Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finger Tip #4: Editor training

My picture book on Bill Finger, uncredited co-creator and original writer of Batman, will be published by Charlesbridge.

Recently, the acquiring editor, the perceptive and enthusiastic Alyssa Pusey, and I decided it was time to get together in person for the first time—but we had to act fast. In addition to the regular sense of urgency that drives most any creative venture, we were up against two deadlines, neither book-related.

One, I am moving this summer. Of course Alyssa and I simply could have waited until after my move to first get together, but it sure would be easier for me to go to her office when I am a three-hour (versus a six-hour) train ride away. (And of course there’s always flying, and meeting at book events, and so forth…but still, in this case, sooner was better.)

Two, Alyssa was also about to move—move a baby from her belly to the outside world. She was due with her second child any day. So if she and I didn’t meet pronto, we might be postponing till after her maternity leave.

We picked a date. I picked a train.

Alyssa and her colleagues at Charlesbridge were more than welcoming. I toured the office, met the other talented people who will help me deliver this book to the outside world, and enjoyed lunch. Then Alyssa and I went over the manuscript and other details.

I left. Three days later, the baby came.

Batman has a multifaceted mystique, part of which derives from his uncanny ability to show up in the nick of time. I have no illusion that I bear any kind of mystique. However, when the pressure’s on, it seems that I can show up in the nick of time.

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