by my desk in the classroom where I teach 7th grade, put it on a sticky note inside my wallet, texted my friends with the quote, and pretty much repeated it to anyone I met. Even grocery store cashiers.

Stevenson wrote, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.”

About five years ago, my wife, Jennifer and I decided that we were going to give away most of what we owned, and bring our two-year old son abroad to live in England for three years. She would work on her PhD, and I would be a stay-at-home dad and write. I thought that some of the many seeds I’d planted as a writer would blossom at some point during our three-year excursion, helping us to have a little  more income other than the student loan on which we were going to live.

And I planted a lot of seeds during those three years. I wrote drafts of four middle grade novels. I wrote drafts of 50 picture book manuscripts. I wrote proposal packages for three non-fiction books. I wrote two drafts of literary fiction-esque novels. I wrote a slew of poems.

And then I revised many of these projects, trashed many of them, rewrote many of them.

Hands in dirt! Planting seeds! Going deep!

Dirt in fingernails! Still planting!

And I woke up each morning with that magical thought bubble: Hey, you know, well, yeah…THIS COULD BE THE DAY. 

But it never was. And as we watched electric bills pile up, “Rent Due” notices gather, and as we marked on the calendar when each student loan installment was going to come–itching for that student loan disbursement day with hopeful fear–another thought bubble began to form: Maybe this isn’t going to work. Maybe this was crazy.

And so I looked for a “real” job while my son was in preschool. I applied to janitorial jobs, substitute teaching jobs, grocery store clerk jobs, secretarial jobs.

Hey, more dirt! Digging! Fingernails dirty with job applications! Yeah!

But none of those job applications yielded, well, JOBS. In fact, none of those seeds even yielded an interview.

This went on for a long time, and eventually the only job I could find was to deliver newspapers. So I delivered newspapers. And I was a little angry about it some mornings. (Again, thank you Susan Vaught for your incredible post!) And some mornings I managed to listen to music and see the bright side of it: it was teaching me to wait, to struggle, to hope, to be looked at like I was insane by the tweens delivering newspapers, to appreciate my wife and son who did the route with me some days, hleping me feel like I really wasn’t a complete failure as a father and a writer.

To shorten what may already be becoming a belabored story: nothing happened. All three of those England years yielded no blossoms that would help us make rent, no successes to which we could write home about. And we flew back home humbled, yes, but also more together as a family. More aware of the actual journey of a writer. More ‘okay’ with failure. And more able to be honest about those emotions inside that aren’t always happy and glad and smiley (yup: again, a nod of gratitude to Susan!).

Now, looking back, those three years in England sometimes take on a resplendent glow. When books are under contract and coming out, it feels easier to look back at those three years and say, See! They were all worth it, all leading up to this point! The planting MATTERED! Dirty fingernails, huzzah!

But that would be a mistake. More than a mistake, I think it might be downright wrong–the absolute opposite of what Stevenson meant by his quote. I don’t think the planting is worth it ONLY if / because it reaps a harvest. Instead, the planting is worht it because that’s what good writing and good living are all about.

We cannot control outcomes. We cannot control blossoms and harvests. And if we see seed-planting as worthwhile only because a harvest is reaped, then I think the point of seed-planting is lost. If I go back to those years in England and reconnect with what mattered there, I would see that it was the turning on of the computer after another rejection. It was the delivery of the morning paper after another late bill. It was the relationships that formed between my wife and I, and with our son.

Those were the seeds.

And if a harvest or a blossom ever comes, in a weird way, it carries with it the danger of losing touch with seed-planting, and focusing more on the harvest. If I’m being honest? Right now, that’s my struggle. I need help from friends to go back to the turning on of the computer–to WRITE, not to CHECK on stuff. To plant seeds, not to see what kind of harvest might be reap-able.

If I don’t end each day with dirty fingernails, then am I really living? Am I really writing, after all?

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Celebrating Bunnies!!! with Agent Extraordinaire Erin Murphy

It’s been an exciting week celebrating Kevan Atteberry’s BUNNIES!!! thus far. And to keep the party going, we welcome Kevan’s stupendously wise, warm, and talented agent Erin Murphy to join in and share some insider info on Kevan, the book, and hypothetical movie roles…

Let’s hop to it!

LR: How did you and Kevan first come to know each other and start working together?

EM: I heard through the grapevine (aka Joan) that Kevan, whose work I admired and personality I adored on Facebook, was seeking an agent, and it just so happened that I was about to be in Seattle, where he lives, for an ALA convention. We managed to meet up one morning for coffee to chat. It unfolded from there. (Thanks, Joan!)

LR: What about BUNNIES!!! made you think that it needed to be out in the world as a real, live BOOK?

EM: What DIDN’T is a better question, the answer to which is: NOTHING.

When I sign a new client there is often one manuscript that is so clearly the right one to lead with as we go out on submission. Others need development or discussion or wrapping my head around, or feel like better follow-ups. With BUNNIES!!! it was just so obvious that I would send it and it would sell pretty quickly.

LR: Are there any fun details associated with the submission process that BUNNIES!!! underwent and the eventual deal that was reached on its behalf?

EM: There was one editor who really wanted it, but had something too similar on the list already. His impression on the phone of a parent reading the book aloud to a child was absolutely hilarious and adorable.

LR: Can you spill the beans about any fun, little-known quick of our kindly Kevan Atteberry?

EM: He sends FABULOUS mail–envelopes with art on it that I have to keep it’s so good. And it’s always interesting to see how he’s going to sign an email, like, “Kevanticipation.”

LR: If BUNNIES!!! was going to be made into a motion picture, and you were the director, who would you want to cast as the love-seeking monster?

EM: Wow, fabulous question, and my first reaction was, “There’s no good way to answer that,” followed very quickly by “Jack Black,” so we’ll go with that.
Declan?

Declan?

LR: What jumps to mind first as a fill-in when you read this line: “If BUNNIES!!! the book made me want to dance, I would do the…”

EM: Bunny Hop, obviously!

LR: What do you love most about the book?

EM: It expresses such a universal need–to love and be loved–in such an incredibly simple, childlike way.

Thanks for joining us, Erin, to talk about Kevan’s positively perspicacious and beautiful book, BUNNIES!!! And ye wise, lovely readers: remember that two signed copies of this gem of a book are free this week–just leave a comment on any of the posts from the week to be entered into the drawing.

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