Gold Medals, Top Secret Projects, and Detective Fiction

This September, Viking Children’s Books will be publishing an adapted version of The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown’s adult nonfiction bestseller. The adult book is fantastic. Really. Read it. But I’m especially excited about this new one because I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Brown, adapting and editing the text for young readers. It’s the true story of an underdog crew from the University of Washington, a group of boys who rowed their way to the gold medal at the 1936 Olympics. The characters are unforgettable, and kids are going to absolutely love the story.

I’m also working on a double top secret project with another writer. He’s a celebrity, too. The good kind, though. He’s smart and funny and passionate about science.

I’m also hoping to have some news soon about a few more children’s books. Unicorns, ninjas, triangle-footed monsters, and those sorts of things.

Now, as for detective fiction…here are a few lines I read recently in a Ross MacDonald book, The Ivory Grin.

“Bent over a bin of oranges with my back to the street, I heard her heels on the pavement and felt her shadow brush me, like a cold feather.”

“Large-eared and almost hairless, his head seemed naked, as if it had been plucked. His long face was dimly lit by pale worried eyes. Deep lines of sorrow dragged down from the wings of his large vulnerable nose.”

Now I could do without the “worried” eyes, the “lines of sorrow” and the “vulnerable” nose. That’s kind of cheating, in my mind, when you feed the feeling to the reader. Bellow does this all the time, too, though, so I guess it’s allowed. But what if those lines aren’t sorrowful? What if this guy is wrinkled because he surfs all the time and gets too much sun? Then they’d be lines of peace and harmony. Criticism aside, I love the shadow as a cold feather above, and the idea that the guy’s head looks like it had been plucked is just wonderful. I laughed out loud.

This last one is just plain weird, in a good way:

“His words were soft and insinuating, breaking gently like bubbles between his pink lips. His breath was strong enough to lean on.”

And that’s all for now.

10 thoughts on “Gold Medals, Top Secret Projects, and Detective Fiction

  1. Hi, the 8th grade students of Regan Murphy (nee Young) and Annie McKenna at Lynbrook North Middle School are reading your adapted version of The Boys in the Boat and loving it. The story is so inspirational but in addition the history of that time period is so amazing to explore through the experiences of a young adult. The kids are truly mesmerized by the story. We are only half way through because we stop to explore further topics such as the Great Depression and how to row! Thanks so much for creating the young readers version with Daniel J. Brown.

  2. Dear Mr. Mone,

    We posted some questions we had for you last week but they are not here so we are posting them again. We are sorry if you already saw them but if you get a chance in your busy schedule would you kindly respond? Thanks.
    from David Vivar
    How did Joe enter the Olympics as an underdog and win the Gold?

    How did you connect with Daniel James Brown for this collaboration?

  3. from Araldo Reyes

    Would you have liked to write the screenplay for the movie?

    Are you happy that it is being made into a movie? Do you like some of the actors that are being cast?

  4. from Brian Morales

    How long did it take to write the adaptation and was it difficult to take Brown’s story into a young readers version?

  5. from Gabriel Arrigale
    Have you taken up an interest in rowing since writing this book?

    Have any of the family members of the eight man crew reached out to you?

  6. from Dabria Torrens

    I hear your office is behind a nail salon. Does your office have a strong smell of nail polish remover?

  7. from Erwin Nunez

    How long did it take you to take Brown’s Boys in the Boat and make it easier for kids to understand?

    Have you ever adapted any other books?

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