I've been involved in adapting that memoir into a picture book, tentatively titled
Sister, Brother, Family: Our Childhood in Music
and scheduled to be published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers in fall 2021.
Jennifer and I got to visit backstage with Willie and Bobbie when they performed near Houston this past November. Now that so casually gathering and chatting and posing with folks has become such a rarity, the photos from that occasion mean all the more to me.
Sister, Brother, Family
, however, won't be the first time that Willie's music and my writing have intersected. When I was 17 years old and editor of the Sulphur Springs High School
, he performed at the Hopkins County Regional Civic Center, and I got to interview him on his bus before the show. So, we can say that this book has been more than 30 years in the making, which will really do a number on my per-book average.
Other fiction and nonfiction projects have kept my brain active this past month. One of the most fun undertakings was collecting images and videos of Ernie to share with Sarah Horne, the artist who is illustrating another upcoming picture book of mine,
How to Make a Book (About My Dog)
Once I started pulling all those materials together, it was hard to stop, which is just how it goes for research and me. At one point, though, I felt a little guilty that I was spending hours with Ernie's digital likenesses and not engaged much at all with Ernie himself, even though he was flopped out on the floor just a few feet from my desk.
So, I gave him a little attention
and then took this photo (including his beloved squeaky plush carrot) to share with Sarah: