• AJ Vanderhorst

Casey Grimes Update, March Edition


My kids helped me design a new business card (front).

Happy almost-Spring, everyone. I've got news!

I haven't written an update since Thanksgiving, which is a little hard to fathom. But that's how the book industry works. For weeks or months you're waiting on someone, usually an editor or designer, to sign off on their thing so you can do your thing. It's like a verrry slow-motion game of tennis. Or maybe tag. Then all of a sudden, things speed up and you're playing in real time. 


For several months, not much happened on my publisher's side of things, as they worked on other titles in their queue. After some informal polling, we finalized the title, The Mostly Invisible Boy. Less evocative candidates like The Sentry Oak, The Siege of Sylvan Woods and The Forgotten Fortress were reluctantly pushed aside. And then...the holidays happened. What I call Sick Season began...and continued...and continues.


With nothing else to do (besides normal life and work and getting the flu), I was forced to rework the first manuscript I ever wrote, start notes for Casey 3, and begin a new standalone story. I created pages of mind maps in my notebook, keeping track of all the characters and plot points.


Then stuff picked up. In the last several weeks, I received notes from my editor, Wendy, and worked through them—which was easy because they were minimal. Mostly comma usage if you want to know. Commas. No one really knows what to do with them, but it prompted me to read Eats, Shoots & Leaves again.


The only disagreement I had with my editor was over the spelling of "gryphon." I prefer the slightly funkier version with the Y. She prefers "griffin." As it turns out, both spellings are phonetic, so there's no "right" answer...but when you read the book, you'll see who won that little battle. (Hint: it was meee.) Wendy also said my book was "the most grammatically correct book I have read to date" and that she thinks it could be a movie, which was very kind of her. 


Aside: For the record, I wrote this book intending it to be a book. The book is not confused about its identity. It is not a screenplay in disguise. But it does have cinematic qualities...


On another graphic note, cover design took us a couple weeks to finalize, and it turned out to be 

VERY STRESSFUL. 


INtense Publications gives authors a lot of say in cover design, which is to their credit and unusual in the publishing world. People say (who are these people?) that authors are ridiculously picky about how their stories are represented. To which I reply, WELL, SOMEONE HAS TO BE. The quest for a good-looking, marketable cover took all our available draft requests and went right down to the wire. It turns out that getting something that aligns with the pictures in your mind's eye is tough. But it turned out nice. Cover reveal in the near future...


We're also close to finishing the interior design, which also needs to be just right, but is more straightforward. Think fonts, white space, headers and footers, drop caps, etc. The goal is to make all the printed elements play nice—and we're almost there.


The upshot is that unless my publisher informs me otherwise, Casey Grimes—The Mostly Invisible Boy will become available on April 20. In the meantime, I'll be working to line up book reviews—the more the better—and maybe some author talks, depending on how things go with the national health situation. I'll also be forced to think about the logistics of a launch party. Yikes. Currently I'm considering several nice, centrally-located closets...


That's all for now, folks. Thanks for following the Casey Grimes story and as always, feel free to share with anyone who might be interested. If you'd like to be sure you see every update, I recommend signing up for my newsletter.

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"The way to love anything is to realize

that it might be lost."

G.K. Chesterton

©2020 by AJ Vanderhorst.