Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blog Book Tour

I was tagged by my friend Sue Fliess to participate in a blog tour.  Sue is the author of a soon-to-be-released book that I illustrated called "A Gluten-Free Birthday For Me!"  Sue tagged me about a month ago and I've been busy busy busy.  But hopefully "better late than never" still applies.

Here are the questions that I am suppose to answer...

1 What is the working title of your next book?
 I'm really excited about my next two books.  The first is called The Ice Cream Shop.  It's being released by Scholastic next summer (2014) A second book called The Sea Monster is scheduled for the fall.

2 Where did the book idea come from for the book?

 A couple of years ago, in lieu of sending out Christmas cards, I sent out mini Christmas comic books featuring two characters named Steve and Wessley.  Those two guys have decided to stick around in my head and worm their way into several more stories.  The Ice Cream Shop and The Sea Monster are the first two being put to paper. 

3 What genre does your book fall into? 
This is a level 1 early reader similar to my other book, May I Please Have a Cookie?

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Oh, they would definitely play themselves as it would probably be an animated short film.  John Lasseter are you listening??

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Steve learns that reading signs can be very important.

6) Who is publishing your book?

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I don't actually write a manuscript.  My first drafts are story boards.  This one went quickly.  It took me about 2 weeks.

 8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
These two guys follow a long standing tradition of bungling duos, Laurel and Hardy, Abbot and Costello, Frog and Toad, George and Martha.

 9) Who or what inspired you to write and/or illustrate this book? 

Easy reader books can be, dare I say it, dull.  What I hope to do is create books that I think are funny and that just happen to be easy enough for a child to read themselves.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? 

These books are very character driven and I've been spending a lot of time thinking about Steve and Wessley's personalities and how they will be drawn.  Here are some character sketches and some 3-D models that I created.

 Check back soon for another author illustrator to link to in this blog tour....

Friday, April 05, 2013

What's Inside a Wacom Intuous Pen?

I went to use my Wacom tablet yesterday and the little white nib on the end of the stylus squished down inside of the pen.  It was sort of like when someone takes the little spring out of a regular ballpoint pen.  I emailed Wacom tech support asking them how I could fix it.  They sent their condolences along with a link to where I could order a new pen for a mere $69.95.  Thank goodness I have an extra pen I can use. Not being able to work for several days because I had to wait for a new pen would be bad.

But anyways since my trusty pen appears to be trashed, why not take it part and see what's inside.  It was easier to get apart than I imagined. And this website really helped.  All you do is pry the button off with your fingernail.  Then unscrew the little collar that surrounds the nib and slide off the rubber grip.  Once you've got the grip off, you'll see a ridge between where the button goes and the eraser end.  This is where the pen pulls apart.  Pull the two sections apart.  Be careful it pulls hard. There is a skinny little circuit board in there so I wouldn't twist, just pull it straight out.  Also there is a teeny tiny spring in the eraser end, careful you don't drop it like I did.   And tada! this is what it looks like inside...

I fiddled with the nib but really couldn't figure out what was broken.  There were no springs and nothing looked broken.  So I put the whole thing back to together and guess what, it works now!  I'm guessing that maybe the spring on the eraser end got knocked out of place and was not keeping tension on the nib like it should. I don't really know why it started working again, I'm happy happy it did.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A Gluten Free Birthday For Me! Available for Preorder

A gluten-free birthday for me and a new picture book for you!  My latest book, "A Gluten-Free Birthday For Me!" is now available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indie-Bound. Written by Sue Fliess, this is a sweet story about an all to common situation where one party guest feels left out because of their dietary restrictions.  Anyone who knows someone with celiac disease, food allergies or any other food sensitivity will be able to relate to the characters in this book.