Joining the Dots

The proof for ‘Uptown Girl – A Long Forgotten Fairytale’ arrived on Friday.  My lovely daughter Sophie is showing you the cover proof:

photo 1This is going to sound super geeky, but I can’t wait to have the finished book on my shelf.  Not only because this was a difficult book to create, and by placing it on my shelf will finally mark the completion of the story, but, well, the spine of the book is so cool.  The last three Uptown Girl books all had kind of boring color schemes, black, white, silver, and now…BAM!  Maroon.

The proof comes unglued, and gives me a chance to review it make sure the pages are in the right order.  Again, this is displayed by Sophie:

photo 2I love seeing proofs of books and comparing them to the original artwork.  When I look at the very tall pile of pages of original art, I can almost feel the weight of time it spent in creating it, as shown here:












But when I compare it to the proof, it’s a little underwhelming since the finished book will be small and very light compared to the original artwork.  Again, Sophie is showing the difference:

photo 3

















As you might tell, Sophie was on spring break this week and had some free time.  Normally she is too busy drawing or playing Legos to indulge her daddy’s blog.

Anyway, as this book winds down, it’s time to think about the future and time for me to start talking about the next Uptown Girl, and the one after that, and the one after that…

When I started doing original graphic novels, I imagined they would all be stand alone books, meaning you would not have to read them in order to follow the story.  And I kept that intention…for about a year or so.  I had created a character that appeared in the second book (Little Adventures) that I thought I could use later on.  An Easter egg, I suppose.  As ‘Long Forgotten Fairytale’ was nearing its completion, I struggled to come up with the right way to end the book.  The book, I hope, has a creepy, foreboding tone, and I wanted the book to end like that as well.  When I finally thought of the ending I decided to go with, I realized I was opening a door that I wouldn’t be able to close.  Basically, my intention of creating stand alone books was no longer possible.

When Uptown Girl was a monthly comic, I always had the next four to five issues planned out.  The graphic novels are also the same, I’ve always known what the next two or three books were.  And when you plan ahead, you kind of start to connect the dots a little.  In the story I am working on now, I introduce a new character named Techno Ted.  I didn’t have plans to bring him back once the story was over, but as I started to think about what book 6 was about, I thought of an interesting way for him, and someone else to return.  In book 5, Uptown Girl moves to _______.  I have a reason why she does this, but I needed a story as to what happens when she gets there.  I thought of a great way to tie what happens there with the overall plot to book 6.  See?  Connecting the dots.  The icing on the cake is when Brian Bastian, the writer for book 1 (Big City Secrets) emailed me saying he has an idea for a story starring _______ and _________.  Not only does it tie in perfectly to what book 6 is all about, but it stands a pretty good chance Brian will write book 6.  I’ve been trying to get Brian to write another Uptown Girl book since he finished the first book.

So, the plans for Uptown Girl are pretty much laid out for the next few years.  Thinking optimistically, book 4 (currently titled Imitation of Life) will be out in 2015, but I think that book 5 (currently untitled) and book 6 (The Lazarus Heart) will take a little longer.  I am not sure if book 5 will be out in 2016 or not, knowing what the story will be.  It’s going to take a long time to do book 5 and 6, but there will be something out each spring for the foreseeable future, even if it’s not an Uptown Girl book.




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