As previously disclosed in an earlier posting, I have a new children’s book about to be published. This will be my third effort at corrupting our younger generation. I am doing the final layout and proofing. In a few days I hope to be sending it off to the magical place that turns my silly thoughts into actual hand-held paperback wads of wit and wisdom.
This particular book is aimed at a little older reader than my previous ventures. It’s about an 11-year-old boy who is confronted by one predicament after another and, consequently, spends a lot of time grounded in his room. No, it is not necessarily an autobiography.
The challenge of writing this book was making sure that I, at a childish age of 69, could speak “good 11-year-old” that is natural and spot-on relevant. If I do not accomplish this, the book will be—as the kids say—an epic fail. The dreaded “epic fail” is the equivalent of the book bombing!
As a preventative measure, I had several children read the manuscript and then provide feedback. I begged them not to feel obligated to say only good things about the book. They had to look for mistakes and tell me when they did not like something. It was an international panel of kids; some live across the gulf in Texas and one who lives across the pond in England!
The results were quite exciting. My young British editor was last to read but first to find two really stink-o mistakes that previously went unnoticed.
But the fun part of their reports were some of the comments. They sure beat the esoteric gibberish that some grownup reviewers conjure up in those fancy book magazines. Here are a few examples of what the kids wrote:
“You said the name of the school too much.”
“I really like this book and I can’t wait to get a copy.”
“Some very exciting parts, scary parts, jumpy parts and funny parts—that is what an amazing book needs so I think your book is amazing X amazing = extra amazing.”
See, just do the math! You can’t get any plainer and to-the-point than those comments. What is amazing, is that “amazing” is the new “excellent” or whatever adjective is relevant to expressing strong admiration. My grownup friend Ronna has been saying “That’s Amazing!” for years…I wonder if she realizes how well she speaks 11-ese?
The book is titled “The 11th Year of Christopher Arthur McDaniels” and, if interested, you can read more about it at the book’s website which I am still working on: http://christopherarthurmcdaniels.com. One thing we already know about the book even before it’s published… it’s amazing!