It took Space Brat a long time to become a book. I wrote the first version of the story back in 1977, with the intention that it would be a picture book. My wife, Kathy, did a couple of hilarious sample illustrations. But the editor who had bought our first book (The Foolish Giant) turned it down, saying that she didn’t think kids would be interested in reading about a noseless green humanoid from outer space. (This was a few years before E.T., about a noseless brown humanoid from outer space, became the biggest money-making film of all time, showing what she knew
A few years later I rewrote it in chapter book form. None of the editors I was working with at the time wanted it then, either. It was too silly and/or strange for their tastes. (Or, to use the current phrase, “They just didn’t get it.”)
Then, fourteen years after I had first written the book, I sent it to my editor at Minstrel Books, and she called me the very next morning to tell me she was buying it.
I told her that if she was going to publish it, it would be good to get Kathy to illustrate it, since she had been in on the project from the beginning. I showed her some of Kathy’s original drawings for the project, and she loved them.
Kathy and I were not living together at the time, and this was our first major collaboration since The Monster’s Ring in 1982. It was one of the most enjoyable projects we ever tackled. In fact, we probably have more fun working on the Space Brat books than anything else we do.
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