September Hedge a Gram

Happy September!

Many of you are looking forward to school and working hard and I am too. My book, The Surprise, is more than halfway finished. I'm going to be working very hard during the next two months to finish it before going on the fall book tour.

My three hens, Vi, Pansy, and Belle are looking great. They are big girls now. That's good because I'm using them for models. At the beginning of the summer they looked like teenagers and now they're big and fluffy.

One of the big happiness in my life is planning future books, but only when I get a good idea! My book for the fall of 2001 is about a little girl who cares for her hens. In it the smallest chicken learns to stick up for herself. I'm going to set the book in China. My husband, Joe and I are going back to China this coming January to get ideas for the landscape, farm, and market that I'll use in the book. We're going to Guilin, China and my daughter-in-law,Yun who speaks Chinese, has agreed to advise me. When we went to China last spring, I loved the Chinese people and wanted to draw the produce markets and other typical Chinese scenes. Now I have my wish. I also know that hedgehogs live in China, so I think I can add my favorite animal to the book too!

Perhaps you went on a trip this summer, or saw a movie about a place that interests you. If you did, you could put your new knowledge into one of your own stories. If you're like me, my fascination with different aspects of the world is a great energizer and it gets my creative thoughts flowing.

Good luck with your stories and especially good luck on your new school year.

Best wishes,

Jan Brett