Just got home from New York Comic Con, where I finally got to announce the title of the graphic novel I'm working on with Faith Erin Hicks! It's...
I'm (obviously) very emotionally attached to autumn. I set books in October whenever I can. For the last five years or so, I've been wanting to write a book where fall is a big part of the story. I specifically wanted to write a story that takes place in a pumpkin patch.
In Nebraska, where I live, pumpkin patches aren't just fields. They're more like theme parks or months-long harvest festivals.
When our publisher, First Second Books, gave me the opportunity to work with Faith, I knew it was time break out my pumpkin patch idea. Faith is an award-winning Canadian comics author and artist. Though she's never BEEN to a pumpkin patch (this will change in two weeks) -- she excels at writing graphic novels with a rich sense of place. I very much recommend her middle grade series, The Nameless City.
Faith and I are both drawn to character-driven stories, and to stories about friendship. Which brings me to these two ...
Pumpkinheads tells the story of Deja and Josiah, two high school seniors working their last shift at the local pumpkin patch-alooza. Josiah is in mourning. He's not ready to let go of the patch. It's not just a job for him; it's his favorite place in the world!
But Deja doesn't want to spend their last shift moping. She has plans. First: to try all their favorite fall-themed snacks (pie! s'mores! kettle corn!) one last time -- and second: to help Josiah finally take a big risk.
Pumpkinheads is a book about fall and friendship and saying good-bye. About puns and pumpkin spice. And about taking a moment, while everything around you changes, to appreciate something wonderful.
It wasn't really intentional, but I think this is my most all-ages book. It's about high school seniors, but there isn't cursing or adult themes. As I was writing, I wanted it to feel kind of like The Parent Trap. Like a big fun Disney movie that an adult could really enjoy, but that would work in middle school, too.
Graphic novels take some time to make great. I'm done with the Pumpkinheads script. The art comes next. Right now, the book is set to hit shelves in Fall 2019.