It's hard to believe that it's been over fourteen years since I first met with my editor to discuss an idea she had for a four-book mini-series called The Baby-sitters Club. Was I interested in writing these books, she wondered? My answer was an enthusiastic "YES!", and the rest, as they say, is history...
Fast-forward many years later, and it still amazes me to see the incredible body of work that was a result of that original idea, including the Baby-sitters Club series, the Little Sister series, the Baby-sitters Club Mystery series, the California Diaries, the Super Specials, the Kids in Ms. Colman's Class, the BSC Friends Forever series, the video series, the motion picture, the dolls, the board games, and so on...whew! After all these years, I still feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to create the characters that so many of you have come to love. I've always been as eager as the BSC fans to follow the adventures of Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey and Claudia. And adding Dawn, Jessi, Mallory and Abby to the club made writing the series even more fun.
This is why it is with mixed emotions I made the decision to write the final book in the BSC series, Graduation Day. As you can probably tell by the title, the girls are going to graduate from the eighth grade (after many years!). While I have often been asked by readers if the BSC members were going to move up to ninth grade, I answered that there were still too many stories that I wanted to write about their middle school adventures to let that happen! I felt in my heart that I would know when the time was right. I also knew that sharing such an important day in the lives of the BSC members with the loyal fans would be the most natural way to conclude the series.
Writing the BSC books has enriched my life in so many ways. Because of all the different tasks that need to be done in order to publish a long-running series, I've had the chance to work with lots of terrific people, many of whom have become my close friends. And while the day-to-day work on the series is ending, the friendships will remain strong. I also have had the pleasure of keeping in touch with some of my original BSC fans and watching them grow up and become happy, confident young women. It's hard for me to believe that my ten-year-old pen-pals are now twenty-four year-old adults!
I'll always be grateful to the series for the opportunity it gave me to make new friends and re-connect with old friends.
While I am sad on one level to close this chapter of my writing life, I am also excited about the new projects that I will now have the time to explore. As you probably know, what I love to do most is write books for children. Also, you can be sure that this is not "goodbye," because every time a new reader picks up a Baby-sitters Club book for the very first time, I feel as if I've found a new friend. And perhaps one day, if you have children of your own, you'll enjoy sharing your favorite BSC books with them! To all my BSC fans, thank you for giving the Baby-sitters Club books a special place in your hearts and on your bookshelves.