Book Deal!; Or, What I’ve Been Doing All Fall

h1 December 14th, 2009 by jules


First of all, Adam Rex made that image. I love it so much that I want to take it to the Peppermint Prom. But more on that at the post’s close.

Well, okay, so Sam-I-Am’s superstar friend isn’t really penning a tell-all book, but I am happy to share this morning that Elizabeth Bird of A Fuse #8 Production, Peter D. Sieruta of Collecting Children’s Books, and I up and landed ourselves a book deal last week — with lots of help from our agent, the valiant Mr. Stephen Barbara, and after lots of hard work and wordsmithing this Fall in creating the proposal. We got this good news last week but wanted to coordinate today’s posts about it at our respective blogs: You’ll see at Betsy’s blog (via a very enlightening infomercial) and Peter’s blog today that they’re announcing it as well.

We’re happy to say that Candlewick will be publishing the book, and we’ll be working with Associate Publisher & Editorial Director Liz Bicknell. We couldn’t be more pleased and feel like Liz is the perfect fit for our book. (And I’m really looking forward to writing more with Betsy and Peter. I’d write an auto repair manual with the two of them. To say I’m happy Betsy contacted us last summer and said, “hey, let’s write a book!” is the year’s biggest understatement.)

Now, to tell you a bit about the book (straight from our proposal itself): Tentatively titled Wild Things! : The True, Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children’s Books and Their Creators, it will look at the world of children’s lit, past and present, and examine some of its untold tales — with humor, celebration, respect, occasional irreverence, and always great affection for the field. The three of us have long wondered what brings out what we call the “fluffy bunny” mentality in children’s literature, that which causes sophisticated (and even jaded) adults to get sentimental and dewey-eyed at the mere mention of children’s books. Now, if they didn’t, we wouldn’t have a book to write, so we’re not exactly complaining. But it’s still a curious phenomenon to us, that, for many, the topic conjures up a world of gumdrops, rainbows, and fluffy little bunnies that love you forever and like you for always. Our book aims to debunk the notion that all children’s book authors and illustrators live in such a world. Having collectively studied and worked in the field for many years, we are aware that children’s literature has a rich, complex, and sometimes dark history not explored in most texts, histories, and trade books – and that children’s books themselves are far more complex and edgy than is generally supposed.

We want to look at how Harry Potter, Twittering, testicles (also known, as many of you know, as “Scrotumgate 2007”), and other recent events and stories have helped children’s books hit the national media; celebrity books and why they make so many people so shouty; banned books; what happens when words and images from past books are no longer acceptable in today’s politically-correct world; Literary Connections We Never Knew — or, What Happens When You Give a Kid Up for Adoption and Then That Kid Gives Birth to Courtney Love; real-life stories behind children’s books and their authors that even Encyclopedia Brown would have a hard time solving; how real-life incidents inspired children’s books; some death, sex, and children’s literature; the subversive in children’s lit and why it inspires us so; and much, much more. Throw in some fun facts, such as the first recorded use of the word “nerd” in history, lots of lively debate, and some hidden delights, and you’ve got Wild Things!

So, look for our book in September 2012! (Yeah, it’ll be a while from now. I’ll be turning forty that year, which actually makes me feel like a grown-up.) Oh, and if you see our friend up there, shying from the camera’s eye, let me know that, too. (As mentioned right off the bat, that image is from Adam Rex. Huge heaps of thanks to Adam for that. All rights reserved and © 2009 Adam Rex and all that, dear readers.)

{Note: Speaking of Betsy and Peter in the same spot in cyberspace, if you didn’t already see it, don’t miss Peter’s own send-up of the November cover of School Library Journal. Here’s his post about it.}

63 comments to “Book Deal!; Or, What I’ve Been Doing All Fall”

  1. WOOT, WOOT and SQUEE!!!! Let me be the first (I hope) to say, dear, dear Jules, that your book deal is not only the most exciting news of 2009, but it is happening to one of the best and most deserving people I know. I have no doubt that everyone here at 7-imp shares the excitement you must feel, and is so very, very happy for you. I can’t wait to read your bestseller and give it to you at a book signing on your California tour (and there will be one!) to inscribe to me in person. You know how thrilled I am for you, my friend. And I LOVE the Adam Rex image. So perfect! Gigantic smiley faces to you, Jules!!

  2. I’ll be in line behind Jill for that autographed copy! Or first in line if you hit Portland! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! That is wonderful, wonderful news! And sounds like a book that I cannot wait to read and recommend. So very happy for you, Jules!

  3. Wow! So fantastic. Maybe beyond fantastic. Of course the book will rock.

  4. YAY!!!

    Congratulations, Jules, Betsy, and Peter. I am so excited to read your book. Is it 2012 yet???!!! *whine*

    *quietly lines up for an author interview*

  5. Yea for you guys!!! So very very happy and I’m looking forward to reading it!

  6. What an intriguing teaser for the book! Congratulations!

  7. I am so happy for all three of you! Absolutely thrilling that it is Candlewick doing it as it will both read and look wonderful. (And I believe we will be fellow authors the same publishing season as mine is due out from them that fall as well. I have a significant birthday then too, but it is a few decades past yours, sigh.)

  8. Haha — GREAT news! And what a great idea for a book! (And Jules, I wonder how hard you resisted a title including the words wild and things in it. :))


  9. Squee indeed. Be sure to contact me for some stories should you feel the need. Have I got stories!

    And you three are just the folks to tell them!


  10. WowOhWowOhWow! This is going to be the juiciest read ever! HUGE congrats to each of you—I can’t imagine a finer team to deliver on this most deliciously irreverent proposal.

    Where does the line form for the 2012 book signing?

  11. YES! The world needs this book! I can’t WAIT!

  12. *Somersaults Cartwheels Backflips*

    HUGE Congrats to all three of you!! Fantasmagorically awesome news. Sounds like a juicy tome. Can’t wait!!

  13. Congratulations, Jules! I look forward to y’all’s book!

  14. Congratulations to you and to Candlewick! It sounds like it will be so much fun to read, and I hope and bet the three of you will have some fun writing it, too. I know patience is needed in this business, but I have to say: I can’t wait!

  15. Oh, how exciting! Can’t wait! (OK, I guess I have to, but you know what I mean…)

  16. Yay, it’s official! I’m so proud of you, friend! XOXOXO

  17. Jules-This is SUCH wonderful news! A title our genre needs so badly, and your team is the perfect trio to write it. Congratulations to you! I can’t wait to read it 🙂

  18. Congrats, Jules! I am very happy to see that three of my favorite children’s lit bloggers are melding minds. I’m excited to read the book!

  19. YAY!

    Oh, yay, JULES! So happy for all three of you. HUZZAH!!!!!! can’t wait to read it.

  20. Ohh, such wonderful news–CONGRATULATIONS, Jules, Betsy, and Peter! This is going to be a fascinating book, and I cannot wait to own a copy!!!

  21. Hurrah for all three of you! Congratulations. I hope you realize that this book will be ripe for satire in the Children’s Books That Never Were series.

  22. Wowie wow wow! That is pretty darn wonderful! Ich gratuliere!

  23. to borrow a word i learned from carrie jones: AWESOMESAUCE!

  24. Great is my W00T! Well done, y’all!

  25. […] Especially, I’m excited to tell you about this because among its three co-authors will be friend of RAMH Julie Danielson, who comments here as Jules and, more importantly, curates the fabulous kidlit blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast. […]

  26. In all my imaginings of your teaser in your 7 Kicks, I wouldn’t have ever come up with this! Super-fantabulous congratulations Jules (and Peter and Betsy, too)! Count me in on the author tour, for sure!

  27. Yahoo! That’s fabulous news, Jules. Congrats to the three of you, and kudos to Candlewick–it’s going to be an excellent book. Can’t wait to read it!

  28. I am JUMPING and CHEERING over here for all three of you. Go, go, go!!!

  29. Congratulations, Jules! It’s going to be amazing. Can’t wait to read it!

  30. Congratulations!

  31. P.S. Is it too early to start planning your book tour? You’ll want to make sure you get the major cities in the PNW. 🙂

  32. HUGE congratulations. This is terrific.

  33. WOOOOO-HOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  34. Congrats Jules!! Sounds VERY interesting 🙂 Can’t wait to read it!

  35. Yippie!! So deserving, my friend. I’m so impressed by you … always. Just don’t forget us little people. And remember, i’ve still got copies of our pregnancy stories!!! Best of luck … altho, apparently, you don’t need any …. YOU ROCK!

  36. Hi Jules!!!!!! Congratulations, I can’t wait to get the book… do we really have to wait till 2012?????? :-/
    Anyway, this is a GREAT NEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mine will be the first copy officially booked on this side of the ocean 🙂
    BRAVA!!!! C

  37. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING THINGS I READ ABOUT THIS MORNING!!!!!! Excuse the caps, but this is such happy news!


  38. Thanks, everyone! Could a girl have better friends and colleagues? Don’t think so.

  39. Congratulations!

    Oh, 2012, where are you??!!

  40. That is SO AWESOME, guys!! Congrats, Jules, Betsy, & Peter. I can’t wait.

  41. First, congradulations on the book deal. It is wonderful and I’m sue it will hit the NYT best seller’s list within weeks of publication. I’m telling all my friends now that my niece is a best selling author.
    Second, how did you sneak a picture of your father in under the name of Barry Moser.

  42. This is such great news! Both for you guys and for us, your reading public!

  43. Congratulations, soon-to-be-published authors! I’m so excited for you.

  44. […] Elizabeth Bird (A Fuse #8 Production) Peter Sieruta (Collecting Children’s Books), and Jules Danielson (7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast) are teaming up to tell the scandalous, scurrilous, and shocking untold stories of children’s lit. Can’t wait until 2012. Read the announcement at Fuse #8, Collecting Children’s Books, 7 Imp. […]


  46. Thanks again, you all!

    Unkie Wayne: Ain’t that the truth (about Barry Moser and my father). They have the same eyes, for sure — and, well, pretty much the rest of their faces, too, are very similar. Move over, Wilford Brimley.

  47. Many congrats!


  48. Jules,

    I think Barry is a handsome and distinguished looking man. Much better looking than Unkie Wayne.

    Congratulations on your book deal!


  49. Jules–

    Sorry to be so late in congratulating you. I’ve been fighting a respiratory infection all fall–and it got rabid last week. I think I finally have the right med to fight it off now.

    I haven’t been doing much blog reading of late. I have got to keep up with the kidlit news better!

    The book sounds wonderful–and has three authors who have a passion for children’s literature. I can’t wait to read WILD THINGS!–just wish I could buy it for myself for Christmas this year!

  50. You had me at Scrotumgate!

  51. Look at the exciting things that happen when I am absent from the internet! CONGRATULATIONS! I am so excited for you – a book deal couldn’t happen to a nicer or more knowledgeable person. I can’t wait to see the book!

  52. Never before in my life could I say I had something to look forward to three years from now. I wish you all the best, one author to another.

    Keep going!

  53. […] Anyone want to tell me what you consider a) the best celebrity children’s book and b) the worst celebrity children’s book? It’s all in the name of research. […]

  54. […] have this morning after a week of coffee-from-machines; reading the work-in-progress chapters of my writing partners-in-crime, Betsy and Peter; and the fact that I’m, as you read this, at the Southern Festival of Books […]

  55. […] Getting words on paper for a new chapter for this and overcoming writer’s block. (I am not sure sometimes if “writer’s block” […]

  56. I don’t know how I missed this post, but congratulations!!!!!!! There couldn’t be a better crew to do this book! So excited for you, and can’t wait to read it!


  57. […] her, so as you read this, I’m at an inn in beautiful Tennessee, organizing research notes for this big ‘ol project. Yes, writing in peace and quiet, all kid-free. I’ll miss my girls, but […]

  58. […] I’m writing Wild Things!: The True, Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children’s Books and Their Creators with Elizabeth Bird of A Fuse #8 Production and Peter D. Sieruta of Collecting Children’s Books. […]

  59. […] a crazy week around here, particularly given that this week Betsy and Peter and I are wrapping up our manuscript to be sent off once and for all to our editor. I hope to be back later this week with some 7-Imp […]

  60. […] 1-7 today are that Betsy, Peter, and I are wrapping up our final manuscript this weekend to be sent off to our editor. This is both exciting and terrifying, as I may have […]

  61. […] Here’s an idea: There are some holiday picture books I’d like to share here at 7-Imp—I like doing that this time of year—but if did a typical post about each one … well, I just wouldn’t have time for that, unless I, say, neglected my children and work-that-pays altogether (not to mention—this just in at the 7-Imp news desk—the edits I now have to do on this work-in-progress). […]

  62. […] Surviving manuscript edits. Not only were round one of manuscript edits due this week for me and Betsy and Peter, but I also had multiple Kirkus columns due this week. […]

  63. […] one and only Peter D. Sieruta, with whom Betsy Bird and I have been researching and writing a book since 2009, passed away Friday night. I’m still lacking details about what exactly happened, but his […]

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