Thursday, January 10, 2013

"Are you the guy that made The House on the Corner?"

I spend a lot of time at my kids' school. The younger kids' school, that is. I don't spend any time at the high school my oldest goes to. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I read from House in the 6th grade class, and, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I teach creative writing as an elective in the middle school there (I have 14 students this quarter).

Earlier this week as I was walking across campus, a young boy, a 1st grader, ran up to me. Now, I knew who this boy was because he's the younger brother of one of my younger son's friends, so I thought it was going to be something related to that. I was kind of surprised when he said, "Are you the guy that made The House on the Corner?" And I wasn't sure what was going on, either, because he's a few years younger than any of the kids I've read to at  this point. But I smiled and said yes. His face exploded in a grin, and he said, "I love your book! It's great!" Then, he turned around and ran off.

It was really sweet. I was touched.

And I love that question: am I the guy that made the book? Not wrote it. Made it. It's amusing to me, because, actually, that's how all the kids ask me that question when they ask it of me. "Are you the guy that made The House on the Corner?" I used to say, "Well, yes, I wrote it," but I don't do that anymore, because I don't think there's a significant difference to them. It would be like asking George Lucas if he wrote Star Wars. Well, yes, he did, but, really, he made Star Wars. And that's what it is to these kids. I made this world, for lack of a better term, called The House on the Corner.

It's funny, because I never think of it that way. I never think of it as a world building project, although I know that it is. It's just not in my head that way. It's not like my son building with his Legos or in Minecraft. I sit down and I write. Sure, I visualize and try to bring that environment to life, but I don't think about it as building a world. Clearly, that's what it is to these kids, though.

It's all kind of cool.

I really like that question, at this point. Yes, I made The House on  the Corner.
What fun!

My other favorite question, and I get this one from even the middle schoolers, is "When are you going to make House into a movie?"

I still have to hold in the laughter when they ask me that, but I love that they ask me. Like I just need to decide to do it, you know? After all, I did make the book, why can't I just make the movie the same way? I've been asked that question twice this week, in fact. I guess I'll have to get on that.


  1. Agreed. Your next project needs to be the movie version. Then you can write the tie in novel, which would be different from the original novel.

    Seriously, congrats. That was awesome.

  2. That's cool!
    I get asked the movie question a lot. It would be awesome to see the Cassan world come to life and I bet the movies would be better than what I wrote.

  3. Actually I don't agree with you Alex. A world imagined from reading the author's words can be anything the reader's imagination is capable of. In a movie, its fixed and you can guarantee that the characters won't look like the imagined ones did.

    Hope you get to make a film as well as making the book.

  4. That is so awesome and sweet. And, kudos to you for making a difference in your childrens' schools.

  5. That's classic. Out of the mouths of babes, as if it were that easy to just "make it" into a movie...or is it? Hmmmm LOL

  6. Kids are great! Love your story. Anyway- when are you going to get on that? Been waiting for you to make that movie. Best:)

  7. Congratulations. I especially enjoy that you wrote a story for boys and that it is definitely reaching that audience. I bet they'd love it if you dungeon mastered for them so they could fight some trolls.

  8. You've got fans stalking you! That's pretty cool. I get that same sort of reaction from my son whenever I start talking about my novel. He's very invested in "the world" of it and actually thinks about how things should work beyond what I've written. Imagination is an awesome thing. :)

  9. That's super cool Andrew! Who knows, maybe one day you will get to make the movie version of your book...would you be one of those authors who wants to supervise everything they do with your work in the movies, or would you be more like Stephen King, who has said something to the effect of "Once I sell a book they can do whatever they want with it. It doesn't concern me."?
    It's awesome that you have such enthusiastic young fans!

  10. Rusty: I should, maybe, take up the Kevin Smith mode of movie making: credit cards!

    Alex: I'm sure you're much closer to that than I ever will be.

    Jo: I think it would be fun to make a movie, but, right now, I just want to get the sequel written.

    JKIR,F: Well, you know, they make us. True story.

    Elsie: Well, it might be that easy... if it wasn't for the money.

    Rebecca: A soon as I sell a million copies of my book! I think that should just about do it.

    Michael: Oh, yeah, they probably would.

    L.G.: That's a cool thing. It's good to have your kids invested in what you're doing.

    Eve: Oh, man, I could never just give it away. And it's not even about loss of control on my end; it's about how people feel when something they love gets adapted, and I would hate to explain to fans over and over why I let some movie dude go and change stuff up just so I could get some money. I'd have so much guilt.

  11. Kids are so funny, but hey you did make the book! If not, it wouldn't exist and that is super cool that they are asking for the movie! Who knows? We may one day see your name on the big screen, now how cool would that be? :)

  12. G_G: Maybe... and, yeah, it would be cool.