Back in 2009, a few months before How to Steal a Car was published, a bearded man wearing a funny stocking cap accosted me on an escalator. “So, Hautman, I hear you stole my idea,” he said.
The man was author and "retired YA guru" Patrick Jones, whose novel Stolen Car was about to be released. Both books featured a teenage girl protagonist who steals a car. Patrick and I have known each other for some time—we both live in the Twin Cities—and he was kidding about me stealing his idea. Both Patrick and I have more ideas than we will ever have time to put down on paper, so we don’t need to poach. In terms of story, plot, character, and voice, Stolen Car and How to Steal a Car are very different books built around a similar kernel of an idea. You should read them both!
This year, I’m looking forward to the publication of Eden West, a story about a teen involved in a religious cult preparing for the apocalypse. My book comes out on April 14.
But Lo and Behold! YA author Bryan Bliss’s debut novel, No Parking at the End Times (Feb 24), is about a teen involved in a religious cult preparing for the apocalypse.
Synchronicity happens. And then it happens again.
Bryan, also lives in the Twin Cities. Apparently, we Twin Cities writers are pilfering each other's ideas right and left. Bryan was kind enough to give me an advance look at End Times. It’s an excellent book, and it’s going to get noticed. And to my relief, it’s nothing at all like Eden West. You should read them both!
Bryan and I are hoping to do a reading together this spring at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis—an apocalypse double header! I’ll let you know if it happens.