Friday, May 20, 2011
Over the course of reworking and transforming the book, the story remade itself (or, I should say, I remade it) into a single third-person, present tense voice. The fire became a scene instead of a personality, and William became an important but secondary character. One hundred full pages of William's tale never made it into the slender book that became Dangerous Neighbors (Laura Geringer Books/Egmont USA).
But I always missed William and his story, always wished that the narrative structure and the themes I'd finally settled on could have made more room for him, and in fact many dear readers wondered out loud (either to me or in their reviews) why we didn't see more of this young man. I wrote, often, of wanting to write the sequel. This summer I am doing just that—returning to William, writing into and through his story, and committing to the sequel I had always planned to write.
Publishing is changing. Opportunities to share stories are changing with it. Dangerous Neighbors was kindly received by so many of you and now has a life as a Scholastic selection. I have spoken with my agent, and on this I'm very clear: One way or the other, William's story will get told.
Thanks to all of you whose words, one way or the other, finally brought me to this.