In Spring of 2012, Knock Knock will unleash a product of such visceral power and mind-blowing intensity, it is destined to set the world afire. Or, at least, delight a few people who enjoy tiny slips of paper with tiny words printed on them.
A Year of Fortunes (Without the Cookies) is the world’s first book of fortune-cookie fortunes presented in a handy perforated format for easy tearing-and-sharing—365 of ’em. To wit:
• You will be successful in monkey business.
• Dance like no one is watching, because probably no one is.
• Less is more but more is more fun.
This book was one of my first projects at Knock Knock (I started working here in March 2011), and writing and editing it was a delicious task. I have always loved fortune cookies—the paper, the messages, and the cookies. I can hardly imagine anything more wonderful than a cookie you can read (or a fortune you can eat). I still remember a fortune I got in high school: Beauty is in your heart. Let it out. Let it beat. Give yourself a treat. Somebody wrote that! And then they put it in a cookie!
As you can imagine, research was grueling. I had to purchase (and consume) bags of cookies from several Asian eateries as well as the 99¢ store to gather a wide sampling of fortune-cookie styles. Torture.
To write the book’s introduction, I also read as much as I could find about the origins of fortune cookies, which is a subject worthy of its own book and movie. At risk of blowing your mind, I will just say right now that fortune cookies come from Japan—and when you stop to think about that, it makes perfect sense. (A white slip of paper with a small, mysterious message—it just feels Japanese.)
Several other writers contributed to the book (including my brother, Ben!), and we also bought a magic number-picking contraption from 1913 to choose the lucky numbers for each fortune. (Not really.)
I really wanted to call it The Fortune Bookie (as did our head honcho, Jen) but we were overruled. That’s okay. The goal was to make something that would provide whimsy and delight every day, and I think we succeeded. I am so happy with the book, and its puffy red satin cover, I am going to go pass out.