I’m so glad to tell you that a few days ago, I opened a box of pretty, green books. The Monster in the Hollows is printed, published, pressed, and waiting in the queue to be mailed to everyone who pre-ordered (and some of you have already gotten yours!). I confess, one of the best things about being an author is the immense satisfaction one feels to hold in one’s hands a handsome book with his name on it. It’s something I dreamed about as a kid, and I don’t take that blessing for granted.
Part of it is a feeling of anticipation; I can’t wait for folks to read it, and I’m anxious to know if the story connected. It’s also a feeling of pride; I’m sure it could (and has) turned into a sinful pride, but right now it’s the good kind–like the pride a parent feels for a son or daughter about to strike out into the world. I did the best I could to get it ready, and now it’s time to sit back and see if it can fly.
It’s also a feeling of gratitude, to God for letting me do this and for the community that came together to help me tell the story. My brother, A.S. Peterson is a much, much smarter version of myself, and was extremely helpful in the editing process. My editor Jessica Barnes helped me steer the ship when I was off course. Jennifer Trafton, author extraordinaire, copyedited it (and made a lot of great editorial suggestions, too). Brannon McAllister did an amazing job of putting together the design so it would look just right sitting on the shelf next to the other two books. Justin Gerard‘s illustrations are geek-worthy in the extreme.
So when I hold the book in my hands, my excitement is for you, for them, and for me. In a really weird way, I’m also excited for the Wingfeather children. The story I made up a few months ago is about to be lived out in a lot of different imaginations, at different times, in subtly different ways. The same adventure is going to be underway all over the country, and the really strange part, the mind-bending part, is that for Janner, in each case, it’ll be for the first time. How weird of a thought is that? (I’ll answer for you: very.)
Earlier this week I did my first school visits in support of The Monster in the Hollows. Don’t get me wrong; I love to play music. But I also love talking stories and books with a bunch of eager young minds. The students in LaGrange and Augusta, Georgia were delightful. Favorite questions: “If the book is more than 300 pages long, were you worried that you’d run out of paper?” (Answer: “Nope. I was worried I’d run out of coffee.”) And “Who is the monster in the Hollows?”(Answer: “You’ll have to read the book to find out. But I’m pretty sure it’s not what you think.”)
Thanks, everybody, for your many tweets, re-tweets, posts, and emails. With your help, Janner is living his story again and again all over the world. Can’t wait to hear what you think of the book!