When I started writing for children at the beginning of this year, my goal was to sell my first book by June 2008. As I'm eight months ahead of schedule, I figure I had better update my goal and make it two books by June 2008.
But what to do next? I'm well into Kissing the Piggy Boy, which could be consdered a sequel (I prefer to think of it as a companion book) to Tansy. But although I have not mentioned it to my editor at Orca (oooo, that sounds sooo good!), I can imagine that they would need to see how Tansy does before committing to Piggy Boy - if indeed the book is good enough for Orca.
Elsie and the Silver Rain was my attempt at kids' fiction. Set during the Depression, it tells the story of Elsie, whose father has abandoned the family and whose mother has now 'run away' to join a dance marathon, in an effort to relieve the family's poverty. Can Elsie - and her sidekick Scoop - bring Mother home without incurring the wrath of Elsie's grandmother, who following the lead of social activist Reverend Hampton, holds strong views about the marathons?
I'm fond of Elsie. So fond of her I keep the photo culled from a book called Children of the Depression on my computer desktop at home and at work. And the book is 85% done - at about 32,000 words.
So while I'm England for the next couple of weeks, helping my mother catch up on the garden pruning and listen to my father's rants about Tony Blair (gone, but not forgotten in my family), I will spend the evenings helping Elsie prepare for the outside world.