Ken smiles politely as he reads the opening to FATA MORGANA

I’ve worked on many projects with Ken Mitchroney in the nearly 30 years we’ve been friends. When I wrote a draft of Toy Story 2 at Pixar, he was Head of Story for the project. I wrote an issue of his Space Ark comic book, and for a year I worked for Marvel writing Ren & Stimpy comics, most of which Ken drew. We once worked on, I swear to god, a set of Looney Tunes baseball cards for Chuck Jones.

Ken & I have written two feature-length screenplays together. We’ve pitched a lot of movies to a lot of nodding heads. (They listen, and then at the end they lean forward and say things like, “Well — Jeffrey doesn’t like cats.”) We have one of those finish-each-other’s-sentences creative brainshares that makes collaborating a lot more fun than sitting in a room by myself making stuff up. Ken & I have very different sensibilities, but somehow they dovetail almost seamlessly.

For years we’ve had a project we’ve wanted to do,  called Fata Morgana. We thought it was a pretty commercial idea, and I figured I would enjoy writing a book that was just … well, fun. A big summer blockbuster adventure. Something to make my agent smile and say, “Now that’s what I’m talking about.”

Then Ken finished a great gig directing a season of the popular Annoying Orange TV show and found himself with a stretch of time before he’d likely be back in L.A. on some new project. So he said, Hey, let’s do Fata Morgana.  I said Hellyeahs.

Two years later the novel is nearly finished. In terms of research and plotting, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  So much for cranking out a summer blockbuster.

This may help explain my >year absence from posting (I had to hire someone to sift through the barrage of emails that arrived because I stopped blogging. Oh,. no, wait — that was a dream I had.)