On Your Mark . . .

There’s a nasty cold snap churning its way across the Midwest and eastern Atlantic, plunging temperatures into the teens and low 20s. We’ve had just a bit of snow here in our neck of the woods in Maryland — it’s falling even as I write this — but I’m inside, hard at work on all the little things that need to be done as we move Jim Henson’s biography into production. As of today, we’re just shy of eight months until publication. That seems like it’s a long way away — but it’s really not. Particularly from where I sit.

I went up to New York for a few days last week to sit in on a few discussions about marketing and promotion — and while I can’t tell you just yet what the crack team at Random House has in mind, I can say I’m very excited about pretty much all of it. I also had the chance to hold in my hands a bound version of the manuscript, complete with a mock-up title page (and yeah, it looks like we’ve arrived at an Official Name for it — more on that once it’s Officially Official) that gets circulated in-house and will be going out for blurbs shortly.

I’m still going through photographs and running down clearances — a labor-intensive process which involves putting together long lists of extended quotes, lyrics, quotes from TV shows and movies, and bits of correspondence that I’ll need permission to use. But in the meantime, as vice president of Biographers International Organization, I’m working hard with our president, board, and team of volunteers to put together what looks like a fantastic conference in New York City this coming May. But don’t take my word for it; check out the conference website right here. Better yet, once you’ve checked it out, sign up to attend. This promises to be our largest and most informative — and entertaining — conference yet.

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