At the end of last week, I got my first proofs of Gobble Gobble Crash: A Barnyard Counting Bash. It's so exciting to see this new book coming together. I decided to take a couple of snapshots to show everyone how it's looking at this point in the process.
I wrote Gobble, boy, about 8 (?) years ago. The manuscript had a long and eventful journey, eventually ending up at Dutton Children's Books and it will be published this fall. I will definitely have to go to Pittsburgh for a book signing for this book since that is where the inspiration for the book came from.
One late afternoon, I was with my family, and we were driving on a road in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh is an unusual city in that it is very hilly and divided up by three rivers. So, getting around town is a bit of a challenge--but it's also an adventure. We were on Streets Run Road (I think) which is like going up the side of a mountain. The road is lined with thick trees.
Well, on this one afternoon, we were driving home and all of a sudden, a huge bird flew over our car, over the road. Scott was driving and had his window down and said he could hear the beating of the wings of this huge bird. This happened shortly after we moved to Pittsburgh, and we didn't know what the heck that thing was that flew over our car.
We asked around and found out that there are tons of wild turkeys in the Pittsburgh area (and I'm sure all over the state). So, we actually had a wild turkey sighting. It was cool.
A couple of years later, I saw a mother turkey with seven little baby turkeys trying to cross another road, but this time on foot. One poor little guy got stuck on one side all by himself. Don't know if he ever made it.
Anyway, little incidents like that are what inspire my stories. I had an idea for a counting book about wild turkeys making a big ruckus at a barnyard. This manuscript went through SO many revisions. It was crazy. But finally, after getting guidance from other writers and editors, I settled on a story, and now...here it is!
Valeri Gorbachev illustrated the book. His artwork is fantastic! I completely love it. Anyway, the book will be released this fall (in September, I believe), so I'm looking forward to seeing it all bound and finished. It's a great treat, however, to see it in these earlier stages.