PUB DAY!!! It’s PUB DAY!!!
Though, actually, I never know what to do on a pub day.
Some folks ride around, visiting bookstores, and making sure their book is actually there. Maybe they ”face out” their books on the shelves, move books to highlight it better. Which makes good sense.
But that stuff feels funny to me. And it feels weird to say to a bookstore person, “Ummm, yeah, so, I’m an author. DO YOU HAVE MY BOOK? SHOW ME MY BOOK!”
What if they don’t have it? They might feel bad. NOT how I want to celebrate.
So I’m home today, working on something new, a picture book about aloneness. I’ll probably eat something yummy, to celebrate.
But at the very least, I can do this. I can post to my blog and tell YOU. About The Longest Night, which is indeed out today. I’m very very very proud and happy.
In part, The Longest Night is special to me because I’m been pondering this text for twenty years, in one form or another. I’ve always been a little obsessed with Exodus, and with the plagues most specifically. When I was a kid, I loved them. Is that weird? Probably. I liked the frogs best.
But in college, I began trying to write about the plagues. I wrote poems, several of them. They were okay, but they didn’t make me happy. I performed one of them onstage, in an actual theater, in a round with other readers. It was interesting… but not quite there. In grad school I tried again, and I think I got closer, but still… it wasn’t quite right either. It went something like this…
But when I started to tinker with The Longest Night, something clicked. It felt right. It felt like this, a poem with very heavy meter and rhyme, was the form I’d been wanting. It seemed like a picture book was the best way to present these images I’d carried around since I was a kid. It felt like approaching the story through the eyes of a little kid gave it a whole new slant. Like sitting under a dining room table makes a room feel different.
It’s a crazy nutso bonkers story, after all. Many people told me I was nuts to try writing the plagues for kids. Rivers of blood! Lice and locusts! Ravening beasts and frogs hopping all over. And then… the sea SPLITTING! I mean, yowza. Intense. But picture books are the best medium for crazy nutso bonkers stories, in my opinion. Picture books can really do intense well. Largely because of the art. (You can see some of the interior art here.) But also, because of the openness of the reader.
I’m so incredibly pleased with how the book came out. I really am. I hope you’ll check it out, and that if you do, you’ll like it.
If you want to help me celebrate, you can of course purchase a copy in many places, in person or online. If you happen into a bookstore that doesn’t have it, you can ASK THEM NICELY TO ORDER IT. And the same goes for libraries and schools! You can always request a book!
If you belong to a church or synagogue with a sunday school, you can suggest it as a title for the kids there too. I’d be grateful.
If you blog or write reviews or interviews or profiles or anything, for pretty much anyone at all, you can request a copy from my publicist.
But always, and forever, best of all, you can read it to a kid!
I sure hope you will…