It's an exciting time. The moment you can take pride in your accomplishments and smile as today becomes yesterday, But it's also a little scary, because what comes next is unknown and unfamiliar.
Graduations are usually thought of only in terms of school. But writers have graduations too. As one book or series ends, and we are forced to say goodbye to characters who have seemed more like family for the many years we have been writing them. Those characters live on, of course, as new generations discover them, read them, and pass them along to friends. And that brings me joy, especially because in the past year I said goodbye to writing two of my favorite series--George Brown, Class Clown and Magic Bone. Both series remain popular, and you will find them wherever books are sold, but I won't be taking George or Sparky on any new adventures. At least not for the foreseeable future.
That means in order to keep writing (And trust me, you don't want to be around me when I am not writing) I have had to create new friends, new worlds full of laughter, and new difficulties to overcome. Let me tell you, that's pretty scary. As I broke new ground, I wondered, can I do this? Can I be funny again? Can I help kids love reading with these new characters, new worlds, and new stories?
Sometimes that fear of the unknown is motivating, and in the cases of the new books I am writing, it has been incredibly helpful. The first two books in The Kid From Planet Z series have allowed me explore what it feels like to be different in a new place (and trust me, we all feel that way sometimes) and my upcoming Princess Pulverizer series allows me to put together a trio of misfits who have somehow managed to become heroes despite themselves. And then there's Project Droid, which has not only allowed me write with a different kind of humor than I've used before, but has also given me the opportunity to write with my incredibly talented daughter. And happily, I've brought my son into the fold as he launches his new promotional trailer business--check out the book trailers page on this site to see what he's up to.
I can honestly (if not modestly) tell you that these three new series contain some of the best writing I have ever done. It's almost as though the things I wrote before, like Katie Kazoo Switcheroo which you can buy wherever books are sold, Jack Gets a Clue, and How I Survived Middle School led me to this place, and I am now seeing the fruits of my efforts.
So as you all move on--to a new grade, a new school, or a new job--embrace the change. Embrace the fear. You are ready for this. And everything you learned along the way will come in handy in this, your new chapter.
That's what life's all about!