Well, hallelujah! This morning I signed a contract with Basil E. Bacorn Publishing for the production of a children’s novel, due out around Midsummer of this year.
The story is a fantasy with considerable environmental and political shadings which, however, take second place to storytelling. The original title was simply, Jack and Bear, though my preferred working title right now is The Battle of the Book. We’ll see what the publisher’s opinion is pretty soon, I suppose.
The story began, as so many works for children do, with tales improvised to amuse my son, the model for Jack, and was first written down in 1996. As I marketed the manuscript, I was told (and agreed) that the language was too sophisticated for the age range of children who would find the main characters appealing, so I made some changes to adjust that and to tighten up the story in general in 2015. Then I let it sit, while I concentrated on mystery novels and my short stories. I sent it out to Bacorn after seeing a call for submissions, and…they wanted it!
The process has just begun, so I’ll report when there’s anything worth telling. I don’t even know whether it would need illustrations in its current form. So…we shall see.