Archive for January, 2013

A book about toys (for the kid in you)

January 22, 2013

w7397Who says toys are just for the kids?

Designer and illustrator Aled Lewis sure doesn’t think so. His new book Toy Confidential is a celebration of the magic and wonder of toys (with a large dose of humor thrown in the mix). Have you ever imagined a showdown between a dinosaur and a cowboy? Or what about an Ewok sitting down to a trashcan dinner with a family of raccoons? Anything’s possible in the world of toys. And that’s what makes this book so much fun.

 I had the pleasure of working as an editor for this book and highly recommend it as an imaginative gift or a nostalgic reminder that there’s still kid inside each of us.

Spam poetry

January 15, 2013

A while back my spam filter at the day job didn’t work very well. And it was kind of awesome. I started writing these goofy poems using the headlines of spam emails.

Well, my spam filter is at it again. So this morning I came up with this poem, which I’ve titled “Rebound”:


Continuous moments of intimate joy,
Where do missing things go when they just disappear?
A kiss to you, my new friend.
Love and terror…
A potent mix.

Hobbit book is a hit

January 7, 2013

hobbitI just got some news that The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook is currently Writer’s Digest’s bestselling book. Of course, a book written to tie into the blockbuster Tolkien movie is going to get some love, but still… I like to think the book’s success is in part due to some good writing.

The book was written by Peter Archer, Jeff Gerke, and myself with illustrations by Ben Patrick. Each author brought some fun things to their chapters (and Ben’s illustrations are hilarious). A great group of guys to work with.

If you’re curious, I wrote the chapters on hobbit etiquette, a section on self defense, the interview with the dragon, the introduction and the glossary.

Could there be a followup book? Hmmm. Maybe.

A chapter opener from "The Unofficial Hobbit Hanbook"

A chapter opener from “The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook”

Books I worked on in 2012

January 7, 2013

It’s a new year and I’m refocusing my efforts on my blogging. Last year got a little spotty as I had some big things going on (including a new baby).

But I’m looking at my writing and editing and taking stock of everything. So to kick things off, I thought I’d talk about some of the latest projects I’ve worked on. And then hopefully I’ll be better about posting from this starting point.

This past year I worked on a lot of different kinds of books as I started working for HOW Books (a graphic design imprint) having previously worked for Writer’s Digest Books. So it’s been a big shift in subject material. It’s been great to be exposed to different kinds of writing and to work on books that are visually oriented in addition to the writing itself.

NovelSSOne of the of Writer’s Digest projects that I finished up last year before moving to HOW was the 2013 edition of The Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. It was exciting to finish up my work with the fantastic WD brand working on one of their signature books. The latest edition includes some great stuff: an interview with Christopher Golden, author of the Secret Journeys of Jack London series, Baltimore, or the Steadfast Tin Soldier and the Vampire, and many others; an interview with science-fiction author Alan Dean Foster; and other great stuff.

Another book I worked on as a co-author for WD (along with Peter Archer and Jeff Gerke) was The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook, which is a fun book inspired by the new Hobbit movie that offers a sort of “what would a hobbit do” approach to everyday advice. hobbit

On the HOW side of things I had the pleasure of working on Success by Design by David Sherwin, a great guide to design processes and running a graphic design business; Toy Confidential by Aled Lewis, a fun and irreverent romp through the world of toys; The Web Designer’s Idea Book Volume 3 by Patrick McNeil, a compendium of the best examples of web design work in recent years, and An Illustrated Journey, by Danny Gregory (due in Feb), a collection of essays from illustrators and artists about the art of keeping travel sketchbooks.

It’s been a great year. I’ve worked on a lot of great projects and have worked with some fantastic authors. I’m looking forward to an exciting 2013. (And hopefully I’ll be a little better about blogging, this year). Onward.