Amazon.com Widgets

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?

 

Remember When Picture Books Were Fun

Remember when picture books were just plain fun to read. The stories didn’t have to have a deep moral, or life lesson. When reading it, you weren’t concerned about character development, or growth. The stories just had fun characters placed in fun situations. You loved reading it because, well, it was fun.

Along with my friend and illustrator, Ron Robrahn, we are working on a series of stories that bring the fun back to picture books. The series is called, Myth Illogical. It follows some nonsensical antics of some well know mythological creatures. It’s good, clean, comical fun. There are four main characters, Bigfoot, Minotaur, Dragon and Unicorn. Along the way, as the stories develop, other characters will be introduced.

Ron has begun character development and truly knows how to inject personality into each and every one of them. Each character will have his or her own quirks and demeanor, and that will just add to the fun.

With Eartha the Sea Turtle,  Steven the Vegan,  and my forthcoming bullying story, I’ve explored some serious topics … it’s time for some old fashioned fun.

 

Bullying Book Storyboard Complete

I recently received a sneak peak at the storyboard for the children’s book I wrote about bullying. I have to say, it looks great. Each time I read the story, I feel a sense of pride. As I’ve said before, it’s not the typical bullying story. It offers real solutions for children being bullied and doesn’t follow the standard “everybody becomes friends” ending. Too many times I see children’s books filled with false hope. I don’t think a topic as important and powerful as bullying should be masqueraded by false hope.

The currently untitled book is being designed by Chris Hall, and illustrated by Brian Krümm. (The same team that illustrated Eartha the Sea Turtle). Although I am the writer of this book, it’s not being published through Totem Tales Publishing.

If you are interested in possibly purchasing this book, please let me know.

 

 

A Blast of Inspiration can come from Anywhere

It’s funny where inspiration can come from. For Eartha the Sea Turtle, my inspiration came from Eartha’s story, and the amazing work done at the Loggerhead Marinelife Center. For Steven the vegan, my inspiration came from an article I read about how kids don’t know where their food comes from. Fields of Dreams was inspired by a cross of the Scarecrow in the Wizard of OZ, and Ralph Phillips from the Looney Tunes cartoon, from A to zzzzz.

My latest blast of inspiration came while watching a really bad movie on SyFy network. SyFy is known for some cheesy made for TV movies. While I was watching the show, and laughing at how bad it was, I realized something really, really funny and turned it into a story. I’ve not only written one story, I’ve written two about the same characters.

What’s the first thing I did? I sent it off to my friend, and illustrator, Ron to start creating some character designs. He loved the script and sent me one of the characters. I can’t wait for him to story board it all for me.

This new story concept will probably be sold only as an e-book. Digital media saves a lot of time and money in printing costs. I’m looking to offer it as a PDF file, Amazon Kindle file, nook file, and ePub formats.

Oh, what’s the name of the story, you ask?

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 New Children’s Book on Bullying

Two months ago I was asked to write a children’s book about bullying. Bullying is a serious topic that is getting much more exposure now than years past. Since this was essentially a work-for-hire, I cannot give too much detail about the book, but it does cover different aspects of bullying, include verbal, and physical.

The story is unlike other books out there. Those who know me, know I do things different … I make my own kind of music. This story had to be different. There are too many stories out there that end the same way. This story has a different ending, something both children and adults can truly relate to.

This is the second team-up of myself and the illustration team of Brian Krümm and Chris Hall. The two were instrumental in bringing my first book, The Tale of Eartha the Sea Turtle, to life. I’ve enjoyed working with them again on this very special project.

As always, I will keep you posted on the project.

 

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.

 

Wordcamp 2012 – Miami

I just got back from WordCamp 2012 in Miami. WordCamp is a conference for people who use, design, and develop for WordPress. The conference was awesome. I gathered so much information I still have to sift through it all just to process it.

Right now, I am working with a company that is heavily into WordPress and I am developing some custom plug-ins. It’s actually a lot of fun, and challenging. The more I dig into WordPress the more I see how sophisticated it really is. It’s versatility allows me the freedom to create some very cool new features as plug-ins.

WordCamp was also a great way to meet new people. I look forward to next years event.

Looking forward to the New Year

With 2011 now behind us, we have no choice but to look forward to the new year. The first thing I am looking forward to in 2012 is to finally finish and publish my second children’s book, Steven the Vegan. It’s been a real challenge to get this book completed and I could not have done it without the crowd sourcing support of Kickstarter.com. Through Kickstarter.com I was able to raise over 2700.00 to complete the book.

2012 will also make way for my next project, another collaboration between myself and my longtime friend and illustrator, Ron Robrahn. Fields of Dreams is something we both came up with and will publish together. This won’t be a work for hire project with Ron, this is a true collaboration.

It’s been a year since I started my online serial, The Gaia Code, and I’ve already thought about some rewrites. Writing an online serial is not easy since you write on the spot with just a guideline and some notes to go by. But I plan on posting some new pages this next month. I usually write the page the night before and post the following day. Once complete I think I’ll work on the rewrites, then possibly look for a ghost writer or editor to hep finalize the work. Publishing a novel would be awesome.

My little black book, know as the app Evernote, holds every story idea I come up with, and there are quite a few. I have several new ideas in there, as well as a sequel for Earth the Sea Turtle.

Well this post is longer than I had anticipated. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and good luck to you in all your endeavors.

 

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