Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Free books for your library!

On my Facebook page, I asked friends and followers to give me the name and address of their local library so that I could send them a copy of the book. I really wanted to support local libraries, and I thought just flat-out asking would be a good idea. Turns out, people know the names of their libraries, but don't automatically go the extra distance to look up their library's contact information, so trying to get info in the comment section of a Facebook post isn't such a good idea.

To get started, I decided I should contact all the libraries first, just to make sure they actually wanted me to send them a copy of the book. (I wanted to be nice about it, you see.) But I didn't ask the Facebook people to give me their libraries' contact information, so I had to look all of that stuff up...

On Web sites that I had to search for, because I didn't tell the Facebook people that they had to give me their libraries' Web addresses either. But libraries pretty much have Web sites these days, and some of them even include a handy-dandy "Ask a Librarian" page where you can send a question to them without ever having to open your email program. So that part worked out pretty well.

While I was on the library sites, I also had to look up (and sometimes dig around, if you can believe that) for their physical mailing addresses. I kind of needed that to be able to send the books. Go figure.

But this trying-to-find-all-these-libraries'-contact-information crap is a lot more time-consuming than you might think because not all libraries have an "Ask a Librarian" page. I'm also finding out not all libraries even have contact email addresses, and two emails I sent out have already been returned as undeliverable. And from the replies I'm getting back from the libraries who did have contact information on their sites and who did take the time to reply to my request, it's looking like some of the libraries want to have a say in what they will accept for display on their shelves.

As if I'd send them something twisted or something.


I'm thinking it's pretty important to ask before I send, and more importantly than that, I'm thinking I can't take all this time looking up everybody's contact information. So I've built a "Library Donation" page on the Hairy Eyeballs Press Web site with a form for anybody who wants me to send their library a book. I'm still taking requests as long as the information I need is filled out on the form.

Here's the form's URL:

I appreciate your enthusiasm about the book and your library, and I'm pretty sure your library appreciates your enthusiasm as well. So thanks for your support, and make your own donation today! We want them to stick around for a long, long time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Five-Star Amazon Reviews!

The book has received some excellent reviews on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble, along with some five-star ratings! I'm not sure what these people are on, but I'm hoping some more people find it.

Here's one that I hope sums it all up:
"Excellent sick little work of art"
Yeah. That's what I'm talking about.

But the book needs more. Lots more. We need to get the word out and loudly. More reviews make all the reviewers more legitimate, so if you would, please take the time to donate to the discussion.

Operators are standing by.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Getting Dirty From Newspaper Print

I did an interview a couple of weeks ago with a local newspaper about the Twisted book and how I funded it through Kickstarter. They took some pictures of me along with some of the Kickstarter rewards a few days after the interview. The article printed just this past Monday. Here's the online version, mercifully minus the horrid photo of me that accompanied the print version:

Sometimes when I do these things I have trouble dealing with misquotes and misinformation, but this one is pretty much on the money. The quotes in the article that Mike Arnzen supposedly said totally melt my brain though. I understand he was my fiction writing professor—and everything I know about writing fiction I learned from him, and everything I've read since then just reaffirms what he taught me—but getting a pat on the back from a mentor is incredibly satisfying.

When I set something that might be a little on the "out there" side free to roam in the public, it's easy to get nervous about its safety. I worry about whether I've pushed anything too far, whether people will get it, whether it will be over everybody's head. But so far things are going well. It looks like Dr. A totally gets it, but he's the one who taught me how to show (my dark side) without telling. I know a couple twenty-somethings who get it, but they've lived with me for years, and how they turned out is probably my fault. I'll apologize to them later. But on top of that, I've also gotten a couple of nice comments on the Kickstarter page and on my personal Facebook page, so I'm starting to think everything's oakey dokey.

Along those same lines, the book got its first review on Amazon, and it's a five-star! Thanks, tonimarie77! I totally owe you dinner and a movie for that one.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The hard cover books are in!

After a few hiccups in the printing process (mostly on my part), I've finally been able to get the correct files uploaded and accepted at the printer! I ordered a bunch, and the hard cover shipment showed up yesterday. They look fantastic.

A couple of days ago the book appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but without all the information necessary. Amazon doesn't have the images and Barnes & Noble doesn't have a description. So yesterday I finished putting together the file to upload for Amazon's "Search Inside", and that should be up and running in about a week. I'm not sure how to get into the B&N site as a publisher, so that will be added to my to-do list.

I've also noticed the hard cover and paperback versions of the book aren't listed on each other's pages as a different format that would be available, and I'm not sure who I would see about making that happen. Another to-do. And on top of that, I need to get these puppies available through the Hairy Eyeballs site. More to-do.

But first up, I've got Kickstarter rewards to ship out. I had hoped to get the books to backers by Halloween, but unfortunately that's not going to happen. Lots of signing and packing and addressing to do over the next few days, but totally, totally worth it.

So much to do I should probably skip sleeping for a while.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

We've hit a few snags with the printer. Some mistakes (on my part), some computer glitches (on their part), some wailing and nashing of teeth (all the way around).

Good news first: The hard cover format has been proofed and accepted (after first being rejected and re-uploaded), and an initial order has been placed for 250 copies to be sent to me. I'll sign and ship out copies to Kickstarter backers as soon as I can get them packaged and ready to go.

50% gray news next: The paperback format has been proofed and rejected. I re-uploaded files last evening, but I'm not sure how soon those will be O.K.'d by the printer. Once the printer has accepted the files, I'll place another order for (probably) another 250 copies, and I'll sign and ship those out to Kickstarter backers ASAP.

Bad news last: Kickstarter backers won't receive their copies by Halloween as I had hoped, but—

Great news: To make up for not getting the physical books out by Halloween, I've uploaded the entire book to Issuu where you can read it online for free! It will only be available through Halloween, so make sure you take a look while it's up.

Here's the link:

Happy reading!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Hard Cover proof

The Twisted hard cover is totally uploaded and print-ready! I uploaded the files for both the cover and the interior on Tuesday, and the printer has already sent me an email to tell me that it's ready to go. You efficient printers, you.

Looks like the next step will be to wait for UPS to deliver my proof copy so I can proof it. Let the thumb-twiddling begin!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New story sample

Here's another story from the Twisted: Tales to Rot Your Brain Vol. 1 book. It's the very first story in the book and was instigated by a writing prompt from Mike Arnzen ( that suggested I "depict an allergy gone haywire." So I did.

Dr. A. is quite the instigator. I've elaborated a little about his role on the book's "About" page here.

Two more days to go on the Kickstarter project! Thanks again to everybody who is helping make this happen!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hard back cover is finished

When I decided to print a hard cover version of the book, I figured I needed to do it right. I didn't want something that looked cheap. I think any book with the word "Rot" in the title deserves something classy, right?

So the hard cover books will be bound in gray cloth with the book title stamped in gold foil on the spine. They will be wrapped in a full-color dust jacket, and I've attached the jacket image above.

Three more days to pledge on the Twisted Kickstarter project!

I'm getting a little psyched.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The bookmarks are in (and they're beautiful)!

Got the bookmarks back from the printer, and they turned out great. They are printed on recycled, 100lb cover stock with a matte finish. The image attached will give you an idea of how they look. (Pay no attention to that messy, messy desk...)

I originally promised one physical bookmark to everyone who pledged $25 or more on the Twisted Kickstarter project, but I so lied. How about one of each? Can't wait to send them out.

Also, anybody who pledges up to $25 will be able to download pdfs of all three.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Paperback cover finished

I've finished the design for the cover of the paperback version of the book, and here she is:

The white rectangle on the back will be the space for the ISBN, UPC code and the price. The QR code should take you to the Hairy Eyeballs site. (Notice I say, "should." Until I see that puppy working with my own eyes, I'm counting on the rest of you smart phone users to do the testing for me.)

Only seven days left on the Kickstarter project! Everything comes to a head next week (Saturday, Sept. 17 at 10 am). But right now I still need $468 to hit the new target goal that will give everybody who pledges over $25 a copy of the sketchbooklet of sketches from the book. (See the previous blog post for more info.) I love the idea, and I really, really want to send out these sketchbooklets!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sketchbooklets all around!

With the overwhelming response the book project has been getting on Kickstarter, I'm thinking we can do even more. I would be able to list the book through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. as well as keep the book's domain ( and hosting up for an extra five years if we raise the funding goal a bit. But this doesn't mean the project won't be funded if this new goal isn't reached! We've already reached it, and I thank every one of you lovely backers quite sincerely.

I've raised the new funding goal to $2,950, so if the project reaches this new goal before September 17 (or on the 17th, as long as it's before 10 am!), everyone who pledges $25 or more will receive a limited edition physical copy of all the sketches from the book, in booklet form. Limited edition meaning, the booklets will be signed and numbered, and only available to backers of this Kickstarter project. The total number printed will be the total number of backers who pledge $25 or more. Anyone who pledges up to $25 will be able to download their copy of the booklet as a pdf.

When I sketch, I usually draw in pieces and then assemble a final composition in Photoshop. So I'm thinking the sketchbooklet will include not only the direct scans from my sketchbooks, but also the final sketches as they were reassembled in Photoshop. The image attached above is a tentative version of a two-page spread from the booklet.

The countdown is on! Only eight more days to go!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bookmark designs for Kickstarter

I designed a few bookmarks for backers of my Kickstarter project, and the general consensus was leaning toward the first two pictured here. I added the third design just because I think you're cute. So that means anybody who backs this book project will receive all three of these designs, either physical or virtual, depending on your level of pledge. The designs are at the printer as we speak!

If the funding level reaches $2,950, I'll throw in a sketchbooklet of all the images from the book to anyone who pledges $25 or more. I'm looking to keep the book listed on Amazon and Barnes & Noble (among others) for another five years as well as keep the book's Web site up and running during that period, and the new funding level will enable both of those things to happen.

Next up: Print designs...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Going green: Putting me money where me mouth is

Probably the thing that gets me aggravated and motivated to act is when people willingly destroy the environment. I mean, c'mon, it's the only one we have. So the one thing I wanted to strive for with the production of this book—and Hairy Eyeballs Press in general—was to be as sustainable as I possibly could.

I will be using Lightning Source to print the books and their environmentally-friendly print-on-demand model. They have received Chain of Custody certifications by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC®), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™). Here are some frequently asked questions about their Chain of Custody certifications.

Lightning Source also supports compliance with the Lacey Act, a conservation law prohibiting illegally sourced wildlife, fish and plants, including paper and paper products. Here is Lightning Source's statement about their supporting the act.

Of course, there's always more I can do, so searching for new sustainability practices will be an ongoing commitment.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Twisted Project on Kickstarter

I've decided to launch the book as a project over on Kickstarter, and today is "Day 1" of the 45 days they're giving me to reach my goal. I created an animation for the trailer which also doubled as the project video (see below). It stars "Doodles", an illustration from the book.

You can leave a comment on Kickstarter if you like, and let me know what you think!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Test the new Hairy Eyeballs QR Code

I was messing around with a QR Code generator today, and it gave me this for the Hairy Eyeballs Web site (

Pretty cool, huh? I don't have a smart phone that can read these things, so I'm hoping somebody who does can try it and tell me if this thing actually works.

But it still looks cool.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hairy Eyeballs Press! No! I'm not kidding!

I'm mulling around some considerations and thoughts and decisions, as writers tend to do and, although I can't reveal some of the considerations and thoughts and decisions here, I can reveal a few.

First off, I have a new logo I'd like to share without comment:

Second off, I have a new Web site that only has a domain name at this point, but I'm going to keep it to myself until it actually has some content. Just know that it's getting thought about wildly.

And third off, as the "First off" and title of this post may have given away, I'm making plans, but I won't be able to share them officially for a couple of months.

So right now, just consider yourself sort of in the noose — I mean loop. Loop. Did I say noose? I meant loop.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Ax Man second go-round

So I finished sketching the background idea I had for Robot (I'll post the final version with the background when it happens), and decided to draw everything in layers; Robot first, then the background by itself. That way I can control the light and blur of the background separately, and I'll also be able to move it around behind Robot to a spot where it doesn't interfere with the foreground.

Here's Robot pre-tattooing:

Here's the original sketch.

Monday, January 31, 2011

You Know What Else Children Don't Know?

This story started with the writing prompt:
"You know what else children don't know?"
which seemed a likely candidate to be its title. So it is. Not sure where the prompt originated, but consider this my "Thank you, you twisted writer's prompt person, you" to the twisted writer's prompt person who thought that up.

You can click on the image to see the whole thing full screen biggie-sized.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Brainy pumpkin pie

Here's the finished version of the pumpkin pie sketch I posted last month. I'd like to play a little more with the steam wafting in the air, but the problem I'm running into is creating steam, not smoke. It may stay as-is, don't know yet. It all depends on how much it really wants to change.

I'll see what it says.

In the meantime, do you remember the classic throwing-up pumpkin?

Yeah. I think a lot of people do.

And have you ever seen Ray Villafane's work? Just amazing.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Ax Man Cometh

I originally sketched this little guy one day at work. I thought he was cute.The first version (at the top) was pretty simple, just Robot and his custom-designed ax. I liked him, and I wanted to include him in the book somehow, but he just wasn't fitting in. Maybe a little too cute.

So I spruced him up a little. Now he's happy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nightmare clown

O.K. I may have gone a little over this time. (Hee hee.) I needed this one scary and creepy, and I think it turned out pretty close. I'm not going to tell you the story this one goes with because it happens to be the punch line, and it would totally ruin the page turn if you already knew.

All I'm saying.

If clowns give you the creeps

I'm working on an illustration for a twisted little story for the book. (Wait, they're all twisted, aren't they. Sorry.) Here he is on my drawing desk.

The drawing on the left is the sketch I'm working from, and the one on the right is the final version in progress.