I recently received some awesome news about my new picture book, The Great Thanksgiving Escape!


Run (or walk or skip) into any of the 650 or so Barnes & Noble stores on November 15th at storytime and you will hear The Great Thanksgiving Escape being read!  Yup, it’s the official storytime book in all the stores that afternoon. I will be reading the book at the Barnes & Noble in Tigard, Oregon at 11:00 on November 15th. So stop by, say hi and buy a copy. Or three copies as you will want a couple around the house. I’m just saying…




Awesomeness Book Reports!


I’ve kept busy the past few months working on a set of animated shorts I created called Book Reports. Don’t look for them quite yet, they aren’t done. They will available on DreamWorks TV in the next month or so. And I will talk plenty more about them before then.

What is Book Reports about? No surprise – it takes place in Mr. Strung’s 3rd grade class where the book reports never go quite as planned.

It was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. It combines my love of books and animation into one project. Thanks to some awesome folks at Dreamworks TV I’ve had the chance to dig into literary criticism from a kids perspective.

About two weeks ago the show was cast with amazing voice actors and I will shortly be editing all the final episodes together. Then the art will be headed down Los Angeles way to get animated.

You will be able to find these shorts on Awesomeness TV on You Tube. The animated shorts will air on the DTV (DreamWorks TV) channel.  But don’t look for them quite yet.

I’ll have more info before the episodes air, and I’m not 100% sure when that will be, as I am still finishing up production. But when the time comes for the big reveal I plan to get interviews with the voice actors who brought these characters to life and the composer who wrote the theme. The show will be animated by OddBot Studios in LA and it will look awesome!


Hemingway’s Squirrel

A sketch from – Hemingway’s Squirrel.

The Heartwarming tale of Hemingway and a spunky squirrel who showed up one day looking for whiskey. The squirrel acted as inspiration and foil often telling Hemingway his writing sucked just to see what happened. They went on edge-of-the-seat adventures around the world developing a deep bond while experiencing golden sunsets and heartwarming realizations…


OK. That’s not a real story. This is just a sketch from my sketchbook. And it kind of  looked like Hemingway. And a squirrel.




My new ebook, The Thing with No Head, is posted to the iBookstore. It’s for sale as of today, October 20th. You know, just in time for some Halloween reading!

If you have an iOS device or a Mac with iBooks Installed you can download and read a sample (the first 6 pages). So download and take a look!

As I’ve mentioned before, making this book has been a good learning experience and illuminated some of my limitations as a book creator. I broke the experience into a film title.


The book looks great on iPads and in iBooks on a Mac.

I love to crosshatch. Mission Accomplished.

I like stories with a bit more edge and that mix genres in ways that make it difficult for mainstream publishers to comfortably sell.

It’s was a great creative opportunity to try something that doesn’t fit easily into the expectations and genres in publishing and bookstores.

The ‘antique’ look of it is really a design decision that adds another dimension to reading it.

While you might think doing this allows you to make every creative decision, I still got a lot of feedback and editing from friends which helped a ton.


There is no easy way to get his ebook in front of any particular audience who might like it. By picking categories and keywords you limit exposure as powerfully as you position it.

It’s a bummer to not have a printed version of it to hold in my hands…I know, I’m an old fashioned book guy. I’m just saying…

Making my ebook allowed me to be the author/illustrator as well as salesman – and fill every roll in-between including marketing. Which isn’t a top skill of mine.


The process of creating an ebook is not craft and not art. It’s still a technical battle with odd bugs and format issues. If I didn’t have a 20 year span of my career when I worked in interactive design, online games and websites I would have been lost in how to get it working. The tools are getting better, but after doing this I have to say that the process doesn’t allow one to concentrate on the final product but forces you to tackle construction and architectural issues.


Originally posted on This Kid Reviews Books:

Happy Friday! Before I get to my Perfect Picture Book Pick, I wanted to ask that, after you are done here, click on over to The Write Chat, the Vlog that Felicia (kid author and creator of the Stanley and Katrina blog) and I started. We are hosting our first guest – Author Michelle Isenhoff!

While you are there, please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we post a new Vlog (we only post once a month). You can also check out the AWESOME line-up of authors we will be interviewing.  CLICK HERE TO GO THERE !

Now on to Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I love the story idea (and there are evil…

View original 403 more words


A new review popped up for The Great Thanksgiving Escape. 

I don’t always read reviews. The bad ones can really put a dent in your day/week/month. And being from Minnesota I tend to not believe in the good ones. But I am happy that this reviewer seemed to catch on to the big idea that motivated me to write the book in the first place. And that’s why we do all this stuff isn’t it? To try and communicate something more than what ends up on the page.



My new picture book, The Great Thanksgiving Escape is available at the Apple iBookstore so you can read it on your new iPad or giant new iPhone or on a Mac. BUT you can also LISTEN to it.

It’s also going to be released over on that Kindle store at Amazon.

“What?”, you say. “Listen to it? It’s a book! Didn’t Lane Smith spend an entire book explaining how a book is supposed to be? I mean, I READ a book but … but I can’t … wait. It has super awesome narration you say?”  Yup, it’s an enhanced ebook and you can buy it on the iBookstore right now. It’s not 8 times the fun, I’d say it’s 5 times the fun. Of course you could buy a dead tree copy AND get the iBook version and you know, it would be a multimedia extravaganza…I’m just saying.

It’s an audio book but with pictures. Or buy the dead tree book and call me and I’ll read it over the phone for you.


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