eBook adventures.


I recently finished and submitted an original ebook to the Apple iBookstore (which I will talk more about once the book is available). It was a great exercise – having to consider a book from start to finish where I didn’t have editors and designers and marketing people helping. From cover to marketing copy to price – I had to figure it out. I had several good friends who reviewed the work and helped edit the copy and advised on the art direction. Their help was very much appreciated. I learned plenty about my limitations.

The Thing with No Head is darker than your average picture book, but it’s not inappropriate for any age. It was inspired by the Edward Gorey work I read as a kid and was influenced by Tim Burton and Neil Gaiman’s work. And yet – of course – it isn’t exactly like their work either.

This project is a hobby. I try and write several picture book manuscripts each year and sometimes I have ideas that don’t fit into any traditional category. Not comics, not graphic novels, not picture books. I was wondering if these stranger, slightly odder projects could find a place on digital shelves. But I had a lot to learn and I realize now how difficult it is to present a project that does not fit easily into a genre or historical market. What is the demographic? Who will want to read this? How can I find those people? Those are questions that too often authors and illustrators don’t consider at all.

I don’t develop ideas based on a demographic. But I’d be dishonest if I said that I don’t have questions about demographics and appropriateness of ideas floating around in my head when I start a project.  I don’t think you should limit yourself too quickly when an idea jumps out at you by thinking it’s ‘not right’… Yet, success (if we define success as having others want to buy, read and look at your work) comes about because your work finds an audience. And as a commercial artist we do need to consider our audience.

The Thing with No Head will be out on Apple’s iBookstore soon. I’ll write more about it before then. Oh yes I will…



Samples from ebooks!

Here are some samples from The Boy Who Was Swallowed by a Tiger and The Thing with No Head ebooks which will be out on Apple’s iBookstore in October. They feature a more straight ahead ‘cartoony’ style and give me an opportunity to indulge in drawing crosshatched lines.  One is told in verse, in fact I’m still editing it…the other a simple prose style with a folktale flavor. Click on them to see them larger.



Tommy is there!


Tim Federle’s first picture book, Tommy Can’t Stop, which I illustrated is now available for preorder on Amazon. I’m sure you can order it from any fine bookstore and I’ll give you a few minutes to rush off and do that. Maybe order a second copy for the neighbors. OK. You’re back. Unfortunately you can’t actually the book until April 2015. So I won’t be saying too much more about this until next year. Tommy, hold on just a little longer!


Earthling! as pixels!

Earthling! is a my graphic novel and for those who have an iPad it’s never been easier to get the ebook.
Download Earthling! on the iBookstore for the iPad and the new giant iPhones for a great price!


But of course you can order it in good ol’ dead tree format too. Just click here for that goodness.

tgte23Just another page from The Great Thanksgiving Escape.

It’s self explanatory.

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

Teachers are so very important for all of our futures.

Look how one teacher’s kindness and example made such a difference for a young man who went on to become a Nobel Laureate.

The Note Albert Camus Sent to his Teacher

A heartwarming example of kindness and its powerful effects!

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Just back from Minnesota

I want to thank all the teachers, librarians and students that made me feel so welcome back in my home state. I had a lot of fun visiting students and attending the Authors and Illustrators event in Red Wing. And we had Beautiful weather!


I finally had a chance to read through the letters and look at all the art from the kids at Parkview! Those are some mean vegetables in celebration of How Martha Saved Her Parents from Green Beans by Minnesota favorite David LaRochelle.


That’s a picture taken by David of me busy at work signing a copy of Earthling! at the event in Red Wing (and there are a few copies of Martha ahead of me I see). And in the corner is a copy of David’s wonderful book MOO! which I bartered for and got it signed by both David and illustrator Mike Wohnoutka!! I don’t have my glasses on in the picture which means I can’t see anything but the book I’m signing. Good way to keep busy signing books.



The event in Red Wing was hosted at The Anderson Center. This is an early shot as they were setting things up outside. Beautiful weather took over after a storm the night before.



David took a picture of me during my presentation in Red Wing. I was mainly covering the newest discoveries in quantum physics but I tossed in a bit about my picture books.


And that’s me assuring a class at Scandia Elementary, before I read the book The Three Little Aliens and The Big Bad Robot, that the Big Bad Robot isn’t really THAT bad. And behind me is a slide with a preview from my picture book coming from Penguin next year. But don’t look for a book named Daisy Dilly Dally, it was recently renamed to Dilly Dally Daisy. This photo is by Jason DaMoe, thanks Jason for letting me run it here on my blog.

I spoke to students from kindergarten to 8th grade over my 4 day visit and as usual, I come away inspired by the enthusiasm and humor of the students no mater their age. Thanks again to all for a great visit!



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