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Category Archives: Steven the Vegan

My Interview with FreeFromHarm.org

FreeFromHarm.org recently contacted me about doing an interview regarding my children’s book, Steven the Vegan. FreeFromHarm.org is an in-depth news and information source for all things regarding animal rights, and veganism. I’m very excited that the book is starting to get recognition in the vegan community.

Check out the interview here.

 

Steven the Vegan on VeganCuts.com

Today, Steven the Vegan was promoted on VeganCuts.com VeganCuts is an amazing service that offers deals on vegan products ranging from foods, to … books! While I was completing the layouts of the pages I contacted VeganCuts and asked if my book was something they’d like to offer. (Duh!) Of course, they said yes.

Be sure to checkout the deal at VeganCuts.com and sign up for their newsletter to get deals on other vegan products!

 

Let the book signing begin!

The books are here!

Last week the illustrator for Steven the Vegan,Ron Robrahn, signed all the books, and now it’s my turn. Ron also hand drew all the sketch cards which look AWESOME! This weekend I will start signing and endorsing all the books. Next week they will slowly begin shipping out to all the Kickstarter.com backers.

I cannot stress how important their role was in getting this book published. Not only did they provide financial support, but they provided moral support as well. Notes of encouragement really helped to keep us going. That kind of appreciation cannot be put properly into words.

 

Steven the Vegan Proof #1

I received the first proof of Steven the Vegan last week. I’ve made some minor changes, and I have ordered the next proof. Once approved, I will be fulfilling the pledges made by people on Kickstarter.com. 69 books were pre-ordered through Kickstarter by pledges. Without those pledges this book would not have been done.

I am also looking into a special offer from VeganCuts.com. They offer deals for vegan on everything from books to soaps. Once the deal is arranged I will let everyone know.

I am eagerly awaiting proof #2. Are you as excited as I am?

 

A Creative Day

This past Saturday I was in Orlando to meet with my illustrator and childhood friend, Ron Robrahn. Ron and I discussed several things that needed to be tweak on Steven the Vegan and we discussed new projects.

We have been developing a kids comic called “Fields of Dreams” about a scarecrow that daydreams. It’s very “Don Quixote” in story as things around him spark his imagination. The stories will involve him imagining all sorts of things, including the occasional duel with the scarecrow in the field across the road.

We found that aside from the Wizard of Oz, so many scarecrows are scary looking. We didn’t want ours to look scary, we wanted him to be lovable. Ron has a true gift for bringing characters to life.

Our scarecrow spends is day in the field, defending the crops from a flock of crows, including two rather annoying ones. In his own mind, made of straw, he seems himself as human. So his daydreams will depict him looking like a normal person. This all adds to the drama of imagination, and that is what to life on paper.

We are trying to rekindle in children.

Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t say “kindle” with all this straw about. Fields of Dreams is currently a work in progress, as is our next project ….

 

The Protector Academy Training Society, or PATS for short. Okay this is a working title. What is PATS you asked? I’m glad you asked. Did you ever wonder how that favorite stuffed toy, or teddy bear leans to battle those monsters from under the bed? Well, your teddy bear was trained at the finest facility. Along with other stuffed toys charged with the responsibility of protecting children when they sleep, our hero, Chadwick the bear, is learning how to deal with his child’s monster.

Every full moon the monsters return to strike fear into the dreams of children. It is the protectors job to vanquish the monster so the child can sleep peacefully. Failure can cause the child to have repeated nightmares, and could be the end of the protector. Ever notice that when a child’s favorite toy is missing an eye, or an arm is torn off that they say “I don’t know” when asked “Who did this? or How did this happen?” Well, now you know.

Below are a few sketches we came up with for some of the characters, include the leader of the group known as “The Teddies” (After all, can you imagine how many bears are named Teddy?)

Let us know what you think!

Dan

 

A cover for Steven the Vegan

The cover for my next book, Steven the Vegan is done. Well, the front cover anyway. Ron and I have been using Skype to share his computer screen and to talk. This allows us to collaborate even more effectively on our work. (Isn’t technology wonderful … take that Amish!)

It was important for the cover to be colorful, and cute to a degree of putting someone into a diabetic coma. Ron’s ability to draw cute animals could put anyone into sugar shock. We both agree, using Skype is definitely more effective. I can tell him he’s doing it wrong, he can tell me I’m crazy, we can both compromise and BAM! we have another successful project.

We have already agreed that this will be the way we will work together on our next projects like Fields of Dreams, and Eartha 2. (Oh was I not suppose to mention the sequel to Eartha the Sea Turtle?)

Right now, Ron and I are also going over each page. Usually, he would send over a page, and I would critique it and send it back with some notes. Now, with Skype, we can actually work together and talk it out.

I cannot tell you how excited I am to see a cover for the book. What do you think of it?

UPDATE : The cover has been updated. As you can see, Steven’s palm is now open where the baby chick stands.

 

Kickstarter.com for projects

I recently created a project on Kickstarter.com for my latest book Steven the Vegan. The way Kickstarter.com works is like this. I setup rewards for people based on a specific donation about. For example, for $5.00 you can get a PDF version of the book when it’s available. For $15.00 you get a signed copy by myself and Ron Robrahn the illustrator. For $750.00 you get the signed copy, and a character in the book named after you.

In essence, Kickstarter.com allows you to “sell” your product, before it’s complete. No money changes hands until the project is fully funded.

Ron and I plan to use Kickstarter.com for our future projects as well, including Fields of Dreams.

Check out our project at Kickstarter.com

What’s up with Steven?

As many of you know, my next book, Steven the Vegan, is currently being illustrated by my long time friend, and buddy, Ron Robrahn (Hi Ron! <insert waving hand here>).

I thought it would be a treat to share one of the drawings as they reach their final stage.

There is a page in the book where Steven is asked “Which part of the chicken is the nugget?” A question I’m sure we all asked ourselves at some point, whether seriously, or humorously. (Is that a word?)

Here is the sketch Ron did for the page.

And here is the (near) finished color version of the sketch.

Pretty cool huh? I can’t tell you how great it is to see a story come to life… even if it is 2D.

Kindred Spirits Sanctuary

In my latest book, Steven the Vegan, a group of children visit a farm sanctuary where Steven shares with his friends the reason he doesn’t eat animals. Farm sanctuaries are places where farm animals go to live out their lives, free from the slaughter house destiny that plagues their species.

Part of writing a convincing story is research. I wanted to research farm sanctuaries and find out more about them. That led me to the Kindred Spirits Sanctuary in Ocala, Florida. The Sanctuary encompasses 36 beautiful acres. There are about  150 sanctuary residents. The animals living there are called residents, because that’s what they are. The residents receive around-the-clock care, carefully controlled diets, spacious barns, and green pastures to graze.

I am planning a visit to the sanctuary very soon, and hope to meet some of these amazing residents. According to the care taker, each of the residents has a unique personality, and their special needs are seen to. I cannot wait to get there and meet some of the residents.

Sometime research can be fun! Check out The Kindred Spirits Sanctuary and learn about some of their residents.

Steven gets a web site

Steven the Vegan LogoOkay, this post name sounds like the title of an After School Special, but it’s not. My second book, Steven the Vegan which is currently being illustrated is getting its own web site. I have been working with a friend I found through Twitter.com Chris Spooner (Spoooooon!) on a design for Steven’s web site. Chris did the graphic design of the web site for Eartha the Sea Turtle and I knew when I was ready I’d have him design Steven’s.

Eartha’s web site is primarily geared toward the book and free coloring pages, whereas Steven’s web site will be a blog. The blog will include recipes, and interesting information on a vegan lifestyle. Many people do not know the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian. Some believe that vegan is a shorter word variation for vegetarian. I assure you it is not.

Steven’s book was inspired by the notion that young kids today will have a hard time explaining to their peers the concept of a vegan. Additionally, kids are finicky eaters. I am going to focus on kid-friendly vegan recipes, including vegan mac & cheese, sandwich wraps and more.

I have recently signed up with Kitchen Monki, an online resource for sharing recipes, planning meals and more. I will be embedding the recipes I put there on Steven’s web site.I am also teaming up with Meatless Monday to promote a monday meal, without meat. All the meals can be made by anyone. Whenever possible I will include links to where people can purchase the ingredient, but in most cases local grocery stores will have them.

Of course the site will also serve as a way to promote the upcoming book. I feel these affiliation will assist with the marketing of the book. We’ll find out in due time. 🙂

Links : Kitchen Monki, Meatless Monday, Spoon Graphics