Ross Montgomery's latest novel for kids is Perijee & Me.
From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:
Q: How did you come up with the idea for Perijee & Me?--Marshal Zeringue
A: It originally started off as an idea I had for a short story - it would follow a similar plot, but take these great big leaps of time between passages.
(SPOILER ALERT!) It would start with Caitlin finding Perijee, then jump to it being much more grown five months later, then more grown after another few months... then it suddenly exploding in size, then jumping ahead again a few months to when he's taken over the world, and so on!
In the end I liked the idea so much I decided I wanted to flesh it out as a longer book and made quite a few changes.
The original spark of inspiration was a very strange one - I was walking through a park near where I teach, feeling worried because my publisher wanted me top come up with some new ideas, when I saw a man lying on the ground.
He was a typical London businessman, just like all the others in the park - pinstripe suit, black shoes, briefcase - but he was lying straight as a plank and flat on his face.
It looked like he'd been dropped from a great height and was trying to copy everything around him in this very strange way - which got me onto thinking about him as an alien. I immediately started thinking about a girl discovering a shape-shifting alien...[read on]