Thursday, January 22, 2015

Yesterday's News about Egmont USA

So this sucks.

Egmont, the international media company, has decided to close Egmont USA, its US publishing arm, effectively making its spring 2015 list the last books it will publish. That means I AM DRUMS has lost its publisher, and is now an "orphaned book."

So I'll say it again. This sucks.

It pretty much blindsided everyone. My agent, my editor, and everyone else at the office. The US division was up for sale, but they were making money. There was no fiscal emergency. But this is what happens sometimes in publishing, and there's no point in getting bitter about it, especially when you're some dude who doesn't understand how the business works. The parent company has a strategy, and they are the final say for a reason.

I'm not sad for myself so much as for the wonderful people at Egmont USA. They're the ones who found out yesterday that their job was disappearing in a week and a half. I'm keeping them in my thoughts, especially my editor, Jordan, whose love for I AM DRUMS was unparalleled, and helped make it a better book.

The good news is there's a lot of silver lining. I have a fully edited book, and there's a good chance another editor will pick it up again. I have no idea if said editor will be as special or amazing as Jordan, but my book is far from dead in the water.

The kid lit community has been amazingly supportive. The sheer number of people who've pledge their support for the many authors affected has been empowering and inspiring. I've gotten personal support from several authors orphaned by the Strange Chemistry closing last year, all of whom landed a new home eventually.

Then there's my agent, who's already gotten a handful of editors to take a look at I AM DRUMS, knowing someone believed in it once, and someone should believe in it again. Did I ever mention that literary agents are amazing, life-saving people?

This is crappy news, but it is not life-ending. I'm confident someone will pick up my book again. It will no longer be out by September 2015, so I'm sorry to everyone who's been so anxious to read it come fall.

I'm working on finding it a new home, and I think I will in due time. Stick with me, family and friends. I'll get there.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - Day 12

Nothing brightens up a Monday like a swashbuckling swordfight!


What? Why are you groaning?

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - Day 11

What if Harry Potter was a werewolf with a gift for pottery?

He admittedly looks more like a fuzzy wereduck, but that's why I don't make any money doing this.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - Day 10

Sketched this quickly while doing an exercise on fear with my local SCBWI chapter. Certainly not my best, but very fun.

Friday, January 9, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - the birthday edition, day 9

Happy birthday to me! Did you know that if I lived on Mars I'd only be eighteen? That's frightening.

I drew a wonderful cake to celebrate...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - Day 8

It was pretty difficult to come up with a drawing today with the news being... well... what it is.

It seemed wrong to give up on account of that, though, so I decided to draw a happy, smiling face. We need more of those. It slowly morphed into a reflection on the cold weather.

I hope you enjoy it...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

In Which I Face My Fear of Heights...

Today I have the honor of kicking off a feature for the Fearless Fifteeners, a group of children's authors debuting in 2015.

It's called FEARLESS FRIDAYS, and it will feature many of us, during our debut year, facing our greatest fears and posting about it on the Fifteeners blog on a Friday.

Since I'm an El ride away from Sears Tower (nope, not Willis) it makes sense that I should face my awful fear of heights. The results are entertaining, I think...

I Can't Draw Either - Day 2

This is the real reason I don't like spiders...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I Can't Draw Either - Day 1

Too many of my students tell me they can't draw. My resolution this year is to show them I can't draw either, but I still have a ton of fun trying.

So here's my first drawing of the year -- I think it sets the tone perfectly.