Reycraft Books (March 7, 2023)ISBN: 1478876115ISBN-13: 978-1478876113 A short middle grade novel based on the old Jewish tales of the imaginary town of Chelm where everyone is a dim-wit and dummy except for one man named Schlimiel who decides to move to America where he finds some folk as silly and dumb as in Chelm. …
So, twenty years or so ago, I had an idea to write a kind of middle grade sequel to MOBY DICK in which a fourteen year old boy in 1860s Nantucket hears a knock on the door early in the morning. His mother, who has been sick on and off all winter is still sleeping. His father is first mate on a whaler that is overdue. The boy opens the door and sees a stranger standing there.
My old friend (ex-student of mine, then a member of my critique group, winner of the Jewish Book Award among other citations—Barbara Diamond Goldin—and I decided to write a book that would be feminist, 21st century midrashim about the girls and women of the Hebrew Bible. That meant for most of them
Ah, The Seelie King’s War, where son Adam (my co-writer) and I untangled the history of the Seelie Court’s mysteries and the lineage of the Unseelie kings. The final book in the trilogy, where we begin with the unknowable, meet a fascinating new cast of characters, kill off quite a few beloved folk in a terrible war, and solve the biggest mystery of the The Seelie Wars trilogy.
The Last Changeling is the middle book of a trilogy. Always the toughest part. You have to move the plot along, add some new characters, but not solve any of the major mysteries/explain away all the hanging threads. Indeed, Adam (my son and co-writer) and I didn’t really yet know
Trash Mountain after I had been rereading a lot of Jane Austen and that voice was stuck in my head. Except, of course, this was a squirrel. I knew quite a bit about the war between the red squirrels and gray squirrels, mostly from British magazines and newspapers (I live part of the year in
I was asked (at a time when I was incredibly busy) by National Geographic too do a book of amazing (often heroic) animal stories. I said only if I could write it with my children, all of whom were well-published writers. They agreed. I made a list of fascinating animal stories, from the dog (& team)
My son Adam and I had begun a possible series/trilogy, got as far as a shaky first chapter and an even shakier proposal, and put it aside for stuff that was working better for us. And about five years later, editor Sharyn November asked me if I was interested in doing a middle grade fantasy
My son Adam Stemple and I had written two “Rock and Roll Fairytales” for Tor books—Pay the Piper and Troll Bridge. But when our old editor left, the new one could not push through the third book, B.U.G. which was already mostly written. It’s about a Jewish kid, Sammy, who is being badly bullied in school so he makes a golem
I was on the phone with my editor talking about a follow-up book to Sea Queens which had just come out. Somehow we got on the subject of bad girl shoes, you know—high, high heels in wicked colors, or patterns, black boots with high heels