Hmm. Well, Leepike Ridge is currently out and about, and I’ve been very happy with the response to it (both from readers and reviewers). 100 Cupboards releases at the end of December and kicks off a story that is different in many ways from Leepike. Leepike is a standalone adventure, and while it’s not fantasy, I was really trying to give a magic/mythic feel to the whole thing. 100 Cupboards is the first installment in a true fantasy series, taking a modern boy through the Chestertonian discovery that the world really is a mad, mad place (and beyond).
In the meantime, I was moving to new representation and Leepike Ridge began to happen to me very quickly. I wrote the first three chapters in two weeks, my agent sent them out, and several houses immediately wanted to see the full manuscript. So I had to write it. Luckily, I had story-grip my own self and needed to get through it quickly for sanity. After another week-and-a-half of caffeine, late nights and Coldplay’s “X&Y” on repeat, it was done and I was happy with the draft. Almost overnight, we had multiple offers, and the long, slow trek turned into a frenzy. Random House loved it, and loved the trilogy proposal, so we ended up selling them all four books. 100 Cupboards is the first reshaped novel born from that original jumbo manuscript.
Currently, there isn't an abundance of children's fiction inside CBA. What future do you see for Christian children's writers?
Is there a particularly difficult setback that you've gone through in your writing career you are willing to share?
Last fall, an editor at Esquire magazine sent me a small, paper cocktail napkin. They sent them out to around two hundred writers, and asked us all to write a story on the napkin itself, and gave us a deadline. They were hoping to run a couple in facsimile. I put it off until it was nearly too late, and then I went down to a local bookstore owned by a friend of mine and got him to let me in after hours. He has a whole flock of old typewriters. I picked one out, cut my napkin into strips, and sat down to type a short story.