Jennifer Aikman-Smith (Dragon Dreams Inc.) and I were in the final stages of our latest collaboration, "Emily Finds a Dragon", when we were presented with a conundrum. Jennifer, illustrator extraordinaire and publisher, had just received a call from our distributor who told us that Chapters wouldn't take our book unless it had an Atlantic Canadian tie-in. Our first book, "Owen and the Dinosaur", had been set in Parrsboro, NS so it wasn't a problem. I purposely kept this story without a specific location. Wider audience, more potential sales I thought craftily.
So, Jen and I thought about it for a bit and then said, "What odds?" and inserted some Maritime references. Now the book is loosely set in the Annapolis Valley. We also flicked in a quick reference to Halifax as well. Didn't effect the story at all. Pas de sweat.
Then things went silly quickly. Jennifer's Mom, our "fine tooth comb" editor and grammer genius, commented that the wolf pack that I had used as our "bad guys", don't exist in the Maritimes. Jen checked with a senior naturalist friend about it. No wolves. However, no shortage of coyotes. So quicker than you can say "we-have-to-reread-the-entire-book-take-out-wolf-and-put-in-coyote" we changed the story. Then Jennifer had to change a drawing so that three mean looking wolves became 3 mean looking coyotes.
Next, there always seems to be a next, Jen discovered places where changing "wolf" to "coyote" didn't fit. Those extra 2 letters played havoc at times.
Anyway, after a couple of days of frantic work on Jen's part and lots of emails (I was out of town during all this) the story was corrected and finalized at the printer. Oh ya, the book was at the printer when this all came to light!
So the book is complete and back to us. Look for it in Chapters and fine book stores around Atlantic Canada this summer.