Hi, folks. Adam Selzer here, S.J.'s boss on the Smart Aleck Staff. Just thought I'd give you a bit of an update about SJ and his whereabouts.
Most authors go through a sort of "post launch depression" when their book comes out and doesn't make a huge splash. After a dozen odd books that got good reviews but were hard to find in stores, I'm sort of used to it. S.J. isn't, though. We all deal with it in our own ways. Most of us whine about our publishers, or Barnes and Noble, or the simple fact that there's no market for YA humor these days. SJ didn't complain at all. That's not the kind of writer SJ is. But that's not to say there was no post-launch depression. SJ always wanted to Do Big Things, and slowly realized that putting a book out isn't as Big as it seems.
In January, a couple of months after SPARKS came out, SJ showed up at Smart Aleck HQ with this giant canvas ball - about the size of a monster truck - that barely fit into a city parking space.
"SJ," I said, "what the heck is this?"
"All terrain vehicle," SJ said. "Invented it myself. Look inside."
Inside of the thing, there was nothing but an axl with a hammock hanging off of it. "This baby'll roll over land or sea," said SJ. "You steer by sliding the hammock up and down the axle to shift the weight."
"SJ," I said, "what the heck are you going to do with this?"
"I'm going on an expedition," said SJ. "To the north pole."
"Like in Winnie the Pooh?"
"You know that since that book came out, they've discovered the north pole, right?" I asked.
"Did they find Santa?"
"Then they weren't really at the pole."
And SJ climbed into the hammock and the big canvas balloon rolled away down Grand Avenue, towards Lake Michigan. I guess SJ was planning to take the Great Lakes into Canada and head to the pole from there.
A few weeks back we got a note saying "Have been in the arctic for two weeks without snuff."
SJ doesn't use snuff anyway, so none of us here at HQ thought much about it.
But that's the last we've heard. I'm sure SJ is still okay out there, and has not frozen to death or been eaten by a polar bear.