More with Suzanne Perry of Secret Garden Books in Seattle:
Spec: Is there any other recent spec-fic for young readers you’re enthusiastic about?
SP: I’m really excited about I AM NUMBER FOUR. It’s going under the name Pitticus Lore, but it’s really from James Frey and a recent Columbia graduate. It’s amazing. It’s really a father/son story wrapped in this huge package with shape-shifters and explosions and epic battles. It has all these elements that I shouldn’t even like; I don’t read that kind of thing. But it’s pretty brilliant. It’s a great father son story. A great parent/child story. And there’s a love story in it, too. It’s quite wonderful. And it’ll pick up steam when the movie comes out.
[Cranky Spec editorial note: Suzanne’s recommendation not withstanding, readers who are authors should be aware of Frey's fiction factory and treatment of other authors.]
Spec: How about spec fic for younger readers? Picture books, for instance?
SP: Oh! The picture book I’m the most excited about right now is probably still MONKEY WITH A TOOLBELT by Chris Monroe. Does that count? I love Oliver Jeffers, too.
Spec: How do you like working with authors on events? Any tips?
SP: I find authors, especially kids’-book authors, to be the most highly evolved people on the planet. I really do. They totally get it. They don’t have raging egos, for the most part. They want to do what they can to help, and they do help.
We recently did an event with a bunch of self-published people, and I find that world difficult to traverse. I would say that self-publishing it not the way to go. It’s a tough road.
Spec: Give us a little secret Suzanne insight. Do you believe in ghosts, ESP, or—
SP: Yes, yes, everything, all of the above. Last summer we sold our house that we’d been in for the last 12 years, and there was an entity in it — definitely a black entity, but I wasn’t scared of him. It was just a blackness, an absence of light, and many times he would be in the closet or the front corner of our living room. I didn’t like him there, but I got used to him. Why am I saying he? But it clearly was gendered.
And I kind of expected to see him in our new place, which is only a block away. But no. Nothing at our new house. That was an old house, and our new house is brand new. It doesn’t have anybody. Fancy that!
But I believe in all that, oh, yes. When I was nine I saw a UFO, and I will never, ever forget. Ever. These two mercury-silver circles were off in the distance at the top of a hill, and then they just took up and hovered a while, and then boom! They were gone. So fast! I have never forgotten and I never will.
The only thing that really scares me is alien abduction. I don’t want anybody to even think about coming to get me because the idea of being powerless to stop them really skeeves me out. I’m not interested in that!
Thanks, Suzanne! We’ll look forward to your next event and promise not to bring alien guests! (But readers in the Seattle area should check out the Secret Garden Books awesome events calendar.)