Poppy was first published in 1995. If you would like to read the story about how the book came to be, see my June 13, 2017 blog post.
Over the years, the first book was expanded into a series. Writing forward and backwards, the books, in chronological fashion, provide the arc for Poppy’s life, along with other major characters, in particular her companion mouse, Ragweed, along with Ereth, the porcupine.
As many readers gathered around to read or hear the stories, I began to hear one question over and over again: “How did Ragweed and Poppy meet?”
HarperCollins, publisher of the series, asked the same question.
That is to say, there was a gap in the story. Oh, dear.
I finally decided to tell that story—or I should say, discover the story. Ragweed and Poppy, to reveal the new book’s title, has been written, and will be published in 2020. The publication will celebrate, if you will, twenty-five years of the series. Brian Floca will do the illustrations. How could it be otherwise?
Writing the book posed one, particular problem. In Poppy, my eponymous heroine emerges as a brave and resourceful creature. If she became that in Poppy, she could not be that way in Ragweed and Poppy. At the same time, I had absolutely no desire to portray a weak, timid creature. I won’t tell you how (I think) I solved that narrative problem. To reveal that is to reveal the plot of the book. I’d rather you just read it when it is complete. I hope you will let me know what you think.
I really can’t say more—not now.
I promise to keep you updated as to the book’s publishing progress. Or, should I say, Poppy’s Progress.