SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: Today I'm taking a page from Julia, whose kids pop in and out of the Jungle Reds blog with some regularity. It's a stressful (and wonderful) time — prepping for Bouchercon, finishing one book (THE PARIS SPY) to turn into my editor on 10/15, while getting ready for another to be published (THE QUEEN'S ACCOMPLICE on 10/4), and the subsequent book tour. And so I've enlisted eleven-year-old Kiddo's help — thank you, thank you, thank you!
KIDDO: Being the son of an author has its perks and disadvantages.
One perk is I get to meet a lot of cool people including but not limited to fellow authors such as R.L. Stein, Holly Goldberg Sloan (the author of the novel Counting By 7s that I’m reading for school), editors such as Kate Miciak, who is one of my mom's editors for her book, and her agent, Victoria Skurnick (but we call her “Agent V” after the character "Agent P" for Perry the Platypus on the TV show Phineas and Ferb). Agent V hung out with me once when mom was signing books and got me candy while we waited and lots of really cool books.
Mom also signed a deal with Daisy Ridley, who is Rey in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Rey is so great. Daisy wants to play Maggie Hope. Everyone at school thought that was totally cool! And then Agent V got me an autographed picture from Daisy Ridley. She wrote "May the Force be With You." Which is AMAZING.
But also one of the downsides is that my mom (like all parents) works a lot because it’s really hard. She has to write a whole novel and create characters and it’s a mystery and the mysteries need clues and her character Maggie Hope has to sometimes has to figure out codes and my mom has to create the code and then come up with the solution.
When she’s sitting right there in front of me, sometimes I can’t speak or say anything to her because she has to work. I know when I can't talk because she gets a funny glazed look in her eyes.
Another plus is I get to read her books before anyone else, which is awesome! Because I get to find out what Maggie's latest adventure is. Also, Maggie has met a lot people including (but not limited to) Winston Churchill, Princess Elizabeth (now Queen Elizabeth), and Eleanor Roosevelt. In the new book Maggie gets to meet a woman named Coco Chanel, who invented a perfume called Chanel No. 5 (which was my grandmother's [Miss Edna's] favorite perfume).
But a downside is that sometimes she can change her story; a long lasting friendship could turn into a horrible disaster, or someone you thought was evil turns out to be on Maggie’s side.
And that is what I love (and sometimes hate) about being the son of an author.
Do you have any questions for me? I can answer them when I get home from school. Thanks! Peace.
(Maybe someday I’ll write a book about it!)
SUSAN: Thanks so much. How can I ever thank you?
KIDDO: How about $20?