Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016: Dedicated Issue: Imprint

Imprint: The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia

Editors' Note

Books & Authors

Making a Mark: A New Imprint Called Imprint

im • print

1 a mark created by pressing against a surface
2 to fix indelibly or permanently (as on the memory)
3 a publisher's name on the title page of a book
--Merriam-Webster, 2015

Erin Stein (r.) with author Kami Garcia

Now there's a fourth meaning: Erin Stein's new imprint at Macmillan Children's Publishing Group. Imprint launches with 12 titles this year, a mix of picture books such as Babies Ruin Everything, chapter book series like Super Happy Party Bears, and young adult novels such as Kami Garcia's The Lovely Reckless. About 35 titles are planned for 2017.

"The emphasis is on stories with entertainment value," says Stein, who joined Macmillan on December 1, 2014. She explains: "I want to get sucked in to a story and be unable to put it down. I want to laugh, I want to cry, I want to get obsessed. Also, is there a universal message or emotion in the story that everyone can relate to on some level?"

Her team is small but mighty. Imprint's creative director is Natalie Sousa, Stein's "partner in crime," who's "helping me stay on mission, guiding the development of our visual style, and definitely has a role in selecting our picture book titles. I am a very visual person, so I throw a lot of crazy ideas at her and our senior designer Ellen Duda. Thanks to them, and a few other freelance friends in the earliest days, all of our books look amazing and I really think reflect our collective sensibility." On the editorial side, Stein works with editor Rhoda Belleza and editorial assistant Nicole Otto: "It's regularly all five of us discussing a title, a cover design, or looking at picture book sketches," says Stein. "It's really important to me to foster a collaborative environment in the office as well as with our creators." 

Imprint: Project MC2 Smart is the New Cool by Jade Hemsworth

Erin Stein: Publisher of Imprint

How did you get your start in children's book publishing?

Editing and writing were always part of the equation. I first published a poem in my elementary school newsletter! After college, I started out in magazines and, through a series of fortunate events, made my way into children's books.

Tell us a little about your path to Macmillan. Was it a long and winding road or a super-highway? How did it come about?

Almost every job I've held in publishing offered an experience that led to the next one. At Time Inc. Custom Publishing, I learned to be flexible, to create work for a variety of audiences, and to work within a brand's framework. I translated that skill set into creating licensed graphic novels at Tokyopop. Getting to know every licensor in town led to my next job at HarperCollins Children's Books when they were looking for someone with good contacts. My experience there, working on a wide variety of titles, programs and brand extensions, was essential to my move to Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. LBYR wanted to build a licensed publishing business. In many ways, building that program was like running a start-up within the company. I also worked with some fantastic authors and illustrators, developing a taste for doing more original publishing... and the whole enchilada gave me the education I needed to start Imprint!

Is it a dream come true to have your own imprint, or something you never imagined?

Probably both! I don't remember ever considering the specific possibility of my own imprint, but being master of my own creative playground is definitely a dream come true.

How do you think children's & YA publishing is different now from when you started your career?

I started my career before Harry Potter, before Twilight, before the YA market exploded, before adults started buying themselves "children's" books for their own enjoyment. It's expanded and grown in such interesting ways, and we now see success coming from unexpected places.

Do you have a vision for its future?

I think the future is very bright--one thing that doesn't seem to change (thankfully) is the opinion that it's a good idea to give a book to a child.

How did you decide on the name for your imprint--IMPRINT? Bold choice! Were any other ideas left on the cutting-room floor?

It feels like I considered every word in the English language, and a few French ones, too. I have a ton of names I came up with and then rejected.

It was always the idea of putting my stamp on something, and of our creators making their mark on the world. (And I also knew Hallmark and Maker's Mark were already taken.) So when it came down to it, there was really only one word to choose!

How do you hope to make Imprint stand out? Do you have a mission statement?

Imprint is bold, creative, and breaks the rules. We definitely ask, "Why not?" We are collaborators, and we only take on projects if we have a clear vision for their future. Our first picture book, Babies Ruin Everything, is from husband/wife author/illustrator team Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr. We're building from this first hilarious book to their next picture book, Everywhere, Wonder, to their debut middle-grade series, The Real McCoys. They happen to be prolific, but we've been thinking three years ahead almost from the beginning!

We are taking some risks. There are some acquisitions announcements coming that will be surprises, I think. And yet, they will make perfect sense.

Tell us about the logo.

A very good friend of mine, who also designed my wedding invitation years ago, designed the logo. Five rounds and we had it. She had the idea of using the brackets and I came up with the design for them. I like that when you put the brackets together it makes an "I" shape--but there's some other symbolism behind it as well.

I read that "Imprint publishes commercial fiction for ages 0 to 18, develops new intellectual property, and partners with existing brands to create quality, original content." How do you personally define "commercial fiction?"

Honestly, I don't like categorizing books as literary or commercial because it's come to imply a value judgment that I find invalid. But it's common terminology that's hard to get away from. To me it simply means intended for a broad audience and wide distribution.

What draws you to "commercial fiction?" Cross-platform storytelling? Licensing potential?

Cross-platform is about the potential to build connections between media; planting discoveries for fans to make if they put it all together. With SPACEPOP, we get to tell the origin story in the book series--but you also get to read a scene about the girls writing the song you then hear and see them sing in the music video.

When I consider a license, first it's about the message, the product and the plans. I have to be on board myself as a fan. Then, will this make a great book? Will the books add to the brand, and vice versa? Project Mc2 makes science and technology fun for girls. They can be super spies, save a prince, and still have fun with their outfits and accessories. It's breaking down that brainy girl stereotype.

Sometimes a license is just for my own selfish reasons--I wasn't about to let anyone else on the planet publish The X-Files Origins YA novels we have coming in January from Kami Garcia and Jonathan Maberry. It's quite literally a dream come true for me to get to help create character mythology for one of the best television shows ever.

Who is the first author you signed?

Kami Garcia! I edited her more recent novels while I was still at LBYR, and we really enjoy working together. I'm very excited to be taking her in a new direction with her first contemporary romance The Lovely Reckless.

How many titles do you plan to publish per year? What's your picture book/middle-grade/YA mix?

We have 12 titles in 2016, and we're currently at about 35 titles for 2017. We'll probably top out at 40-something titles per year and try to maintain that for a while. Unless some big opportunity comes along and we grow!

We're trying to keep it fairly balanced across the three age ranges each season. We're also balancing acquisitions with original IP development and licensing. The Super Happy Party Bears chapter book series is our first property that we developed in-house. Then we brought on author Marcie Colleen and illustrator Steve James to bring our vision to life--and they are really making it their own. Marcie wrote dance moves into every book!

Any nonfiction?

We have acquired only one so far. We're not actively planning for it, but we are still keeping open minds to all formats and genres. Eventually, I'm sure we'll have a few novelty titles and graphic novels, also.

Kids "saving the day" looks to be a theme of Imprint's SpacePop series ("rebellion through the power of music"); the Disaster Diaries series ("It's up to three ordinary kids to save the day" in the town of Sitting Duck); and the Super Happy Party Bears series (animals who "can solve any problem with a party"). Do you have some sort of Batman complex?

Ha! Well, I think part of why I'm in this business is that I can still empathize with being a kid who's pretty sure she knows better than the adults around her. I think the protagonist of most books is saving the day somehow. In the case of the Super Happy Party Bears, however, they just like to have parties.

What advice would you give authors and illustrators who want to wow you?

Show me work that comes from a genuine place, show me something I haven't seen before, show me something that kids need today--and be open to collaborating with my team to make it even better.

Were you a reader as a child?

Oh, yes. At the age of five I was walking around saying, "Beatrix Potter is my favorite author." I was either adorable or obnoxious.

Any childhood favorites?

So many! A sampling--

Mercer Mayer's How the Trollusk Got His Hat probably foretells some of my weird sense of humor.

Beatrix Potter's The Tail of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tale of Two Bad Mice are evidence of my affinity for naughty animals.

Nancy Drew in all versions, all the time. She was probably my first strong female role model in books. I watched Wonder Woman on TV, but I read Nancy Drew. (Note: she was smarter than all the adults around her.)

The Chronicles of Narnia were mystical tomes of truth, as far as I was concerned. (Note: these kids were also saving the day.)

Then I read Jane Eyre in the fourth grade. Who reads Jane Eyre in the fourth grade?

What are you reading right now?

I am reading submissions right now! But I recently read Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me by Ron Miscavige; Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton; and I finally read the Cormoran Strike novels by "Robert Galbraith." My taste is pretty varied. I also live for the next book from Diana Gabaldon.

Is there anything else you'd like to tell the readers of Shelf Awareness?

I think I've told you far too much already!

Imprint: Babies Ruin Everything by Matthew Swanson

Upcoming Imprint Titles

The Lovely Reckless by Kami Garcia (9781250079190; Oct. 4) mixes romance and action in a tale of two star-crossed lovers. Seventeen-year-old Frankie Devereux embraces a nihilistic "nothing matters" approach to life after the death of her boyfriend. That attitude, and resulting missteps, cost her a privileged life in the Heights. Now living with her undercover-cop father in the Downs, Frankie enrolls in a public high school, where she meets Marco Leone, a star in the illegal street racing circuit. When Frankie and Marco fall for each other, they begin a reckless romance that holds dire consequences for them both. Kami Garcia is co-author of the Beautiful Creatures and Dangerous Creatures series. She is also the author of the Legion series, which includes the New York Times bestsellers Unbreakable and Unmarked. Garcia was a teacher for 17 years before writing her first novel.

Tomo Explores the World by Trevor Lai (9781250085450; Oct. 25) is a picture book for young children with echoes of Dora the Explorer and Bob the Builder. Tomo is a little boy living on an island of expert fishermen. Tomo would rather construct elaborate contraptions than learn how to fish. With the help of his great-grandfather's Adventure Journal, his best friend, Maya, and his dog, Captain, Tomo sails off to see the wide world in a boat of his own making. Author/illustrator Trevor Lai is the CEO and creative director of UP Studios, an animation company.

Super Happy Party Bears: Gnawing Around by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Steve James (9781250098078; Sept. 6) is an illustrated chapter book, the first in a series, about a family of all-too-happy bears in Grumpy Woods. The bears love doughnuts and dancing, much to the dismay of their sourpuss woodland kin. But when meddlesome beavers dry up their river, the residents of Grumpy Woods are pleased to have the partying bears dance that pesky dam away. Super Happy Party Bears is Marcie Colleen's first book. It is also illustrator Steve James's debut children's book. Colleen is a former teacher, and James has worked in the art industry for 10 years.

Super Happy Party Bears: Knock Knock on Wood by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Steve James (9781250098085; Sept. 6) is the second book in the Super Happy Party Bears series, released simultaneously with Gnawing Around. Grumpy Woods has a new menace, Wallace Woodpecker, but where the other woodland creatures hear pesky tapping, the party bears hear a sweet rhythm. Can the bears convince the other residents of Grumpy Woods to tolerate Wallace?

Disaster Diaries: Zombies! by R. McGeddon, illustrated by Jamie Littler (9781250090843; May 24) is the first in a middle-grade series about a group of friends confronted with various potentially apocalyptic scenarios. Sam, Arty and Emmie are on the verge of summer vacation when their science teacher's experiment turns classmate Simon into a zombie. Soon their town is overrun with the undead, and the adults are too busy panicking to do anything about it. Sam (the leader), Arty (the brains) and Emmie (the rebel) must save the town of Sitting Duck.

Disaster Diaries: Aliens! by R. McGeddon, illustrated by Jamie Littler (9781250090881; May 24) returns to the town of Sitting Duck, which has just survived a zombie infestation thanks to the heroics of Sam, Arty and Emmie. Now there's a UFO hovering over town, and when the mayor's impoliteness leads to an alien attack, the trio are forced to save the day once again. The third Disaster Diaries book, Brainwashed!, comes out November 8.

The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker (9781250083142; Sept. 6) is a YA series debut about a world where 1% of the population is gifted with extraordinary beauty and ability through prenatal genetic engineering. Seventeen-year-old Cody and her boyfriend, James, are two of these lucky Ones. The Equality Movement, born of fear and jealousy, soon turns the Ones into second-class citizens. As the social strife becomes violent, Cody and James scramble for protection. Daniel Sweren-Becker is a television writer and playwright. The Ones is his first novel.

SPACEPOP: Not Your Average Princesses by Erin Downing (9781250102270; July 26) begins a middle-grade series about five galactic princesses. Athena, Luna, Rhea, Hera and Juno flee when their planets are invaded by the evil Empress Geela. To save their homeworlds, they form a band, SPACEPOP, to spread their message of resistance to the stars. SPACEPOP includes two graphic-novel sections inside, illustrated by Jen Bartel, a South Korean artist who lives in Minnesota. Erin Downing is the author of more than 50 YA and children's books, including the Best Friends, Quirks, and Puppy Pirates series. The second SPACEPOP book, Rocking the Resistance, comes out November 29.

Project Mc2: Smart Is the New Cool by Jade Hemsworth (9781250098900; March 1), a middle-grade adventure based on a Netflix original series, follows four super-smart girls at Maywood Glen Academy: Adrienne Attoms loves chemistry, Bryden Bandweth loves technology and Camryn Coyle loves engineering. The weird but likable new girl, McKeyla McAlister, is a natural leader, and turns out to be a secret agent with the mysterious group NOV8 who is charged with protecting the charming Prince Xander before his mission to outer space.

Babies Ruin Everything by Matthew Swanson, illustrated by Robbi Behr (9781250080578; July 19) is a picture book about a reluctant older sister forced to deal with her new baby brother. The baby drools on her toys, makes a mess of her room, and can't even catch a Frisbee, but she learns to love him anyway. Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr are married creative collaborators on many picture books, including the upcoming Everywhere, Wonder (Feb. 7, 2017).

Book Brahmins: Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr

Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr are the author/illustrator, husband/wife duo behind Ten Thousand Stories (Chronicle, 2013) and more than 60 illustrated books for children and adults. They run two small publishing companies and a letterpress shop out of their home/barn/studio in Maryland, teach and speak on creativity and collaboration, and have three small-but-obstreperous children. Their picture book Babies Ruin Everything will be published July 19, 2016, and their second picture book, Everywhere, Wonder, is coming in February 2017.

Context: While sitting in bed the other night, Matthew and Robbi recorded this interview on an iPhone and then dutifully transcribed it. Meanwhile, their daughter Alden was creating some art at a table nearby.

On your nightstand now:

Matthew: A pink polka-dotted plush giraffe thing that my kids gave me, a sleep mask, a fitted mouth guard, about 70 used earplugs in various stages of decline, and a malfunctioning oil lamp.
Robbi: Malfunctioning?
M: Well, it doesn't work.
R: I think you'd better take care of that right away. Stop this interview and fix that lamp.  
M: I think it can wait until we're done. What do you have on your nightstand?
R: A dead iPhone, a pair of glasses, a pink monkey that matches your giraffe, and a mug of dried-up chia drink.
M: I think maybe this question is asking what books we have on our nightstands.
R: Oh? Probably, yes. Well, here’s the truth. There are no books on my nightstand, because I'm not allowed to read in bed, because Matthew is so delicate that I have to remain perfectly still. The shuffle of pages and the light of my very tiny book lamp distresses him.
M: I cannot write books for you if not well rested.
R: Books on your bedside table?
M: Let's see, I have Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud.
R: Which you haven't read in probably five years!
M: But it's there. I have A Hole Is to Dig by Ruth Krauss and illustrated by Maurice Sendak.  
R: I'm so mad, because this is making it look like you read and I don't. When, in fact, you almost never read.
M: And I have the instruction manual for the Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel Foot Gel for Removal of Dead Skin Cells. This is a controversial Japanese beauty product that Robbi used and I did not. So I don't know why it's by my bedside.
R: It will change your life. I'm just saying.

Favorite book when you were a child:

R: When I was a little child?
M: The question does not specify.
R: I was going to say The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. But that's not a children's book, is it?
M: Depends on the child. Before I read Hitchhiker's, I fell in love with Laura Ingalls Wilder and her calico-laced adventures as a flinty prairie girl. But I can't choose just one of those books. It was all of them together.
R: I liked Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney.
M: I tried to read that to the kids lately, and the language was so weird.
R: Yes, I think someone must have rewritten it since I was a kid.

Your top five authors:

R: Joshua Ferris is my #1 these days. I find him so funny.
Alden (daughter, overhearing this): I like Roald Dahl.
M: Thanks, Love.
A: Are you going to put down Roald Dahl?
M: Maybe. My top five authors are...
R: Oh, sorry, I should have said, Matthew is my actual top author. Seriously. I love the way you write.
M: Oh, thank you. That is extremely affirming.  
R: I actually mean it.
M: As opposed to most of the things you claim to love.
R: Exactly.
M: Well, thank you. My top five authors are Thomas Pynchon, Donald Barthelme, Raymond Carver, Daniel Handler and... let's see.
Alden: Roald Dahl?
M: Let’s say Roald Dahl.
R: You know, I'm going to have to think about that.... Oh, you know whom I like? For the content of his books, maybe that guy who writes the history stuff, John Adams.
M: David McCullough?
R: That guy.  

Book you've faked reading:

R: Oh gosh, there's so many.
M: For me, it's Boswell's The Life of Samuel Johnson. I took a Johnson class, and Boswell's biography is so vast that we were just supposed to keep reading it throughout the semester on the honor system, but I have no honor and so I did not read it.
R: I fake-read Walden but kept referring to Thoreau as Walden in my paper, so the first time that happened, my teacher wrote "???," and the third and fourth times he wrote, "I suspect you didn't do a thorough read." But then I actually read it when I was in college and liked it a lot.

Book you are an evangelist for:

R: Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris.
M: Yes, Robbi made me read it, and I was glad she did. Though I'm a little worried that Robbi is going to run off and have a fling with his writing voice.
R: I would run off with that voice in a second.
M: Do I have to worry about you running off with Ferris himself?
R: I think mostly you don't have to worry about him running off with me.
M: I feel comforted. Kind of. The book that I'm an evangelist for? I'd say Lemony Snicket's entire "A Series of Unfortunate of Events." Because what Daniel Handler does with the voice in those books is so smart and delightful and surprising.

Book you've bought for the cover:

R: Then We Came to the End. I judged it by its cover and it totally paid off.
M: Yes, that was nicely designed. For me, it was The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort. I found it in a bookstore when I was 13. The cover was... intriguing... and the insides were even better.
R: But that's not the cover, that's the content!
M: It was all part of the same remarkable experience.
R: What happened when you bought it?
M: The person behind the counter looked at me funny, I think because I was purple.

Book you hid from your parents:

R: At one point I borrowed a Sweet Valley High book, and I read it, and I purposefully did not show my parents.
M: Really? Did you like it?
R: I was fascinated. It was so foreign to me. It felt like they were not talking about actual human beings. What book did you hide?
M: Obviously, The Joy of Sex.

Book that changed your life:

M: Again, it seems appropriate to cite The Joy of Sex.
R: All of your answers are The Joy of Sex and all of mine are Joshua Ferris-related. No, the book that changed my life was A Bully Named Chuck.
M: I guess that makes sense. Tell them what that is, Robbi.
R: That's the first book that Matthew and I worked on together, way back in...
M: It was in 2003. And yes, making that book changed my life, too. I discovered all I wanted to do with every minute of my life was make books with you. Along these lines, the book that changed my life was Gramangela Gentlyfierce and Her Monkey Friend Collins, which was a middle-grade book I wrote about six years ago (I didn't even know the term "middle grade" at the time). Because that's when I discovered my true "voice" and that I was interested in writing longer form stories and that I was put on this earth to humorously chronicle the thoughts and feelings of preteen girls. We have such a middle-grade series coming in fall 2017 from Imprint called The Real McCoys.

Though it occurs to me that this question wasn't supposed to about be the book you created that changed your life. I think it was supposed to be somebody else's book. I think, for me, that book was Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme. The language just wowed me and struck a chord with my interior. It excited me in a way that literature never had before. I think that's when I became an adult reader and a writer driven by voice.

Favorite line from a book:

R: I don't remember anything. Seriously, the best book I ever read, I forgot everything about. I can't even remember what it was.
M: I remember that you once liked a caption in a book I wrote: Deep-fried murder.
R: Yes! I love "deep-fried murder." So maybe that's the best line I can remember.
M: I don't remember lines from books either. I'm trying to think of any line from any book. I do love the title A Hole Is to Dig. I love that syntax.
R: You only thought of that because you saw it on your nightstand.
M: I am also tempted to quote the Exfoliant Foot Peel brochure. There is some fantastic language in those instructions.

Five books you'll never part with:

M: Well, for sure I'm holding onto the Exfoliant Foot Peel, The Joy of Sex, A Hole Is to Dig and Understanding Comics (because I'm probably never going to clean off my bedside table), and I'm never going to part with the ravaged copy of Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon that I read five times in an attempt to understand it well enough that I could write my senior thesis about it. It's practically a part of my body, so littered is it with my dead skin cells.
R: Gross.
M: You?
R: I will gladly part with any of my books. I'm sorry. I have no sentimental attachment to books because I know I can go to the library and get another one or I can just buy it again if I need to. Matthew has all these books with notes in the margins! Get rid of that. I don't need to hear what I was thinking when I read it the first time.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

R: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
M: Yes! Douglas Adams! I should have listed him in my list of favorite authors. And Kurt Vonnegut! Yes. I’m putting him in there, too.
M: A book I want to read again for the first time? That Kurt Vonnegut book about things that freeze.
R: Catch-22?
M: No! That's Joseph Heller. I might also have to add him to my list, or at least that book. But no, the one where everything freezes. Ice-Nine... Cat's Cradle! Unless, perhaps, it's The New Joy of Sex. To open those pages for the first time again... I think we’re done here.
R: Is that it? That was all just questions about books.
M: That's it. You thought it was going to move onto something more exciting at some point?
R: Ugh. We’re so not the authority on books.
M: I guess we make books a lot more often than we read them.
R: Ask me a different question.

M: Hmm... what are your bold dreams, Robbi?

R: My bold dreams are to fricking take over the world.
M: Could you please be more specific?
R: Someday, the books that Matthew writes will be made into movies.
M: Oh? Starring?
R: Starring anybody but Channing Tatum.
M: Okay. Poor guy. He's just trying to make a living, Robbi. Why is making movies the goal?
R: Because I’m going to rake in a ton of money and I’m going to--people don’t want to hear about my real dreams.
M: I think they do. That's why I asked.
R: My dream is to open a free Montessori school for all the people in my community who need it.
M: That's a pretty great dream. Do you have a question for me? We can't end on that kind of optimistic note. I can usually count on you to be the darkness in our equation.

R: Your question is: What is it that gets you out of bed in the morning? Mostly because I need to know for my own utilitarian purposes.

M: I think that I am not actually a writer. I'm a lucky bastard who gets to sit still and listen while unseen, swirling forces whisper in my ear. And they whisper most audibly at 4:00 in the morning. If I do not get up and sit at my desk and listen to them in my half-dream stupor, I miss the opportunity to write down what to say.
R: They do say good things.
M: It's the only reason you have something to draw. I get up in the morning to keep you...
R: To keep me busy?
M: To keep you engaged in the universal conversation.
R: To keep me out of trouble.
M: I think it's mostly to keep you from perpetual unconsciousness.
R: Because otherwise, I would never get out of bed.
M: I get up so that you get up... eventually.
R: Thank you for giving my life purpose.
M: You're welcome.
R: I bet they wish we had stuck to books.
M: (Fiddles with phone.)
R: We are in the middle of an interview. Put down your phone!

M: No. This is important! One more question, via live Tweet from our editor Erin Stein: Do babies actually ruin everything?

R: I see what she did there.
M: Do you think she's referring to Babies Ruin Everything, our heartwarming-yet-humorous picture book due out July 19 and available at booksellers everywhere?
R: She's a sly one.
M: Well, do they?
R: What?
M: Ruin everything?
R: Of course! Have you not been paying attention for the past eight years?
M: I challenge the premise. While babies do ruin most things, there are a few things they make slightly better.
R: Such as?
M: We get to board planes earlier.
R: And?
M: Old ladies smile at me knowingly when I'm shopping with all three kids at the grocery store.
R: That's all you've got?
M: Aren't there favorable tax implications?
R: You have failed to challenge the premise.
M: Because we love them.
R: Yes, we do.
M: Quite a lot.
R: More than anything else.
M: Even more than Joshua Ferris's writing voice?
R: Even more than The Joy of Sex.
M: Speak for yourself.

Imprint: Tomo Explores the World by Trevor Lai Imprint: Super Happy Party Bears Marcie Colleen Imprint: Spacepop by Erin Downing Imprint: The Ones by Daniel Sweren-Becker
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