Monday, August 06, 2007

Announcing a new children's series

I think I've mentioned before that I love to read children's and young adult fiction. In fact, some of my all-time favorites are for young readers. Although the idea of reading children's fiction may seem strange to some people, I urge you to think about J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books -- living proof that books written for kids can often be better (and more popular) than those written for adults.

Just the other day, I found an article and audio clip on NPR about one of my favorite childhood authors, Ann M. Martin, who has recently started a new children's series called Main Street. is the creator of The Babysitters' Club series, which I practically devoured when I was younger.

(Incidentally, that series was my first source of information about diabetes, and one of the reasons why I was so freaked out when I was diagnosed. In one of the books, the diabetic girl eats a lot of sweets and desserts -- which she is not normally allowed to have -- and ends up in the hospital. When I was diagnosed in 2002, it never occurred to me that treatment might have progressed beyond where it was in the late 1980s, and I tearfully imagined a life without ice cream.)

Listening to the broadcast, I learned one thing that surprised me: Ms. Martin only wrote about half of the books in the series The Babysitters Club. I don't know why I was surprised, as I know about syndication -- that, for instance, Carolyn Keen (the supposed author of the Nancy Drew books) never actually existed at all -- but it never occurred to me that someone would create her own series and then not write all the books herself. A little later in the broadcast, though, the answer came: she had to produce a book a month.

The Main Street series isn't quite so strenuous -- Martin will only need to produce three books a year. The interviewer, though, seemed to think that was quite a lot. I was quite amused, remembering my stint with NaNoWriMo in 2006. If I wrote that novel in a month, which was longer than a children's series book would be, while keeping up with my freelance work... Well, producing a skinny children's series book a month would be cake in comparison. In fact, immersing myself in fiction like that would be nothing short of heaven.

At any rate, I think I am going to have to check out Martin's new baby, the series called Main Street!

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