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In the beginning, there was market research…

We’re thinking hard about starting a new series at Nomad Press. We’re pondering, we’re testing the water, we’re gathering evidence of future success or failure. We’re nervous. We’re hesitant. Until we’re not, and then we’re boisterous and foolhardy. Of course we can launch a new series in the space of six months! Of course everyone will love it! Of course it will makes lots of money! Of course it will get kids to read more!

But who knows? Publishing a book is jumping off a roof, but starting a new series is jumping off a cliff into the stormy ocean below. Where the sharks are swimming. In -18 degree weather. It’s scary and not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

And it’s weird to try and guess what a series of books should look like before they even exist. It’s like inviting ten strangers to dinner and trying to plan a menu that will please everyone without knowing who’s a vegetarian, who’s gluten free, and who hates Brussels sprouts (these people who hate Brussels sprouts, they sound like a myth, but they do exist; I gave birth to some of them). It’s very, very hard. Add to that already high level of difficulty a team of seven people, each of whom has strong, very different opinions. Piece of cake… right?

But that’s also part of why we do it. Hard stuff is fun.

And I have high hopes that the finished product, the first book in the series, will be a gorgeous book that kids will flock to. It will be one of those books that kids will turn the last page of and look up and ask, “Is there more?”

Part of why I have this job is because I loved to read as a kid and those books that left me physically craving more (A Wrinkle in Time, Night Swimmers, The Children of Green Knowe) taught me lessons I didn’t know I needed that have resonated beyond fifth grade into the rest of my life. Lessons that include how powerful a story can be, the reasons we have relationships, and the often untapped potential of dead things.

And it feels amazing to be a part of the mechanism that might, if we’re lucky, create a new book that teaches these lessons to some kid that’s out there now, probably playing a video game and snacking on pretzels.

So, like I said, piece of cake.

Wish us luck.

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