See that castle at the top of the page?
That was drawn by Diane Dawson Hearn, for the back cover of Once Upon a Test, and is used here with her kind permission.
This is the picture I had in my mind when, in User Unfriendly, Arvin and his friends find themselves in Sannita in the nursery of the governor's mansion and go through the tapestry picture of a castle.
The first story in Once Upon a Test, "For Love of Sunny," has been reprinted several times, and it gets changed each time.
The people at Cricket liked the story, but didn't like the description of the prime minister's daughter. In the Once Upon a Test version, when Stephanie asks about the prime minister's daughter, Sunny answers, "She's a big, hairy girl who likes to go to bars and pick fights with sailors." I meant that to be funny; my editor at Whitman thought it was funny. The people at Cricket asked for the line to be changed to: "She's nice enough. But I'll never love her as much as I love you."
OK, well... So I let them have their way.
Another time the story was reprinted was in the collection, Girls to the Rescue, edited by Bruce Lansky. Unfortunately, a problem crept into the story when Bruce asked me if I would be willing to make a few changes so that the story didn't take place in a made-up kingdom, but in a real country. He said that the story struck him as being Scandinavian--would I be willing to change the name of the characters? ("Sunny" could stay for the prince since it's a nickname, but his given name had to change.)
My friends, of course, made fun of me. (What are friends for?) They started calling the story "For Love of Sven" and "For Love of Midnight Sunny." That was OK. I got into the Scandinavian swing of things. I even added a reference to reindeer.
The "unfortunately" part comes when someone at Girls to the Rescue decided the story wasn't Scandinavian after all--it was Irish. Someone went ahead and changed the names from Scandinavian to Irish.
But nobody noticed the reference to the reindeer--even when the story was reprinted yet again in Storyworks.
I like to tell people that Ireland is such a beautiful country that it gets a lot of reindeer tourists.
To see more of Diane Dawson Hearn's work, go to http://www.dianedawsonhearn.com/index.html