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“You did what now?”

This past week, in the midst of continuing work on my revised draft of The Nobodies (an excerpt of which spurred an extremely excited “Meeeeeee like!” when read by my overly enthusiastic editor), a brilliant idea occurred to me during my lunch break: that thought that’s been brewing in my head the last few days would make an excellent children’s book.

And so I sat down and I wrote a children’s book. Go figure, right? Of course, the book (which, written out as my others, is less than four pages long) is only a first draft, with the language teeming with sections begging to be left on the cutting room floor. After all, children’s books, when compared to adult novels, are, by and large, told through pictures rather than words.

Thinking back on it now, it’s quite an interesting development, because I never—no, not even once—considered writing a children’s book before. Sure, I had placate my father when he repeatedly told me, “That woman got rich writing the Harry Potters. You could get rich like her if you did that,” but hasn’t every writer of our generation? I’m sure the same was being told to budding horror writers concerning King and, going back even further, maturing playwrights and Shakespeare or Marlowe.

What spurned this idea, though, wasn’t a wink, wink, nudge, nudge from my father. No. Instead, it was a simple Twitter post spawned from a simple random thought I had while reading the aforementioned King’s It (fabulous). If you managed the tweet, be sure to follow me @WarrenPawlowski (or on the right hand side of this page), because I’m not going to give the plot away by repeating it here. Those in the know have enough clues to piece it together, I would think.

So there I was, pondering this thought as I listened to some melodic instrumentals thrumming their way through my ear canals, when a story started to build. As I believe all ideas come, it played as a movie within my mind, as though it were something I had lived or watched when I was younger but had simply forgotten until just that moment. There it was, a beginning followed by a middle full of such extraordinary concepts that they curled my toes in giddy delight.

Unfortunately, the movie stopped playing after only a few moments. And there was no ending, no structure. Just a fantastic series of images and ideas stacked upon each other like a terribly unsteady wedding cake.

Piece by piece, the gaps filled themselves in, nearly of their own volition, until the proverbial cake was strong enough to stand on its own. A previously written scene provided the perfect jump off point to embroil this book—even though aimed toward children—fully within my ever-expanding universe; scenes and characters from upcoming books hopped aboard excitedly; and the end… well, the end still eluded me. What could I do with it? There I was, a deeply satisfying beginning and middle and no…

BOOM! Suddenly, it was there, like a meteor crashing into the Earth without warning. I had it. And the movie played on as I watched, a boyish grin stretched across my face. In the end, mouth salivating for a bag of popcorn, I curled into a ball and rejoiced at my latest imaginative leap forward.

I ran the idea, proposed first draft and descriptions of all the images by my editor extraordinaire: “I love, love the concept,” she told me via email. “Love it, can’t wait to see it!!”

That’s right, two exclamation points. The world rejoiced.

Still, to finish this properly, I’ll need to sit down and pop out some child-friendly, fantastically flamboyant and inventive drawings. Here’s what I’m thinking 1) I should focus on submitting Sanity’s Flaw for review, 2) I should finish Part One of The Nobodies and then, and only then, 3) I should do some drawings.

It seems like a perfectly logical work order… though I hope to get at least the first part completed before November hits me like a bag of potatoes and sends me flying across the world.

Let’s see if we can’t get at least one part done for next week.

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