Thursday, July 31, 2008

Stress Is Our Friend

If it's our enemy, I'm really in trouble.

I got a couple of e-mails concerning the NPR radio show, The Takeaway, that I'm going to be on tomorrow morning. The guest list now includes a child psychologist, Frank Gaskil, to talk about
how kids can benefit from post-apocalyptic stories.

The other e-mail said they'd changed the schedule for tomorrow's show, and instead of them calling me at 7 AM to wake me up for the 7:30 interview, they're going to call me at 6 AM for a 6:30 interview.

By the time it's through, I'm going to need a psychologist.

Meanwhile, my mother has discovered that painkillers kill pain. So she's feeling better.

The other day I went to my local Borders and found that the paperback of Life As We Knew It is in its second printing. Yesterday I went to the Barnes and Noble in Paramus, NJ, and found LAWKI is in its third printing. My guess is these are very small printings, but I'm still quite pleased.

For those of you who are interested in the world coming to an end, The New York Times had an article about what supplies to have in the house for that eventuality. The last sentence of the article is a real killer. Here's the link:

I spoke to my editor this evening about the third book. She's not crazy about the title What Was/What Is (she doesn't like the / which is my favorite part), but we'll use it until something better comes along.

She wasn't opposed to my working Miranda and/or Alex into the story, but I am, so that's that. I don't see how they could possibly fit in. So we're never going to know what happens to them . Closure, unlike stress, is not our friend.

She was interested in the over population issue. I suggested to her (an idea inspired by Mr. Cavin's comment, thank you Mr. Cavin) that Sarah's parents could be divorced and in a reverse of LAWKI, the father comes back to see how his daughter is doing, and Sarah becomes emotionally closer to him. One of the plot ideas I've been pondering is that Sarah's family has to move in with another family, not necessarily people she knows. That would have to happen after her father gets back, since otherwise he wouldn't know how to find her. But I figure if there's a limited amount of fuel, it makes more sense for lots of people to be in each house, and my editor doesn't disagree.

What my editor and I do like is my What Was story. Sarah and four of her friends drive to the country the night the asteroid hits the moon, to get a better view. On their way home, they get into an accident, and Sarah has to find help for the rest of them. I'm not sure how that's going to tie into the rest of the book, since I don't know what the rest of the book is going to be, but at least that part seems to be settled on.

So that's where things stand. I'm not sure where I'll be standing after my 6 AM wakeup call, but that's a whole other problem. One my twitchy left eye and I will deal with tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

The sentence about our food system grinding to a halt within 9 days? That IS scary!

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Heather T-

Isn't it scary. It's particuarly scary for me because I'm trying to figure out how to keep the characters in Book 3 alive well past the 9 days.

Oh well. I left rice out of LAWKI. Maybe I can stretch out the rice supply for months and months. And months!