It's been a pleasant, though somewhat unconvincing summer—not quite hot or long enough to persuade me that it's time for fall, but then I don't seem to get much say in this matter. Time just passes, whether I like it or not...or perhaps it's me who's doing the passing, and time just is. Being. Hmm. These are wintery thoughts, indeed. Here's a link to a nice article in Publishers Weekly about a new book that I had a small part in, called "Click." It will be published in October this year, by Arthur Levine's imprint at Scholastic. It's a collaborative novel, written by ten authors, of whom I am one, and it's a benefit project for Amnesty International.
The idea was that one author would kick things off by writing a chapter, and then that chapter would be passed it along to the next author on the list, and from there the chapters would accrue and the book would grow. We were told we could take as our inspiration any aspect of the chapter or chapters we received in our turn—a character, or an event, or a location, or a word or object—and that we should feel free to follow the story in any direction it took us, forward or backward, up or down, in time or through space.
It's kind of a puzzling idea, but somehow it works. Here's a description of the book from the Scholastic website:
A video message from a dead person. A larcenous teenager. A man who can stick his left toe behind his head and in his ear. An epileptic girl seeking answers in a fairy tale. A boy who loses everything in World War II, and his brother who loses even more. And a family with a secret so big that it changes everything.
The world's best beloved authors each contribute a chapter in the life of the mysterious George "Gee" Keane, photographer, soldier, adventurer and enigma. Under different pens, a startling portrait emerges of a man, his family, and his gloriously complicated tangle of a life.
Okay, "the world's best beloved authors" is a bit of a stretch, but the book is a bit of a fantasy after all. The authors in question are David Almond, Eoin Colfer, Roddy Doyle, Deborah Ellis, Nick Hornby, Margo Lanagan, Gregory Maguire, me, Linda Sue Park, and Tim Wynne-Jones. After we were done, we were asked answer the question,
When you received the manuscript (or idea) for CLICK, what detail leaped out at you to inspire your part of the story?
Here's a link to our answers.