Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Going, Going, Gone!

Today is pub date for Going, Going, Gone! the third book in the Pain & The Great One series. I'm always excited on pub date. Even though I already have a small box of copies sitting in my writing cabin (and I've already sniffed the book, something I do right away, even before I read it) the idea of the books being in stores and libraries gets me going. It means soon young readers will be sharing these stories and letting me know what they think.

But it's a bittersweet day, too, because I was scheduled to sign the book at Bunch of Grapes bookstore next week. Sadly, on July 4th, because of smoke and water damage due to a fire next door this great independent bookstore is closed for the season. I'll miss meeting the kids, both locals and visitors. I signed Soupy Saturdays there last summer, but wasn't on the island in May, to sign Cool Zone. I hope the bookstore is up and running next summer when Friend or Fiend? the 4th and final book (for now, anyway) in the series is published. It doesn't feel right to be here and not be able to hang out at Bunch of Grapes, browsing, buying, and signing books.
(You can read more on my July 9th post -- Happy July 4)

The Pain & Great One series is being published in the UK, too. So I've been doing interviews with British newspapers and radio, and last week, Irish Radio. The presenter on that show wanted to talk only about the books she read when she was growing up (Margaret, Deenie, Forever). I love talking about my early books but in this case I was so frustrated I just started yakking about the Pain & the Great One, telling anecdotes until she pulled the plug. I probably won't be invited back on that show. But that's another story.

The first three books are also available on CD's from Listening Library. Friend or Fiend? will be recorded in September. I get to read the part of Fluzzy the Cat in all four books. Fun!

If you've been reading my blog you know I've already finished writing Friend or Fiend? and Jim Stevenson has done wonderfully funny cover art. Now we're waiting to see his illustrations for the inside of the book -- always a treat. Both the US cover and the UK cover feature the Great One smushing an ice cream cone against the Pain's forehead. The UK editor has asked if the ice cream could be bright yellow or pink instead of chocolate. Since the story is about how the Pain eats only white food, and that means only the white kind of vanilla ice cream and the Great One likes chocolate best, I don't see how that's going to work. Here's a peek at the first round of cover art.

I'll tell you about the real sister who smushed an ice cream cone against her brother's forehead in a post I'll write soon.

For now,