Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Population 1

You may have seen Buford, Wyoming in the news last week (here, for instance). The town, population 1 (one), was recently sold. I stopped in Buford in the summer of 2010 while I was on the road doing research for my current project, Locomotive, which is about the transcontinental railroad. (Yes, this book has taken an inordinately long time.) I had pulled off the interstate to look for where a spectacularly rickety bridge once stood, and also I wanted to find an H. H. Richardson pyramid, built to sustain the memory of two brothers whose fortune, made from the sale of shovels, helped fund the railroad. (One odd thing leads to another in the transcontinental railroad story. This has been part of my problem.) 

Anyway, Buford. There was a flinty woman behind the register when I stepped in to the Buford Trading Post pay for a tank of gas and, I hoped, to buy a good local map that would help me find those local sites. “Do you sell maps?” I asked. “No,” she said. I was surprised. “No maps?” I said. “No maps,” she said. I handed over my credit card to pay for the gas. For reasons that escape me I attempted small talk as I waited for the card to be approved. “Are you the population of one?” I asked. She shook her head. With a stoney straight face she said, “I’m from out of town.” 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

To the 月!

Here’s a fantastic surprise that was waiting for me when I got to the studio today: a Japanese edition of Moonshot, from publisher Kaisei-sha. (The book is on the Kaisei-sha web site here.) I had no idea this was in the works. I’ve had some illustrations make it into foreign editions of Avi’s Poppy Stories, but this is the first of my picture books that has been translated and published abroad. My sincere thanks to everyone at Simon & Schuster and Kaisei-sha who made this edition possible!