Sunday, June 17, 2018

Another book contract offered. Not one I expected.

My agent, the esteemed Abigail Samoun, emailed me a few days ago with a contract. It was for a manuscript I sent her about four years ago for a picture book (just the text, no illustrations) called The Unless Alphabet.

I'd never written for a picture book before and never imagined I would. But Abi encouraged me. We tried it. And bing, bang, (insert four-year wait here) bong--a contract, just like that.
The contract is from Cameron & Co., which is a small-but-cool publisher. The book is an ABC book, but, frankly, full of lots of fart and barf jokes. No lie. It fits well with my sense of humor, which stopped developing at about 8th grade.


D is for Dog
unless you have a dog and it’s your job to clean up after him,
then D is for doo-doo.

The UNLESS Alphabet. Get it?

Not that I do a lot of interviews, but if anyone were to ever ask me for my inspirations for this one, it would be fifty percent Mad Magazine and fifty percent Shel Silverstein.

By the way, writing picture books is a weird deal. It takes me about two years to write a middle-grade novel. Two years. I wrote this manuscript, plus about ten other ones, in two weeks. Because I'm not an illustrator, I'll have to split the pay, so it's half as much. But still. Nice work if you can get it.

Of course, that waiting around for four years is kind of a drag. But that's publishing.

I am excited. Besides, the world needs more fart jokes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Story ARC: The Advance Reader Copy arrives.

Just nerding out a bit on the publishing process. I love getting the ARC - the advance reader copy - of an upcoming book. This one arrived yesterday. And keep in mind that the actual for-sale version still doesn't come out until October of 2018.

I flipped through it and giggled out loud at nearly every Gris Grimly illustration. It's so surreal to see how someone that talented interprets a character I created. Mr. Grimly did a damn fine job.

I'll post some of those illustrations in coming days.

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Bottle Imp of Bright House by Tom Llewellyn - Coming to a bookstore near you in October 2018

Been a long time coming—and still a long time to come—but check out this link to see the front cover by Gris Grimley and read the back cover blurb.

The Bottle Imp of Bright House

Publisher: Holiday House
A delightfully dark middle-grade novel reminiscent of the Newbery-winning classic, The Westing Game.

When thirteen-year-old Gabe Silver's dad is laid off from his job, his family is forced to move to the run-down Bright House Apartments. Gabe's bummed--but maybe there's a way out of this mess. In a strange encounter with a stressed-out millionaire, Gabe becomes the owner of an old, glass bottle with an imp inside who can grant wishes. But there's a catch: for everything the wisher gains, someone, somewhere loses something. Each wish is an ethical dilemma, but as Gabe scores a Ferrari, gets his dad's old job back, and more, he's certain a guilty conscience is worth it . . . isn't it? Meanwhile, his bizarre neighbors at Bright House have caught wind that something strange is afoot. As the bottle imp's power weaves its way through Bright House and beyond, it reveals unseen connections, ambitions, and desires, provoking questions about the way our actions affect others.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

I love book reports, especially from Germany

Check out this amazing book report poster from Lilli in Germany. She clearly has remarkable taste in children's literature.