A confluence of events today has led me to develop a new theory, which I’m calling the Law of Conservation of Time Until Publication.

I had lunch with Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose forthcoming book Tantalize had been scheduled to come out in fall 2007, the same as The Day-Glo Brothers. Well, Candlewick recently bumped Cynthia’s publication date ahead to spring 2007, which — according to my theory — means that the time removed from her publication schedule must be shifted to some other book.

This afternoon, I learned that that book is my own. Charlesbridge now hopes to publish it in spring 2008. (I would have thought that my theory would hold only for books published by the same house, but I do think it’s interesting that the time freed up from Tantalize remained in the Boston metropolitan area.)

I’m disappointed by the delay — when I signed the contract, the plan was for The Day-Glo Brothers to come out in spring of next year — but I know that these things happen, and as life’s disappointments go, this one is a smallie. Plus, there’s great news attached: The artist whose work I thought would be a terrific fit for the Switzer brothers’ story is on board to illustrate. His name is Tony Persiani, and you can see his portfolio here.

This means I may well hold off a while on various marketing-related items. I’d planned on getting a full-fledged web site set up this year, but I see no reason now why that can’t wait until 2007. I’d already started on my marketing database, and while I won’t shelve that entirely, I’ll probably slow down a bit and use that time for my writing projects. And I’d just started considering doing something author-like for a homeschooling conference later this year, but I may just enjoy it as an attendee this time around and get some ideas for next year — and the year after that.