Neil Gaiman wrote on his blog this weekend that things -- particularly things to do with movies -- happen oddly, when they happen, and they never happen in the way you expect.
For example, back in 1996 Michael Reaves was working doing adventure cartoon serials at Dreamworks Animation. He started talking to me about an idea for something that could be a potential animated story, and we began knocking ideas back and forth about what we'd want to see animated and why, and that became an idea about a boy who finds himself in the middle of a war between two equally powerful forces, who joins a super-team consisting of versions of himself from different alternate realities to try and maintain the consmic balance.
We called it Interworld. (It was one of those placeholder names that stuck.)
We pitched it to executives, first at Dreamworks and then elsewhere, and watched them get increasingly confused and grumpy.
Somewhere in the winter of 1998 or 1999, Michael came up to my place, and we wrote it as a novel, doing our best impression of a Heinlein juvenile, because the treatments we did simply confused people and we were sure that if they read the novel they'd understand.
And then we discovered the novel seemed to confuse them too, and we sighed and we put it away and got on with our lives.
Last year, Michael reminded me of the book, and we took it out, dusted it off, sent it out to publishers and were happy when Harper Childrens wanted to publish it. They commissioned a lovely cover for it by James Jean.
The early reviews were very positive. Film and TV people started contacting my agent about it. And now, a decade later, I'm delighted and slightly bemused to report that it's just been optioned by Dreamworks Animation, who want to make it into a movie...
There's a moral there somewhere, you know, but I have no idea what it is.