AS WITH MOST interpersonal rapports, my friendship and collaboration with Patrick ebbs and flows. At times we engage in a great flurry of communication and activity; during others we scarcely interact. There are even instances when we disagree, though thankfully they’re quite rare.
What’s unique, or at least curious, is that for such a close partnership ours is almost exclusively virtual. In the beginning, when we worked on magazines together, we corresponded via fax. Today, with Zach, Zoey and Pilot, we stay in touch via e-mail, and Skype maybe once or twice a year.
The last time I saw Patrick in person was over eight years ago — January 2006 — while visiting Belgium, where he and his family live. So it was a rare treat indeed to meet up with him in Italy in late March for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair to present and celebrate The Adventures of Zach & Zoey.
After our initial salutations, we had some meetings and caught up over an espresso or two — then later, in the early evening, shared a classic aperitivo (antipasti and aperitifs) and parted knowing we’d next see each other far sooner than eight years, perhaps next time in New York.
Until then, though, we’ve gone right back into our groove, working on our third ZZP story, Dinner Is at Half Past Six, which will be released in fall 2015, as well as some special projects… Stay tuned.