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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Book Promotion, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Captain Kidd’s ice bucket challenge

We’re still celebrating the release of P is for Pirate and the countdown to Talk Like A Pirate Day (September 19th).

Today I’ve got sketches and a few work-in-progress photos of Captain William Kidd. Kidd wasn’t a particularly good pirate—as Eve Bunting says: “Captain William Kidd spilled less blood and captured less booty than any other well-known pirate of his time”. Apparently he didn’t get along well with his crew. Our shot of Kidd shows the scene where he infamously brained the ship’s gunner with a bucket.

You’ll notice in the color sketch and early work on the painting the ship’s woodwork is a mustardy yellow. Once I was into the painting I found it too cheerful a color—it didn’t help convey the mood of the action at all. So I changed it to gray. Much better!

sketch color sketch early progress on the painting IMGP1620 IMGP1621 final painting

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2. Edward Teach

As a follow-up to my last post about Queen Anne’s Revenge, here is the man himself—the terrible Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach. I show him in close-up so you can see the slow-match fuses he used to weave into his whiskers and set alight before attacking a ship. You can find him in P is for Pirate, now available in bookstores—or drop me a line in the comments for an autographed copy.

Pirate captains were elected by their crews and could be voted out. To keep his crew in line, Blackbeard constantly showed himself to be more fierce, more outrageous than anyone else on board. Seated with his rogues during dinner, Blackbeard fired a pistol underneath the table and wounded one of the crew, just to remind them who he was.

Blackbeard had to be mindful of his crew’s appetite for liquor—for rum, an ardent spirit distilled from molasses. Without rum, a crew would mutiny, as this excerpt from Blackbeard’s log attests:

‘Such a Day, Rum all out: – Our Company somewhat sober: – A Damned Confusion amongst us! – Rogues a plotting; – great Talk of Separation. – So I looked sharp for a Prize; – such a Day took one, with a great deal of Liquor on Board, so kept the Company hot, damned hot, then all Things went well again.’

thumbnail sketch tight sketch color sketch IMGP1670 IMGP1671 IMGP1672 IMGP1673 IMGP1676 IMGP1676 IMGP1677 Teach

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3. R is for Revenge

Queen Anne’s Revenge, that is. Queen Anne’s Revenge is the name of Blackbeard Teach’s flagship—though I have to admit I don’t know why he chose that name. Queen Anne ruled Great Britain & Ireland while Blackbeard was alive, so maybe he considered himself to be a privateer on behalf of the Crown? Was he not happy with the War of the Spanish Succession? I’d like it if, in the comments, someone could offer a better reason behind Teach’s name for his ship. Writers Alexander Pope, Jonathan Swift & pirate aficionado Daniel Defoe flourished under Queen Anne, so maybe her reign really was culture’s balmiest day—but why did she need to be avenged?

Anyway, he only captained Queen Anne’s Revenge for 3 years before she sunk off North Carolina. And so I had the wonderful opportunity to paint a sunken pirate ship for Eve Bunting’s new book, P is for Pirate. It was also a chance to pay tribute to fantastic illustrator Lloyd K. Townsend. When I say ‘pay tribute to’, of course I mean ‘steal shamelessly from’. I’ve admired Townsend since I was a wee lad, seeing his paintings in National Geographic. One in particular, from 1979, shows the sunken Spanish treasure ship Tolosa. This was my—cough—inspiration for R is for Revenge. Hey, at least I turned the ship around to face the other way!

Herewith, work in progress:

Townsend's painting from National Geographic December 1979 thumbnail sketch rough tight sketch color sketch painting in progress… IMGP1693 IMGP1694 IMGP1695 IMGP1696 IMGP1697 IMGP1698 IMGP1699 IMGP1700 IMGP1701 IMGP1702 IMGP1703 IMGP1704 IMGP1705 IMGP1706 finished painting

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4. Q is for Queen

Here is one of my favorites from P is for Pirate, the notorious Grace O’Malley—Irish queen & pirate captain. She was a contemporary of Queen Elizabeth I and reportedly had an interview with Gloriana (who, after all, had a soft spot for buccaneers).

Queen Grace has been the subject of songs, at least one play and even a musical. So far as I know the swashbuckling Maureen O’Hara never played her in a movie, but what perfect casting that would have been!

I show Queen Grace in an Errol Flynn pose with her ruffians behind her. In the sketch I thoughtlessly drew a baroque-looking ship like we’re used to seeing from piracy’s golden age. In the final painting I used the Mayflower—much closer in style to a ship from Queen Grace’s time—as reference. Same deal with the costumes: they’re Elizabethan. I first drew her in men’s clothes but thought she looks much cuter in a dress.

Thumbnail sketch Errol Flynn in Captain Blood Tight sketch—in a man's costume In a dress with skirts hiked up for ease of movement Color sketch IMGP1534 IMGP1535 IMGP1622 IMGP1623 IMGP1624 IMGP1625 IMGP1626 IMGP1627 IMGP1628 IMGP1629 IMGP1630 IMGP1632 IMGP1633 IMGP1634 IMGP1635 IMGP1636 Queen

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5. A is for Articles

Here is your Monday dose of P is for Pirate—available in bookstores everywhere by Eve Bunting from Sleeping Bear Press.

The Articles were the pirates’ ethical guidelines which set out rules for behavior & working conditions aboard ship. New crew members signed them before becoming part of the ship’s company. Did you know that the pirate captain was elected—and could be voted out if he didn’t meet the crew’s expectations?

Pirates who couldn’t read or write made an X at the bottom of the contract and a clerk would write next to it, “John Manders (or whatever the sailor’s name was), his mark.”

sketch color sketch Painting in progress… IMGP1532 IMGP1533 IMGP1610 IMGP1611 IMGP1612 IMGP1613 IMGP1614 IMGP1615 IMGP1616 IMGP1617 IMGP1618

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6. Ahoy, ye sea dogs!

l_9781585368150_fcP is for Pirate is here!

As long-time readers know, the subject of pirates is a favorite of mine. You can imagine how happy I was when Sleeping Bear Press asked me to illustrate Eve Bunting’s latest, P is for Pirate. 

Here’s how the jacket art came together. Some rough sketches, a tight sketch based on the approved rough, the painting in progress. I lost something in the tight sketch—the pirate doesn’t have the same aggressiveness & oomph—so I went back to the rough sketch to paint from. That’s my dear old African Grey, Sherman, sitting on his shoulder. How I miss him! I like this low-key palette, mostly blacks, greys and red. The talented Felicia Macheske was my art director on this project. I will show more images throughout the month.

piratecover.tn.A179 piratecover.tn.B181 piratecover.tn.C180 piratecover.sk IMGP1753 IMGP1754 IMGP1755 IMGP1756 IMGP1757 I'm using a palette knife to scrape red paint over the black background. IMGP1759 IMGP1760 IMGP1761 IMGP1762 IMGP1763 IMGP1764 IMGP1765 IMGP1766 IMGP1767

3 Comments on Ahoy, ye sea dogs!, last added: 8/8/2014
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7. Free novelties at Book Signing event!

So, what would you like FREE from Granny Grimthorpe’s cauldron? Come along to the book signing for ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’ at Waterstones, Wigan on Saturday 22nd March from 12 to 3pm and take your pick!

Granny's Cauldron

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8. The Big Bang Query

In March 2013, during the Q&A after an educators conference in Georgia, a huge fan of The Big Bang Theory suggested I send a copy of each book to the show. 


Though I don’t watch it (heresy!), I know it regularly references superheroes. I didnt see what the producers might do with my books...yet this audience member kept kindly suggesting (almost insisting), and eventually I was convinced.

What did I want from this? Well, this woman seemed to think the true stories in these books could inspire a storyline on the show. I felt that is probably unlikely, but I am a never-hurts-to-try guy. In any case, I
d be thrilled if either or both could be added to the set, even if for just a scene. I believe they are the kinds of books the characters would own...


On Facebook, I asked if anyone in my network has a connection to anyone connected to the show, and within minutes, I heard from a friend who is friends with Kaley Cuoco’s makeup artist. She happened to be supremely nice, and offered to pass along my books, so I sent them to her. Every time I followed up, she was equally nice and complimentary.

As of now, nothing has come of it. But you can’t predict a big bang…

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9. Irish Jack the Cat

What a wonderful little video clip! If you’ve read Catherine Friend’s The Perfect Nest, you’ll enjoy watching this Perfect Nest in Ireland

babies.model jack.model


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10. Launching a Book in a Digital Age: A Call for Tips and Tricks

In the age of shrinking in-house publicity budgets, how might a writer or illustrator use social media to launch a book? I'll be presenting a session called "Launching a Book in a Digital Age" at the forthcoming New England Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 2014 Conference, and I need your input.

What are some creative ideas and strategies that have worked for you or for others in launching a new book? Do you have practical tips on how to use tools like blogs, twitter, Facebook, etc. to draw attention to a title and make it stand out from the crowd? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below or tweet them with the hashtag #booklaunchtips.

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11. Great Kindle Offer!

Click here to go to site. Only 99p for a few days!

Caution - cover FINAL

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12. Book Signing Event!

Book signing event at Waterstones, Tower Shopping Centre, Bank Hey St, Blackpool on Saturday 21st June from 1 to 3pm! Come along for a chat with me and maybe buy a signed copy of my children’s humorous fantasy book, ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’. You can also meet the witch ‘Granny Grimthorpe’ and have your photograph taken with her if you like! ‘Granny’ is one of the characters from my book, and she will be offering the kids free novelties from her cauldron. It will be a fun day out. Don’t miss it!

Caution - cover FINAL

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13. Waterstones Event!

Great to see Waterstones advertising my next book signing on their website! ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’ at Waterstones Blackpool on Saturday 21st June 2014!

Click here to see website promotion.

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14. Interview with Altblackpool!

My book ‘Caution: Witch in Progress’ and my book signing event in Blackpool on Saturday 21st June from 1pm to 3pm has been promoted today by an interview with Altblackpool!

Click here to read interview.

Book Jacket

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15. Great Book Signing Event

Great book signing event at Waterstones, Blackpool. Back on 20th Sept!

Great book signing event at Waterstones, Blackpool. Back on 20th Sept!

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16. Get $75 OFF Book Promotion & Publicity Boot Camp!

Get $75 OFF registration for MediabistroEDU’s brand new online boot camp, Book Promotion & Publicity Boot Camp with code SUN75! Hurry, this boot camp starts on July 10!

In this intensive boot camp starting July 10, you will learn the publicity skills needed to ensure a successful book launch using various promotional techniques. You will hear from publishing and public relation experts who will teach you step-by-step how to successfully launch your book campaign including how to create a social media kit, use social media to build your audience, interact with fans and other authors on panels, start your own email marketing newsletter and more! View the full agenda here.

Whether you’re an author who’s already working with a big publisher or are self-published, this interactive boot camp will teach you the best methods to launch a successful publicity campaign for your book. Hurry and register before July 7 to get $75 OFF with promo code SUN75. Register now!

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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17. Out Soon On Kindle!

Final editing underway then ‘Unlucky For Some’ will be released on Kindle. Here you will find 13 short, macabre, Twist in the Tale stories better read with the light on, and not alone. You have been warned. This book is definitely NOT for children. Watch this space…

Unlucky For Some_Final

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18. Wild Things

Wild Things! is a new book coming out about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ stories of writing and illustrating picture books.

I contributed a story about Prancing, Dancing Lily—the cow who loved to dance—that didn’t make the cut for the book. However, you can read it on the book’s website here.

 


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19. War Rocket Ajax podcast: Bill Finger lovefest

No Bob Kane defenders here!


Thanks for having me on, Chris (@theisb)!

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20. A nice review of Finnegan & Fox

In an article about introducing kids to careers. Click here and scroll down a little.


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21. Get ‘em while they’re hot

Amazon is running a special on kids’ book throughout September—all under ten bucks. Among them is Jack and the Giant Barbecue. What a sweet deal!

jack.1415


0 Comments on Get ‘em while they’re hot as of 9/3/2013 10:44:00 AM
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22. Feature Friday by Alesha L. Escobar: Caution:Witch in Progress

I didn’t get into reading fantasy literature until a bit later in life, but something tells me that as a kid with a voracious appetite for books, I would’ve loved to have picked up Lynne North’s Caution: Witch in Progress. I’m very delighted to feature this book to you all, so take a peek and check out Ms. North’s work!

Genre

Children’s Fantasy, humor

Book Description

Gertie Grimthorpe is born into a society of witches and grows up in Vile Vale, but there is something very wrong with her…

She is beautiful and couldn’t be nasty if she tried. When she finds out that she is to attend a private academy for magical children, Gertie hopes to find her witchy way in the world. With a moat monster suffering from stomach ache, a short-sighted owl familiar and mishaps galore, Gertie’s adventures are hilarious and heartwarming.

Join Gertie as she struggles with growing up (and longing to grow her first wart), learning magic and working out how to deal with a grumpy enchanted umbrella, named Bat.

“What a wonderful read this book is! Fun and laughter from beginning to end. Are we getting anymore ‘Gertie’ books? Can’t wait!” – Amazon Review

Caution - cover FINAL

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23. An award for Finnegan!

m_9781585367849Finnegan and Fox: The Ten Foot Cop has been selected by the Creative Child Awards committee (consisting of moms and educators) for a 2013 SEAL OF EXCELLENCE AWARD in the Kids Storybooks category!


5 Comments on An award for Finnegan!, last added: 10/9/2013
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24. Caution: Witch in Progress-Award Winner!

We did it! Thank you so much to each and every one of you who voted!

Book Awards Winner February14

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25. Batman doll + giant typewriter = giant conversation piece

One of the things that Bill Finger, star of Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman, was known for was including larger-than-life everyday objects in his scripts.

At BookExpo America 2010, I was thrilled to see a 10x10 foot typewriter in the booth of Abrams Books (to promote the book Monumental: The Reimagined World of Kevin O’Callaghan):



I contacted the Kevin, hoping there would be an opportunity to borrow/rent his titanic typewriter for a Bill the Boy Wonder promotional event in New York. While oversized cool, the typewriter alone would not be enough.

We’d need a Batman as well. And I knew just the one:



the Batman of the 2009 Retro-Action line of 8-inch dolls
inspired by the Mego dolls of the 1970s…AKA 68% of my childhood 

I didn’t hear back, and no such event materialized, but the vision persists in my mind.

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