What to Expect When You’re Expecting–a BOOK part5: Book-Dads

Welcome to Part 5 of my blog series,

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING–A BOOK!

As promised, we hear from three Book-Dads about their experiences this week–well, sort of… Their reactions confirm (I’m pretty sure you know this…) that unlike a Dad expecting a baby, guys go through a whole lot more when they’re expecting a book.

Meet my writer pal,

Scott Blagden

Scott Blagden, who is the author of one of my favorite YA reads this year:

Dear Life You Suck

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. The many awesome reviews include:

  • Starred review by School Library Journal
  • Nominated by YALSA for 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults

Go Scott!

Book-Dad #2 is debut author Greg Pincus

Greg Pincuswhose first book-baby has been arriving on doorsteps lately.

I got to hold this baby at SCBWI LA last summer!

Math + Humor + Pie + Friendship = WINNER x 4!

But let’s start with Author/Illustrator Jim Averbeck,

Ji

who already has four “kids”– aka a bunch of way cool picture books, including his most recent,

Inspired by his experience as Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

Inspired by his experience as Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon.

However…
DRUM ROLL PLEASE.

Jim is switching genres to middle grade (due June 2014)

and he’s seen the ultrasound –

It’s real!!!!!

Jim says:

“You know how that first ultrasound arrives and the parents and relatives are all ‘oh he’s so cute’ and ‘he’s got his father’s eyes’ and ‘he’s gonna be a heartbreaker when he’s older’ and then they hand it to you and your friend and it looks like this:

ultrasound

“And your friend says ‘how can you tell it’s a boy?” and you think ‘how can you tell it’s human?’

“And then you wonder if the parents are really thinking ‘Is that a tail? I don’t want our baby to have a tail. Can we change that?’

“So, it’s better being an author because when you get the first ultrasound of your baby it looks like this:”

Jim Averbeck cover

Jim: It’s clearly a book and there is still time to engineer it. But as the book-Dad, you’re thinking: “Love the Jim Averbeck presents but the font is kind of Star Trek-y. Can we change that?”

“No problem,” says the editor.

And the book-Dad wonders, “Will that silhouette of Alfred Hitchcock pop more if we do a spot UV coating?”

“Of course,” says the editor.

Unlike an ultrasound, you can even change the manuscript a bit if you need to bring something from the cover into the story. For instance, The main character would probably benefit from using a magnifying glass in chapter 8, wouldn’t he?

Yes. He would.

Me: Will the delivered baby be all you hoped for after this tweaking?

Jim: I’ll let you know when the book has its birthday in late June, 2014. In any case, I know it won’t be born with a tail.

DEAR LIFE YOU SUCK author Scott Blagden is currently worrying about his next “baby” too.

OK maybe it’s my fault for tagging him on that recent blog-hop ( see 99 Hairbows…) Or possibly the DEAR LIFE, YOU SUCK signed book and t-shirt giveaway by Joshua David Bellin @TheYAGuythat’s happening TOMORROW. Anyway, all I could get from Scott about book-Dad worries this time around was a quick: “I’m crazy busy right now with my WIP. I’m finally getting the voice (I think) so I’ve been giving every spare minute to the story. I’ve been working on it for over a year and I finally feel like I’m headed in the right direction so I’m trying to keep the momentum going.”

You might say, Greg Pincus has anxiety times 14, since his book –due Oct. 1st– is already shipping!

When I told Greg (who subscribes to over 300 blogs, …) about my idea for this blog series, he loved it–thought it might even be a great ebook someday–and then when I asked if he wanted to send me his thoughts, he (regrettably & sweetly) declined–

WHAT?

Yes, Virginia–Just like real dads, book-Dads get frazzled too.

So much to do–so little time!

Greg:

  1. It’s taken me almost a month to get back to your EMAIL! Yes. A month.
  2. It’s taken me almost 3 months now and I still haven’t launched my online classes (one of which, by the way, is actually sorta-semi-related to this idea in that it’s about the social media steps one takes at different times in a career arc) and
  3. I don’t see my schedule/time changing until who knows when and even then, I dunno what it is going to look like.

This means that not only am I likely to be an unreliable partner, I also can’t make this a top priority yet. Then I’m concerned that as we both get close to our own book launches, time might again be tight.

Me: “Deep breath, buddy. Just answer 1-2 questions. You get the same amount from the greeter at Wallmart, and all I’d need is one to two sentence answers.

Greg: Honestly… I’m sitting here thinking Oh, I could write up the Rejection one! (aka Part #3) What to do (join SCBWI, take classes, drink heavily). But then I ask myself honestly… could I? No, no, I couldn’t, even though I want to.

Me: I didn’t mean to stress you out.

Greg: YOU didn’t stress me out. Time passing stresses me out 🙂 If you could do something about that, I’d be much obliged….

This from the book-Dad whose June 13, 2006 blog post on GottaBook announced: “I got a book deal!”

(I’m not the only one whose “due date” was adjusted…..)

Cut to Greg in 2013 (You do the MATH!) holding the ARC (advance reader copy or galleys or uncorrected proofs or whatever you might want to call them) of the 14 FIBS OF GREGORY K.!

photo(64)

And much like a proud parent, he gushes, “I freely admit it’s a great feeling to hold one. Can’t quite imagine what holding the final book will be like…”

Woo-hoo! Hey Greg–it’s here!!!!!!!

Speaking of which–shameless plug–, thanks to everyone who welcomed DECK THE WALLS into the world last week. Even Cat in the Hat showed up to help me at B&N!

Erin and Cat in the Hat

But back to my fabulous book-Dad COOL-CAT friends. Follow them on Twitter:

@JimAverbeck @ScottBlagden @GregPincus

Read their awesome books and while you’re at it, wish Greg a Happy BookBday on Oct. 1st!

PS Check back here next week for Part6–MULTIPLE BIRTHS! (Writing a series.)

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