starting next two books

the ‘middle school survival series’ was always intended as a six-book series. kurt johnston and i co-authored the first four: my faith and my family came out in january; my friends and my school release this coming august.


now it’s time to start writing the final two books: ‘my changes’ and ‘my future’.

first things first: my co-author has changed. i loved working with kurt. he’s a great friend and a wonderful writer. but he felt done. so i approached scott rubin about taking kurt’s place, and they both felt great about it (kurt and scott are close friends also). scott is the middle school pastor at willow, and a great guy. i’m really looking forward to writing with him.

second things second: i’m still very unsettled about the title for ‘my changes’. it sounds dorky to me. the topic is clearly correct — a book on all the dramatic changes early adolescents are living. we thought about ‘my body’ — but the changes are much more than physical, and ‘my body’ isn’t much less dorky! we thought about something more general, like, ‘my life’ or ‘my world’. but those don’t say what the book is. and, yes, we joked about calling it ‘my puberty’. i was mentioning all of this to my 13 year-old, highly-opinionated daughter, and she surprised me be saying that ‘my changes’ wasn’t dorky at all, and she thought it was totally fine. so that’s where we sit at the moment. i would LOVE to hear any input or suggestions anyone might have!

and so we begin: this past week, we signed the contracts and started creating the tables of contents. in the next week or two we’ll refine and finalize those. then we start writing. 75 short chapters in each book, divided between the two of us. i find i can write about 2 – 4 chapters in one sitting, roughly 2 hours long. so it will be back to my early-mornings-at-starbucks routine in the months to come. we have a september 1 deadline, but have been told end-of-september is fine.

8 thoughts on “starting next two books”

  1. I don’t have a problem with My Changes. I would suggest My Transformations but that is not as simple as the rest of the titles in the series.

  2. When I read “my changes” I thought you were talking about changes that needed to be made in their lives. It made sense once I understood the idea of the whole series of books, but it might confuse people that see it on the shelf or online with no idea of what its about. Just a thought.

    My only ideas would be:
    My Shift
    My Change (losing the “s”)

    Not sure they are better than your original idea, but just some different directions. Hope that helps–look forward to reading the books.

  3. Hey Marko,
    I like Kevin’s suggestion of “My Shift.”

    Just out of curiosity–and for the sake of some fresh brainstorming–I plugged the word “change” into an online thesaurus. So I’ve listed some more possibilities for you to consider. Obviously, not all of these are serious title suggestions (actually, not even most of these are serious); but they might spark a new idea that actually could work for a book title.

    My Growth
    My Renovation
    My Evolution
    My Development
    My Midcourse Correction
    My Reformation
    My Metamorphosis
    My Modification
    My Mutation
    My Transition
    My Passage (like a rite of passage)
    My Flux
    My Adaptation
    My Make Over

  4. Okay – so I don’t have any kids. So your daughter’s probably a better person to ask… but I mentioned this to my mother (I’m 37 – I won’t give her age. LOL)

    A half hour later, she looks at me and says…

    “My Nature”

    I kinda like it. Just a suggestion.

    Then she thought of a book for parents that would be next. Mind if I go with it? “My Nurture” Okay – it was half “cutesy,” but I like it! :)

    Maybe I should quick copyright it. LOL

  5. Marko,all the best for the new books. I have already put a copy of ‘My Faith’ in the hands of a parent who was looking for something they could use with their ‘tweenager’. Despite the cultural differences between US and UK, it seemed to hit the spot. Thanks for all you do.
    I enjoyed NYWC at Charlotte last year and hope to return sometime.

  6. I like Laura’s suggestion of “my transition” the best of those on her suggestion list. Could work too. Good thought.

  7. I like My Metamorphasis. If you think about a caterpillar, a persons teenage years can almost be compared to the time a caterpiller spends in a cacoon. That is when they are figuring out who they are, and learning and growing, go through puberty and during that time they also seem to close themselves off to their parents and others. It also sounds kind of comic-bookish, too, if that might be appealing to them, I don’t know.

    I like “My Midcourse Correction”, too, but not for this book, obviously. The wording is kind of funny, yet thought provoking. Or am I the only one who has gone through several midcourse corrections in life??

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