We were so thrilled that she is allowing us to do the cover reveal for her latest project, Just Like Rube Goldberg – The Incredible True Story of The Man Behind the Machines. When we chatted with Sarah last week she was so giddy talking about this book. She spoke with passion in her voice and you could feel that this book is a labor of love. Before we reveal the cover we asked Sarah to tell us the story about the story…
The story behind the story is a story I’ve been telling a lot over the last four years. Just like Rube Goldberg, the story of this book is a story of play and re-invention.
To be honest, I never thought I would write a picture book.
My original writing goals were strictly YA.
But when a book I had poured my heart into (for many years) failed to find an editor, I decided it was time to change the way I was doing things.
I gave myself a challenge.
Six months of play. Six months of writing without expectations. For six months, I would write for myself. For fun. I challenged myself to write everything I never thought I could write.
Even though it now seems fun to write this way, I was pretty stressed out when I started. Daring myself to write a new way felt risky. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I wanted to live a creative life, but I didn’t want to suffer. Or be sad. I wanted to enjoy the process of writing.
So as they say, “Reader, I went for it!”
I wrote lots of picture books. I wrote an essay that someday, I want to do on The Moth. I wrote the beginning of an adult novel (which someday I will finish), as well as the first of what would become The Wish List books.
And then, like magic, there was Rube.
The idea of writing about Rube Goldberg came after hearing my friend, Tami Lewis Brown, read a book she was writing about Keith Haring. Her words made my brain swirl. I wondered if I could write a picture book biography.
This is the part where a lot of my friends shake their heads and ask, “What took you so long?”
You see, I had always been a huge fan of Rube’s work. My father had introduced me to Rube Goldberg contraptions and comics when I was a kid. (He actually compared the tax code to a Rube Goldberg machine in a text about Economics.) As a writer, I am interested in writing about Jewish people and experiences.
Also: I’m really good friends with a lot of great writers of non-fiction. (Looking at you, Tanya Lee Stone!)
Bottom line, like the most complicated Rube Goldberg machines, I don’t do anything the easy way. (Check my bio! I have had a lot of jobs!)
So I did it!
I read everything I could find. I talked to cartoonists. I thought about creativity. I went to the Rube Goldberg machine contest and heard Jennifer George speak about her grandfather.
And just like Rube, I wrote. And I wrote. And I wrote.
And then I got really lucky. Allyn Johnston (Beach Lane Books) loved the manuscript! Robert Neubecker agreed to take my words and create a work of art!
I literally can’t look at this book without smiling and laughing and crying!
Here’s my favorite Rube Goldberg quote.
Creating this book has been so much fun! Seeing it come to life has been magical and humbling and absolutely thrilling! I can’t wait to introduce readers to Rube and all the ways they can explore creativity!
And without further ado…………..
This gem of a book releases in March. Be sure to preorder it now from your local bookstore.
Thank you so much, Sarah, for this amazing opportunity to share such a wonderful book with a powerful and inspiring message!
Also, feel free to visit https://www.rubegoldberg.com/ to learn more about Rube, enter contests, and other fun stuff!