GOOD FAMILIES DON’T was a “tell” story a long time before it was a book.
It’s about a family where the parents think that ‘good families’ don’t have farts.
For the longest time I thought it would never be made into a book. That is because publishers would read it and laugh and laugh and laugh and then say, “That is really funny and we will NEVER make it into a book.”
GOOD FAMILIES DON’T finally got published because of a lucky meeting.
One day I told the story in a big teacher’s convention in Toronto. It was an example of ‘stories that kids like that are hard to make into books’. After I was done a man came up in a very spiffy three-piece suit and he said “Huuummm. That story you told. The one about the fart. Is it true that you can’t get it published?”
I said “Yes, absolutely true.”
The three piece suit person said, “Maybe we should go out for lunch. My name is John Pierce and I am the editor of Doubleday Canada and it seems to me that that would make a very good story.”
So I did go out to lunch with him and Doubleday Canada decided to do the book, but he said, “We can’t just call it FART!” Bookstores will not like it.
So I went to the Bookshelf, my favorite bookstore in Guelph, which is really neat cause it is a bookstore and movie theatre and restaurant and internet cafe and bar and rooftop cafe and community meeting place. I said “Would you put a book called FART in your front window? They said “NO”.
Then I went back to John Pierce and said, “OK, Let’s call it GOOD FAMILIES DON’T.”
After it came out, I went to the Bookshelf and one of the owners said, “All the kids are coming in and yelling ‘HAVE YOU GOT THE FART BOOK?” “Maybe you should have called it FART after all.