Wednesday, November 14, 2012


Here's a cool thing!

My editor at Snowbooks just sent me the typeset ms of my upcoming novel, Alias Hook, for the final proofreading. It's starting to look like a real book!

Meanwhile, it looks like the map of the Neverland that I sketched once upon a time will now be included in the published book! Well, not exactly my map, but my talented book designer's interpretation of it.

It's probably some dire infringement of copyright to publish the official map before the book comes out. But here's the original that I drew for myself, as a means of keeping track of where everything is in the Neverland. Yes, it's an enchanted place, full of diverse micro-climates and eco-systems that would not coexist in so-called "real" life. But the island of Neverland is still on Planet Earth in my story, so I had to know in which direction the sun and moon rise and set, for instance, from one scene to the next.

Anyway, here's a sneak preview of my original map. The one that will appear in the book is much like this one, but with sexier fonts, and it's much easier to read!

And just for fun, I dug this photo out of the archive: here I am in August of 2004, under the shade of our beloved green fig tree, actually drawing my first version of this map. I'd been working on the story for almost a year, but on my birthday,  I decided to take the day off from writing and make the map I'd promised myself.

Interesting historical footnote: within about three years, the fig tree went kaput; termites got into the wood and it stopped producing fruit. We were devastated, but Art Boy and our friend, Isaiah, a woodworker, chopped it down to the ground and carted it away, leaving only an underground root too massive to dig out.

And guess what: the tree came back! First it was just a couple of leaves, than a nubby branch, but this summer we have three sturdy new limbs as tall as me; we've also had two tiny but delicious crops of figs!

All of which I consider a good omen, since Alias Hook is all about redemption, rebirth, and second chances!


  1. That's a great story about the fig tree. And how cool to have your own map in the book! It looks like it's still in your handwriting, so they can't have transformed it too much.


  2. Well, this is my original map. The one that will appear in the book is very similar, but the fonts are more interesting and the key is much more coherent. Sadly, the wolf, the buffalo, and the mermaid are gone, although I believe my designer kept the tipis! I'm just thrilled that a map will be included at all, since early readers kept asking for one.

  3. I love your map the others just don't seem right!