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Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

Amazon’s 4-for-3 deal – the math of the thing — BRILLIANT!

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 at 9:00 pm

So my friend David said, “I totally got suckered into the 4-for-3. If you’re gonna get 2, you might as well get 3 to get the free shipping. And if you pay for 3, you might as well get 4-for-3! Well done, Emilie!” Like I planned that? Well, just that first part. The “if you get two you might as well get three and the free shipping… The 4th was Jeff Bezos’s little gift to you and me. And I tell you what – it’s really a deal.

And you may ask yourself, “Do I need 4 copies of Her Majesties Explorer?” If you have a kid in preschool, you do, evidently. A playground mother today says to me, “I got 4 – and I am set for the next 4 birthday parties – whoo hoo!”

I have encouraged several libraries to purchase the books today and / or Friday on AMAZON, as it’s ACTUALLY cheaper and faster to get the 4 books from Amazon with this deal and the free shipping than it is order the same number from me wholesale.

Also, to the price goes up Saturday. It’s a decision we had to make in order to get broader distribution of the book – as in Canada and Europe. BUT! It is a great deal – and those who can get it… BRAVO! YOU’RE SET!

Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/7cbwscm  Shop happy!

Thanks to ALL who have helped us to make SEVERAL bestseller lists on Amazon in the last two days.

Please – if you have a copy ordered – TWEET OR FB about it when it arrives!

Press Release: Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story LAUNCHES to the great placement on Multiple Amazon Bestseller lists

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Contact: Coal City Stories / Coal City Steam

Public Relations –

February 29, 2012

For Immediate Release:

Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story LAUNCHES to the great placement on Multiple Amazon Bestseller lists

Atlanta, GA —  Coal City Stories, publishers of  Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, which is to launch Tuesday February 28th, 2012, the imprints first publication did better than expected in launch day sales rankings at Amazon.com. According to figures provided by the bookseller, HME:aSbs hit #1 on the Hot New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery and Horror chart at mid-day on Tuesday. Other hits include:

  • Peaking at #424 in Books (of the 4 million titles on Amazon, 423 were selling better.)
  • #3  in Books > 4-for-3 Books > Children’s Books > Literature > Science Fiction,
  • #33 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic

Being included in Amazon’s 4-for-3 promotion seemed to be key to the velocity of sales on launch day. On pleased customer said, “I totally got suckered into the 4 for 3. If you’re gonna get 2, you might as well get 3 to get the free shipping. And if you pay for 3, you might as well get 4 for 3! Well done!” The price for the books was also discounted to $9.50 for the book’s launch. Initially, the publishers intended to return the price to $11.95 on Wednesday, but will holding off for one more day.

Amazon Customer Reviews for Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, are also growing in number, and to this point are EXCLUSIVELY 5-stars.

# # #

The roller coaster of Launch Day.

In Uncategorized on February 29, 2012 at 3:46 am

It’s been a wild day – and WOW… We hit a few Amazon lists… It’s amazing what a few hours we had! So, at some point during the day we landed in these rankings:

  • #1 on the Hot New Releases in Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery and Horror
  • #424 in Books  (over all – that’s out of the 4 million titles on Amazon available today.)
  • #3  in Books > 4-for-3 Books > Children’s Books > Literature > Science Fiction, Fantasy, Mystery & Horror > Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
  •  Flat out #15 in all regular children’s books (Theresa wrote to me and said she saw that! I couldn’t find it as the hour had passed, but hawt digitydamn!)
  • #33 in Books > Children’s Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy & Magic

I’m stoked. This is a great thing. Best of all – I got to call Kevin and say, “Guess what? We’re on the bestseller list.” The puzzled stunned-ness on the phone was just a bonus. He called back later to ask what it all meant. To be fair, I wasn’t sure what it all meant either. SO, after watching ALL day and recording the best numbers as well as I could, I have found an interesting article on What Amazon Sales Rankings Mean.

This proves what most of us writers have known all along – most of us can’t give up our day jobs. But, after a wonderful day like today, I can’t complain. Not at all.

Thanks to everyone who bought a book, changed their Facebook photo to the duck, those who tweeted, retweeted and reviewed. Awesome. Just – wow!

Links:

THE BOOK LINK to AMAZON.COM. The book will be available on the 28th – for a special discounted price! http://www.amazon.com/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-bedtime/dp/0984902805/

The Launch Page:  http://www.facebook.com/events/347525985265865/

The Her Majesty’s Explorer Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HerMajestysExplorer

The blog: http://coalcitysteam.wordpress.com/

The Video Book trailer: http://youtu.be/kHb3Wpe3F2o

The Tease Read by Captain Robert of Abney Park:http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2931604900935

Chenda and the Airship Brofman: http://www.amazon.com/Chenda-Airship-Brofman-Emilie-Bush/dp/1449542549

The Gospel According to Verdu : http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Verdu-Book-Brofman/dp/1461026466/

AMAZON UK Kindle link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

AMAZON GERMANY Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.de/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon Italy Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.it/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon France Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.fr/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Press Release: Her Majesty’s Explorer Launches to Rave Reviews

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 12:25 am

For Immediate Release:                                                               February 27, 2012

Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story LAUNCHES Tuesday – to rave reviews.

Blurbs and reviews are rolling in to Coal City Stories for  its first publication Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, which is to launch Tuesday February 28th, 2012.

Atlanta, GA — Praise is rolling in from around the Steampunk community for a first of its kind Steampunk children’s book.  Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story, featuring a bonus story, “Three Cheers for Steamduck”, was written by Steampunk novelist Emilie P. Bush and illustrated by William Kevin Petty. The tale is receiving praise from illustrators, authors, bloggers and publishing organizations inside and out of the Steampunk Community. Here is what some early reviewers are saying:

“The illustrations are adorable!”  ~ Beyond Victoriana Blog

“I did enjoy Steamduck.  A wonderful whimsical story so real you might feel a little seasick. But in a good way.” Jenny ~The Bloggess

“St John Murphy Alexander marches the young reader through the excitement of exploration and duty, and lulls us with the tender familiarity of a comforting bedtime routine. The story is curious and intrepid, yet ready to be tucked in for a good night’s sleep.” ~ Nancy Overbury, Overbury Ink.

“St. John Murphy Alexander, “Her Majesty’s Explorer,” is literature’s most charming mechanical man since L. Frank Baum’s Tin Man.” ~ Jim Barnes Independent Publisher Magazine.

“I just finished reading Her Majesty’s explorer to Chloe (9 years old) and Isabella (just 6). They both loved it, and both wished they could have their very own Steamduck.”  Captain Robert of Abney Park.

“Utterly charming” ~M.K. Hobson, Steampunk Novelist

“This is the perfect childhood book for steampunk parents to introduce their children to the steampunk subculture. I use that term loosely. Steampunk has managed to increasingly wedge its way into popular culture and this book drives that opening wider and opens it to the youngest of readers.” John Iwasz, ComicBooked.com

“My syn­apses have always fired for a bot in uni­form…” ~ S. J. Chambers, co-author of The Steampunk Bible

“A story that is sweet and dreamy-a perfect bedtime story and a great introduction for children to Steampunk.”  ~ Benito, Corral, Betwixt Book Reviews.

“Absolutely charming.  It is the Dr. Seuss of Steampunk, and… I LOVED it.” ~ DJ Doctor Q, The Artifice Club and The Steampunk Chronicle.

Links:

THE BOOK LINK to AMAZON.COM. The book will be available on the 28th – for a special discounted price! http://www.amazon.com/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-bedtime/dp/0984902805/

The Launch Page:  http://www.facebook.com/events/347525985265865/

The Her Majesty’s Explorer Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HerMajestysExplorer

The blog: http://coalcitysteam.wordpress.com/

The Video Book trailer: http://youtu.be/kHb3Wpe3F2o

The Tease Read by Captain Robert of Abney Park: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2931604900935

Chenda and the Airship Brofman: http://www.amazon.com/Chenda-Airship-Brofman-Emilie-Bush/dp/1449542549

The Gospel According to Verdu : http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Verdu-Book-Brofman/dp/1461026466/

AMAZON UK Kindle link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

AMAZON GERMANY Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.de/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon Italy Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.it/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon France Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.fr/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

The Last Day…. We LAUNCH at Dawn!

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2012 at 12:15 am

Tuesday – We Launch.

I’m asking you all to help us.  Kevin and I are hoping to make this book an Amazon Bestseller tomorrow. We think we can do it, with help from our friends and ALL of the Steampunk Community. If you fancy our little mechanical man and his trusty bathtub ducky, show your support. Buy it from Amazon, tweet to your friends, maybe change your Facebook picture to Steamduck, help us get the word out in any way possible. It’s a great story, and if we can generate just a little bit of solid buzz right off the bat, we will be set. Like Mary Poppins said, “Well begun is half done!”

So let’s begin….

THE LINK TO AMAZON:  http://www.amazon.com/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-bedtime/dp/0984902805/

… and Kevin and I thank you.

Feel free to use either of these images on your Facebook page, or as any avitar that is yours to play with:

Thanks for your support

Her Majesty's Explorer - COVER

Here are the links you might want to share:

The Launch Page:  http://www.facebook.com/events/347525985265865/

The Her Majesty’s Explorer Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HerMajestysExplorer

The blog: http://coalcitysteam.wordpress.com/

The Video Book trailer: http://youtu.be/kHb3Wpe3F2o

The Tease Read by Captain Robert of Abney Park: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2931604900935

Chenda and the Airship Brofman: http://www.amazon.com/Chenda-Airship-Brofman-Emilie-Bush/dp/1449542549

The Gospel According to Verdu : http://www.amazon.com/Gospel-According-Verdu-Book-Brofman/dp/1461026466/

AMAZON UK Kindle link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

AMAZON GERMANY Kindle Link: http://www.amazon.de/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon Italy Kindle edition: http://www.amazon.it/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

Amazon France Kindle Edition: http://www.amazon.fr/Her-Majestys-Explorer-Steampunk-ebook/dp/B007AV8LVC/

4 days… 3 days… 2 days until launch… crossing the Rubi-Con.

In Uncategorized on February 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Sometimes, no matter how much you want to, you can’t unsee what you’ve seen. No matter how much you drink, or how much bleach you pour into your brain. Pick you cliche of choice: unring a bell or put the genie back in the bottle.

Whatever your cliche of choice – it all boils down to we have a book, and we let it out in public. And it’s a real thing now…

Saturday, Kevin and I invited the whole world to come to AnachroCon’s hotel lobby and listen to our little story. That was scary – MOSTLY because the grownups outnumbered the kids 15 to 1 (-ish).

The Junior Aeronaughts (better known as my fellow Airship Brownies) turned up to help me welcome the crowd – we did our Jr.A. song to warm up the crowd. The song goes, “Hat, goggles, vest and boots, vest and boots. Hat, goggles, vest and boots, vest and boots. Flying  Junior Aeronaughts are WE. Hat, goggles, vest and boots, vest and boots. ” I’m sure you know the melody.

I started the reading – and as it rolled along, more folks came over to hear the tale. I was pleased that no one ran off screaming. Kevin stayed off to the side, taking it all in. He said something about watching the reading making it all become more real.

And he was right. We’ve crossed the Rubicon – at AnachroCon. The Explorer’s first con. I think it went well.

Wombat's photo of Emilie P. Bush at Anachrocon 2012

5 days to launch – Kevin is in the HIZ-OUSE!

In Uncategorized on February 23, 2012 at 2:20 pm

WHOOT! Kevin’s here in the ATL. That means we will be at AnachroCon TOMORROW! and we will be at the Gwinnett County Writer’s Guild tonight!

Books have arrived, (so many lives are now safe) as have the stickers and book plates and whatnot. We have an appointment with a tabletop of waffle scraps and some scissors to start cutting up the piles of sticker sheets that arrived. It’s a thing. Tedious, but a thing.

Interviews tomorrow and the Men Without Pants Party.

Day five is the doorway to”we can’t stop this ride now… even if we wanted to.” SO, life is good, and it’s all on track!

6-days to LAUNCH! Where I recognize those who have supported my struggle…

In Uncategorized on February 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

People tell me Will Smith said this, but I don’t know for sure. Frankly, it doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that I sure as shootin’ believe it.  And I remember… I remember every little thing as if it happened only yesterday…. (Sing it, Brother MEAT!).

So now, in a moment of calm, the moments before the rush and rage of the upcoming convention, the whirl of what I hope will be the BEST launch of a Steampunk children’s book ever, I want to remember the people who have ALWAYS been in the struggle with me, and especially because they believed in me and my Steampunk writing. You can see the H.M.E. BLURBS down below, and I will remember those who gave a bit of their time to blurb or review…. I will never forget.

But first: Tony, baby. Love you. Trish, my muse of all work. Mom. Dad. Librarians both. Thanks for having STACKS of books and magazines  around. All. Over. The place. William Kevin Petty for having the talent of an artist with the mentality of a soldier. Theresa Curtis – THE BOMB DIGITY and in a hurry, too. YOU got the job done. Bambi and Sam, who take the kids off my hands so I can get some things done. Phil, for thinking MYLAR, not CLUNKER. The Gang at Three Blind Mice – who let me park my butt at the bar and write for hours on end, and expecially to C.J. who had the coffee waiting for me even before I stepped through the door and kept it hot and full. Priceless. Dan Dougherty, I can no longer live without your counsel, especially about being Amazonian; Dan Carroll: same. Our biggest fan – Penelope Dreadfulle. Kev’s mom for catching and pitching the packages. Barry Reese – who STILL does original cataloging. David Tyburg and Alexander Stadler of The Extraordinary Contraptions. Valentine Wolfe. Al Gore for inventing the internet. Broad Universe for being the best decision I ever made as a writer. Kathryn Hinds and Arthur, too. Patti – who came back from the dead. V. Q. Talloolah . Bill-Bill.Fett. SPC. Gretchen. Jah. Diana. OM Grey, Airship Archon. Kevin Steil and Airship Embassy. Captain Robert. Parliament & Wake. The Steampunk societies in Portland, Seattle, New York, Louisiana, Kansas City, Chicago, and throughout the interwebs.  I will never forget.

A special Thanks YOU! to Cindy MacLeod and William, who have ALWAYS given me the feeling that I am Queen of the Steam-geeks from the day they met me. I will never forget.

The eternal backers who have supported me all along: The Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Mississippi families. Christy Seelye-King, Bragg MacMorrichai, Baron Karl, Barbara Barth and the rest of the Gwinnett County Writers Guild, Chris Horne and the Crossroads Writers Conference, Kora, Rachael, Doreen, Aloysius, Christine, Eric, Whisper, Amy, Whitney, Jeri, Darrin, Jessica, Laura, Lynn, Anthony, Roger, Tracy, Mike, Kate, Beth, Jason, Katrina, Bridie, Missy, Hal, Lori, Rhonda, Austin, Pam, Rocky, Zoe, Heather, Mary, Ashley, Neil, Matt, Hugh, Paige, Sarah and so many more that I just don’t have time to type.  I will never forget.

Finally, thanks to those who took the time to review and blurb:

 “The illustrations are adorable!”  ~ Beyond Victoriana Blog

“I did enjoy Steamduck.  A wonderful whimsical story so real you might feel a little seasick. But in a good way.” Jenny ~The Bloggess

“St John Murphy Alexander marches the young reader through the excitement of exploration and duty, and lulls us with the tender familiarity of a comforting bedtime routine. The story is curious and intrepid, yet ready to be tucked in for a good night’s sleep.” ~ Nancy Overbury, Overbury Ink.

“St. John Murphy Alexander, “Her Majesty’s Explorer,” is literature’s most charming mechanical man since L. Frank Baum’s Tin Man.” ~ Jim Barnes Independent Publisher Magazine.

“I just finished reading Her Majesty’s explorer to Chloe (9 years old) and Isabella (just 6). They both loved it, and both wished they could have their very own Steamduck.”  Captain Robert of Abney Park.

“Utterly charming” ~M.K. Hobson, Steampunk Novelist

“This is the perfect childhood book for steampunk parents to introduce their children to the steampunk subculture. I use that term loosely. Steampunk has managed to increasingly wedge its way into popular culture and this book drives that opening wider and opens it to the youngest of readers.” John Iwasz, ComicBooked.com

“My syn­apses have always fired for a bot in uni­form…” ~ S. J. Chambers, co-author of The Steampunk Bible

“Three cheers for Her Majesty’s Explorer!” ~ Leisel Hindmann, Steampunk Blogger

“A story that is sweet and dreamy-a perfect bedtime story and a great introduction for children to Steampunk.”  ~ Benito, Corral, Betwixt Book Reviews.

“Absolutely charming.  It is the Dr. Seuss of Steampunk, and… I LOVED it.” ~ DJ Doctor Q, The Artifice Club and The Steampunk Chronicle.

I will never forget what you all have done for me.

It’s like Tolkein said – and the SCA improved on –  I hear, and shall not forget that which is freely given – Fealty with love….” and maybe you know the rest.

THE LINKS:

The Launch Page:  http://www.facebook.com/events/347525985265865/

The Her Majesty’s Explorer Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/HerMajestysExplorer

The blog:http://coalcitysteam.wordpress.com/

The Video Book trailer: http://youtu.be/kHb3Wpe3F2o

The Tease Read by Captain Robert of Abney Park:http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=2931604900935

7 Days until LAUNCH: What it means…

In Uncategorized on February 21, 2012 at 3:26 am

((Let me start by saying: THIS IS NOT A COMPLAINT. In no way should you read this and miss the fact that I LOVE this aspect of my life. I love writing. I love marketing. I love this book and everyone connected to it. This is just a peek into the CRAZY that is one week before a book launch.))

Her we are 7 days until Launch Day, or as I call it, The Day the Duck RISES! 

But… until then, here’s what it sounds like around my house: “No, sorry, can’t do that right now, I’m getting ready for the launch… No, YOU do the laundry. NO – YOU DO IT. Seriously, I don’t care that you are naked and  ‘I’m only 4-years old.’ Mommy’s busy. And fry up your own breakfast…”
And here’s what it sounds like in my head, “GGGGgGgggggrrrrrrrrrrrr! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! WHERE THE FRACKITY-FRACK-FRACK ARE…. THE… BOOOOOOOOOKS!!!!”

Whereas the number of baskets of laundry at my place is reaching critical mass -in fact, I think the load of reds is starting to rally for equal rights – the number of books in my possession is… ZERO. This is what is known in the warehouse biz as “just in time” stocking. What I call it is maddeningly uncertain. The books are supposed to be delivered on Thursday…. or perhaps FRIDAY! And that’s jsut SOME of the books I ordered – just the first 50 of the hundreds I wanted to have on hand. (These are just MY books – for personal appearances, otherwise known as the ones I bought wholesale. The Amazon folks have ALL the books they need – so no worries there – they are ALREADY set for launch day on Tuesday). Now, arriving on Friday is a bit of a problem, because…

I need “THE FIFTY” for the soft launch at AnachroCon in Atlanta this coming weekend.

soft launch is the release of a product or service to a limited audience. Soft-launching is a method for gathering data on a product’s usage and acceptance in the marketplace, before making it generally available as a hard launch or grand opening. Companies may choose a soft launch to test the viability of a product or to fine tune a product before implementing a larger marketing effort.

Or – in our case – a chance to let our hair down and show off the new book. Mostly in that order.

Why only 50 books are coming: well, rushing heavy things, such as bits of dead trees, is very costly. So, 50 will be rushed here, and the rest should be here shortly thereafter. The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise – as my mother’s people supposedly said (though I never heard it said), The Fifty will be here on time. So, just to cover my bases, I’ve got prayer beads AND hip waders. (I learned to be prepared for all eventualities when I was a Campfire girl.)

What else am I looking for to turn up on my doorstep by delivery truck? ALL the promotional materials and book plates. Stickers, posters and assorted whatnot. It also is supposed to be here this week. The book plates server several purposes. First, they are perfect for autographing and giving out at the convention to the people who are planning on purchasing Her Majesty’s Explorer on line next LAUNCH DAY – where the book will be discounted from the REGULAR Amazon (and convention price) of $11.95.  Secondly, it’s a bit of an insurance policy… in the event that the books are delayed for some reason. Perish the thought. No, don’t even think it. Seriously. Seeing me in a snit is in no way attractive, and I about guarntee that I will be snit-tastic all over somebody at the printing house come noon on Friday if I don’t have books. (Hell hath no fury like a bookless author. I will give new meaning to death by a thousand paper-cuts.)

S0, now that the cat is out of the bag about AnachroCon, wouldn’t you like to know what Kevin and I will be doing? Well, the kids don’t really know that I will be hosting the Men Without Pants Party Friday night. BUT, children ARE welcome to come on over to the hotel lobby and join in Story Time with Miss Emmy and Captain Kev! Saturday at 11:30. We will be doing the first EVER live reading of Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk bedtime story. I’ve even made goggles for my doll. Like I didn’t have enough planned this week – I made doll goggles? (Lost. My. Mind! on that one. BUT once I got the drill out, then things went pretty quick, I guess.) AnachroCon is always one of my favorite conventions every year. This one will be EXTRA special because of the first time ever reading! That, and there aren’t going to be many readings / conventions where Kevin and I appear together. Not anytime soon, as we are going to be several time-zones apart for the foreseeable future. SO – if you want BOTH Kevin and me to autograph the book, and you know you do, a book plate may be the best way to get both signatures.

All this is dependent on what Brown can do for ME this week…

Yes, this is a week that is whipping by faster than it needs to, a week where I have to pack for a convention, arrange for blogs, blurbs, interviews, editorial meetings, writer’s guild, and arriving illustrators. Oh, and laundry. I need to get that bleach out of the hands of  the pre-schooler…

Until tomorrow…

(So, are the kids gone now….? Good.)

(OK – this comic I stumbled on,  it combined countdown days 8 and 7  BEAUTIFULLY! Not rated G – not by a longshot.)

8 day to LAUNCH! Why Animal Butts are Hilarious by W.K.P.

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Kevin is taking over the blog today, because I can’t be trusted not to giggle through the whole thing. MY dirty little secret (that ain’t so secret, as it turns out) is that I love a good toot! joke. OR a joke that has anything to do with the region that produces toots! That scene in Blazing Saddles… the one with the cowboys having a dinner of beans? The height of cinema in my opinion. So, Kevin explains, so I don’t break a rib laughing. So, Kev: Tell us about the zebra-camel and the long tailed rabbits…

After Emilie and I had a pretty clear understanding of what each of us wanted from the project I set out to storyboard the pages.  Not really having any idea if this was standard procedure for most illustrators, it seemed smart to give Emilie a rough idea of the pages so she could scribble down observations and notes while I filled in details.  It worked out that way, more or less.

TEE! HEE! HEE!

I got the story boards from Kev, and I said, "I love the way you drew the Zebra Camel." and he replied, "Yea, animal butts are HILARIOUS." True said...

We’d both decided that the scenes where Murphy gets his act together were pretty cut and dried, but a few shots of our explorer, well, exploring were called for. I attempted to reflect that Murphy was in an almost familiar landscape, so that the animals he encountered would be familiar but slightly weird to show that he was maybe on another planet but still unthreatening to our little readers.  I also tried out a little humor, and for that my guiding stars were my nephew Nathan and my niece Katie.

Suffice it to say that high brow humor doesn’t necessarily set the table upon a roar in that company.  So when I placed the perspective on one animal from shall we say, the rear quarter, it was as much to enable me to keep Murphy’s face in the frame as anything else. I sold it to Em by adding that kids find such things funny.  Apparently writers do as well….

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