Sunday, December 19, 2010


Recently I received a mailing from A. Bitterman at Reading Reptile in Kansas City, MO. The people of KC already know that Reading Reptile is the greatest kids' book store in town, if not in all of these United States. But they may not know that it is also the world's largest repository of genetic material culled from authors and illustrators.

The mailer contained a pair of tweezers, nail clippers, two cotton swabs, a collection dish, a SASE, and a letter which I excerpt here:
It is our intent to become the preeminent DNA bank for the children's book industry. Students of the art will now be able to study not only the work of the great masters, but their genetic make up as well. In this way, aspiring writers might determine whether or not they have "the right stuff" to make it in this competitive, and oftentimes unforgiving, profession, before they inflict their misapprehensions on an unsuspecting public.

Your samples will not, under any circumstances, be used in government research, or for cloning purposes, without your expressed permission in writing.
I'm going to go ahead and give you that permission, Bitterman. I can't imagine what could possibly go wrong.

The letter also details the extraction procedure, which includes tweezing 2-5 hairs (with roots) from any part of my body (I chose head), paring at least 4 nail clippings from my fingers and/or toes (I chose toes), and using the cotton swabs to collect saliva from the inner cheek of my choosing (I chose face).

Then I packaged up my samples for their return back to Reading Reptile.

Anyone who visits my samples might drop me a line to let me know how they're doing. And if anyone in the greater Kansas City area happens to notice a lot of new residents who look like me at various ages, please encourage them to get in touch. I might be wanting a new kidney at some point.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tucson-Area People!

I'll be signing at the Barnes and Noble on Broadway this Sunday, the 12th, from 1-3. I'll be there with a bunch of other local authors, too.

Also? I recently learned that my novel Fat Vampire will be on the Washington Post's list of the best books of the year. I understand the list will be printed in this Sunday's section.

Finally, I present a photo of what's on my work bench right now. Hands.

Previously, heads.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Three-Minute Fiction

Some people swore that the house was haunted. Enough so its listing came up first in her Google search.

“I’ve found one I want you to look at,” she told her husband. She often had real estate listings to show him, or upholstery samples for recovering her college-era couch, or fun ideas for their upstate vacation. He often had hilarious videos to show her, or pictures of people’s cats. He liked to say that they each brought something important to the marriage.

He hoisted baby Max up to his shoulder and leaned over hers. She clicked through different views. “It’s…awesome,” he said, as if there must be some mistake. “That’s really the square footage?”

“I know.”

“How can that be the price? What’s wrong with it?”

She turned and looked at him squarely. Her expression and the pause that followed announced this as an Important Marriage Trust Moment, like when he’d asked to spend four hundred dollars on a theremin.

“I got an idea from that horror movie we watched last night,” she said. “People are always finding great big houses they couldn’t normally afford that turn out to be haunted. So now I’m only searching for haunted houses.”

“…Um,” said the husband.

“And it’s fine because there’s no such thing. If people want to be stupid and superstitious it’s not our fault, right?”

Max needed a diaper change. Their entire two-room apartment smelled like diaper. The husband glanced back at her laptop.

“Show me the granite countertop again,” he said.

The front yard was immaculate. As they approached, Janice the realtor pointed out the carved duck mailbox with whirligig wings, as if it couldn’t point out itself. The husband and wife shared a smile. Ghosts did not haunt places with novelty mailboxes. They did not haunt ranch-style split-levels.

The first walkthrough would have gone beautifully if not for the baby’s fussing. Max upshifted abruptly from squirmy to tantrum, then cycled through seven or eight distinct wailing screams like a car alarm. They all agreed to try again the next weekend.

“Another couple’s shown interest,” the realtor warned them, but then you could almost see the delicate lie fall apart in her hands. “Not…not really though,” she admitted.

Their friend Jeff had been a house inspector before the market tanked. He agreed to have a look as a favor on Tuesday, and so Tuesday evening both husband and wife glanced at the phone as they nursed Max through some kind of croup. But it didn’t ring that night, or the next. Finally, reluctant to press a favor, the husband emailed Jeff and received a reply–just a spare list of concerns, no niceties:

shingles missing
flashing needs repair
cracked window
walls of half-bath bleed the curses of the damned

Jeff was the funny one in their group.

On Saturday they returned to the house. As they walked through empty rooms Max again threw a fit, but now they were determined. The realtor smiled sympathetically and walked them through the bedrooms, baths, dining room, kitchen. In the kitchen was a door to the basement, and they descended the sharp stairs, Max squealing, with only the light of a bare bulb to guide them.

The basement was large. The floor was unfinished dirt. Faint sunlight filtered in through mesh slits in the corners.

“What do you think–?” the wife began, hopefully. But she faltered when she realized Max had grown silent and perfectly still.

The lightbulb burned out. In the thin blue of the sun Max turned.

“We’ll take it,” he said.

Nothing was ever the same again after that.

NPR's Weekend All Things Considered has a regular contest called Three-Minute Fiction. Round Three submissions had to be inspired by a photograph. Round Four were requires to contain the words "plant," "button," "trick," and "fly." Round Five started this past October, and had the following stipulation: that every story begin with the line, "Some people swore that the house was haunted," and end with the line, "Nothing was ever the same again after that." And, as in previous rounds, it could be no longer than 600 words.

When I heard those lines an idea came to me right away. So I set aside my work and spent a day writing my submission. I sent it off, and forgot all about it. I don't listen to Weekend ATC religiously, so I missed it when the winner and twenty-five runners up were announced last month.

Needless to say, I didn't win. But something reminded me of the contest today, so here I am digging up my entry for a blog post. Maybe you people will like it. Go check out the winning story though, too, and the runners-up (which are listed in a sidebar).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Manners Mash-Up

Whoops, I forgot to post anything for three weeks. Naturally I have been very busy–those funny cat videos don't watch themselves, you know.

Also I went to the conference of the National Council of Teachers of English in Orlando. And I had a free day whilst there, so of course I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, just to get a sense of what to do and what not to do when all of my own books are invariably turned into theme parks.

Thanks to my editor Donna for those pictures. I don't want to sound like a commercial, but I was pretty impressed with the aesthetic of the place. Unlike the rest of the Universal Studios Islands of Adventure (which featured, among other things, a theme park based on the books of Dr. Seuss, and a theme park based on Marvel Comics), the Potter section didn't feel like a theme park at all to me. You could tell that the philosophy there was that you ostensibly were in Hogwarts, or Hogsmeade. That it just happened to be Muggle Day or something. I liked that.

I also want to share my contribution to a new picture book titled Manners Mash-Up. This book also features Bob Shea, Sophie Blackall, Dan Santat, Henry Cole, and many others. Kirkus says it's "Good advice waggishly packaged and not completely tasteful—a winner."

I did the spread about table manners. Click to enlarge.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

All Souls Procession

Every Dia de los Muertos Tucson holds their All Souls Procession–a community parade of costumed volunteers who walk down one of the city's historic thoroughfares to an empty lot downtown, where a celebration is held to honor the dead. I realize that for probably ninety percent of the participants the Procession is just an opportunity to play dress-up and watch people eat fire, but here and there the true spirit of the day comes through–in a projected display of portraits of people who have passed, or in the little personal shrines that are carried or trundled past. Here are some photos from a few days ago. Click to enlarge.

Friday, November 5, 2010

IDEA: The Interior Doorbell

Why don't we all have doorbells on the insides of our front doors? When confronted by a visitor with which we don't care to speak, we could discreetly press our hidden inside doorbell and trigger, elsewhere in the house, the sound of a baby crying. Or a smoke alarm. A tea kettle. Whatever.

Or hey, all four. "I'm sorry–I'd love to discuss my immortal soul, but my tea kettle appears to have set off the smoke detector and frightened my baby."

For some reason I feel like I'm ripping off the blog Ironic Sans, where my friend David posts ideas like this all the time. Go visit that, maybe.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Amazon Best of 2010 for Teen

Just learned today that Amazon has selected Fat Vampire and nine other YA books as their Best of 2010 for teens.

I swear soon I'll go back to posting something other than self-promotion or pictures of my yard.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I'll be at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, AZ for an author's panel at 7pm on November 2nd. Also appearing are Tom Leveen, Molly Idle, James Balsingame, and Christianne Menses-Jacobs. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Suggestion for New Halloween Party Game

Two or more partygoers visit Google Image search and enter "sexy ________ halloween costume." If the world justifies your worst fears and the costume already exists, do a shot. If you're trying to get drunk you can just keep saying "nurse."

Here, I'll get us started. "sexy willy wonka halloween costume." Oops, my bad.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Event and other Stuff

I'm going to be appearing at the Barnes & Noble at 5130 E Broadway in Tucson on October 23rd at 2pm. I will sign books (preferably mine), possibly do a reading, and accurately guess people's weights to within three pounds. Hope to see you there. Hope to see anyone there, really.

I thought I'd also share another cover illustration I don't think I posted before, since I've been talking about the Brixton Brothers books a bit lately. Previously I posted this, the cover of the first BB book. Steve is about to be apprehended by a cadre of mysterious and commando-like librarians.

When the time came for the paperback edition a new cover was requested, so I devised something a lot simpler and I think a little less stiff than the original:

You'll have to read the book if you want to understand why Steve is dressed like a sailor.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Brixton Brothers #2!

Just ocurred to me that Brixton Brothers #2: The Ghostwriter Secret is out in stores! It's written by Mac Barnett (what isn't?) and illustrated by me, just like the first book was. So today I thought I'd share the cover.

Here's the tight sketch, with digital color.

Man, look at that! Those are bullets streaming through the water! From a gun! Originally I thought it would be funny to show the gun as though the bad guy was crouching on the pool deck with his hand in the water, shooting at Steve and Dana. But you can't show a gun on the cover of a kids' book. So hence just the bullets.
Of course we considered the idea that the bullets were too intense, and might inspire kids to get shot at whilst tied up in a pool, so we tried another version where the bad guy is down in the pool, just screaming at Steve and Dana. Really going off on them. But then we ran it by the national buyer from B. Dalton and he was like, "Wow, that guy's really angry," so I painted a new cover where he isn't so much screaming at the kids as giving them sort of a stern talking-to, and afterward we tried one where he's just taking them for hot wings, but then we were all like, "Whoah! What happened to the conflict?" So we went back to the bullets, and I think we made the right choice.

Here's the final, painted cover, with type. Photoshop and Wacom.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ironically, an Airline Called Delta Can't Seem to Get Me to Greece.

I fly a lot, but this was new to me: after sitting out on the Tucson runway for about twenty minutes the pilot informed us that we were too heavy. I will admit to looking askance at the passenger next to me at this point. Given our weight, we could not legally take off in the current winds. Almost immediately I thought to myself, "Well. We'll probably have to return to the gate to dump excess fuel." But I know nothing about the actual mechanics of air travel, so even I didn't assume I had the answer.

Twenty minutes later, we returned to the gate to dump excess fuel. Apparently the Tucson airport only has one fuel truck or something (keep shootin' for the stars, Tucson!), because we then waited a half hour just for the crew to arrive.

Long story short, I'm supposed to be checking into my hotel in Athens right now, and meeting my wife. Instead I am enjoying lunch at an Atlanta airport-area mexican restaurant, which is every bit as good as it sounds.

Could be worse. I was originally rebooked on a flight that would've required I stay in Atlanta for TWO DAYS. Not that I don't like Atlanta. But, Zeus willing, I will be taking a circuitous Athens-by-way-of-Amsterdam-by-way-of-Minneapolis trip later this afternoon.

But enough of my whining, right? I'm still going to Greece, and you're probably not, currently. So here's a page from my sketchbook featuring a woodcutter and some patrons of the Surly Wench pub.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Antigone Reading this Friday

Which is not to say that I'll be reading Antigone. But I will be reading from Fat Vampire at Antigone Books in Tucson this Friday at 7pm. Joining me will be Janni Lee Simner and Jillian Cantor. The readings will be followed by a question and answer period. There will apparently be refreshments!

Also, here's something nice: don't live anywhere near Tucson but want a signed copy of one of our books? Antigone has agreed to ship personalized copies! Just email with your name, address, which book you'd like, and who you'd like it signed to, and they'll get in touch to work out the details. Note: Signed copies must be ordered through the email address, not the web site.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

GUYS READ: Funny Business, Released Today!

Previously I've posted some images from the forthcoming anthology GUYS READ: Funny Business. I have a story in it, and illustrated the thing. But more importantly, other people have stories in it. Other people like Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, Jon Scieszka, and David Yoo. And David Lubar. You know David. Author of Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie and In the Land of the Lawn Weenies?

Here's the illustration I made for David's story, "Kid Appeal." I defy you to figure out what's going on in this story from the image. You'll just have to get the book, which is in stores now.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Letter to My Younger Self

Recently I was asked by Anna Staniszewski to write a letter to my younger self. The result is below, but there are a lot of letters from/to other authors on her blog. Maybe go have a look.

Dear Younger Me,

DON'T READ YOUR REVIEWS. I hope I've caught you early enough. The first book you'll illustrate (The Dirty Cowboy, by Amy Timberlake) will garner pretty much universally positive reviews, and win a bunch of minor awards, and this will ruin you. You're going to assume it'll always be like this, and you'll start Googling yourself to the point of blindness. Metaphorical blindness.

Just know that, in time, you will long for the good old days when reviews came to you at a trickle–a handful of clippings from your publisher now and then–and a reader had to care enough to post an actual letter. Do you know that feeling you get now when you're just out on the street, minding your own business, and some anonymous critic shouts "nerd" from a moving car? Or something disparaging about your outfit? Now imagine that's the only outfit you own. You have to wear it all the time, like one of the Castaways. You're Ginger, and you're only strolling on the beach, hurting no one, wearing that dress that says "U.S.S. Minnow" across the bust which you obviously made yourself, and in fact the only things you even have to wear are the Minnow dress and the "Happy Birthday Mister President" dress, and then a bottle washes up on shore, and there's a message inside, and KittyKat93 from Tulsa, Oklahoma says "Nice outfit, Ginger lol."

That's the internet.

Understand that your brain, which is not as smart as you think it is, will file the anonymous car-shouters in the same cabinet where it keeps a review from The Washington Post. And that it will highlight any and all negative passages with ink so ostentatiously yellow that you will be able to read them in your dreams. The part of your brain which currently sucker-punches you with humiliating junior high school memories during random quiet moments is going to discover its true calling after people start publishing your fiction. It's really going to come into its own. You know the part of the brain I'm talking about. It's located in your gut, despite all medical evidence to the contrary.

At the age of thirty-seven you will institute a No Reviews Policy. It's going pretty well. You're learning to concentrate on how you feel about your writing and looking forward to a day when you can hear the word "Goodreads" without getting sick to your stomach. But there's going to be a lot of years of existential angst before you get here and you know what? You're going to really love your wife (if you're not married to her already), and she doesn't deserve all that garbage. So maybe never get in the habit of Googling yourself in the first place and save us all a lot of headaches. Literal headaches.



Monday, September 13, 2010

Best of Friends

Previously I've posted some images from the forthcoming anthology GUYS READ: Funny Business. I have a story in it, and illustrated the thing. But more importantly, other people have stories in it. Other people like Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Paul Feig, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Jon Scieszka, and David Yoo. And Mac Barnett. You know Mac. Practically every image I've posted for the last two years has been for a Mac Barnett book.

Here's the illustration I made for Mac's story, "Best of Friends."

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

My Parents Give My Bedroom to a Biker

Previously I've posted the cover and a whole lot of cover sketches for the forthcoming anthology GUYS READ: Funny Business. I have a story in it, and illustrated the thing. But more importantly, other people have stories in it. Other people like Mac Barnett, Eoin Colfer, Christopher Paul Curtis, Kate DiCamillo, Jack Gantos, Jeff Kinney, David Lubar, Jon Scieszka, and David Yoo. And Paul Feig. You know, the Paul Feig who created the best television show of the nineties, Freaks and Geeks.

Here's the illustration I made for Paul's story, "My Parents Give My Bedroom to a Biker."

Monday, September 6, 2010


Recently Angela Fox conducted an interview with me via Skype in which she asked a very thorny question regarding baby werewolves. Heres the link.

Also! I'll be doing areading and signing at Antigone books in Tucson on September 24. I'll be sharing the stage with Janni Lee Simner and Jillian Cantor.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Guys Read: the #$@!! Cover

Pardon my language. The cover for this book, the first of a forthcoming GUYS READ Library, was a little slippery. Hard to nail down. Previously I showed you the cover we ended up with, today I show most of the ones we didn't.

Early in the process I was really attached to the idea that all of the GUYS READ anthologies might have the common element of an illicit black bar or box, possibly containing the GR logo, which could always be concealing an ostensibly naughty or terrifying or mysterious part of the image. Jon Scieszka and the good people at HarperCollins humored me for a long time about this.

Click to make big.

Then we all glommed onto the pie in the face element for a while.

What I'm not showing you at this point is a number of formal-looking portraits of a Little Lord Fauntleroy type with pie face or, alternately, Groucho glasses. That's because eventually Harper or Jon or somebody thought it might be better to pull back from this portrait and show a modern-looking boy admiring it in a museum setting.

Eventually it was agreed that the gallery was working but Fauntleroy wasn't, so we explored other options.

NOT SHOWN: about a half-dozen other concepts that were too superficially similar to these to bother including.

If I sound bitter or tired that's only because I enjoy complaining. I love this book and I like its cover.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Guys Read: Funny Business

In case you missed it when I posted this back in May, here's the...trailer? Sizzle? What are we calling these things now? Here's the moving talky thing for GUYS READ: Funny Business, which I mentioned yesterday.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Guys Read: Funny Business

For years now Jon Scieszka has been championing books for boys and encouraging parents and educators to just let the poor guys read what they want with his organization GUYS READ. He's even published a Guys Read anthology already, with a lot of great stories, but now he's getting serious. So to speak.

Later this month all good Americans will be reading Guys Read: Funny Business, the first of the forthcoming Guys Read Library. I had the honor to write a story for this anthology of humor, and to illustrate the whole thing.

So I thought I'd kick off September, which will inevitably be renamed Guys Read Month, with the uncropped cover of GR:FB.

This is what it'll look like in stores:

We went through a lot of iterations with this cover. I'll post all of them soon.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Largehearted Boy

Interested in the secret soundtrack to my new novel, Fat Vampire? No? Oh.

Well, then don't go to the music and book blog Largehearted Boy. Forget I said anything.

sketchbook: GIRLS

Monday, July 26, 2010

Show and Tell Me

Please click through to Amy Timberlake's blog Show and Tell Me to read the story (and see a larger image) of this terrible thing to the right. But suffice it to say that yes, it is a picture of a zombie throwing up a smaller zombie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Comic-Con

A Short Play by Adam Rex
Based on True Events

A hall in San Diego. An attractive woman dress'd and undress'd in the guise of slave Leia poses for photographs. Three rogues look on.

ROGUE ONE: Not hot, methinks this counterfeit of Princess Leia be.

ROGUE TWO: Forsooth, my friend speaks verily: not so hot is she.


Rogues Exeunt.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Comic-Con Signing

Previously I mentioned I'll be participating on a panel at Comic-Con. I just want to say today that I'll also be signing in the Autograph Area after my panel, and giving away FAT VAMPIRE t-shirts to the first fifteen people in my line (who want one).

The t-shirt graphic looks like the image up left. My signing is in AA1 from 12-1 pm. See you there!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Okay, I'm Back

Just a quick note to say that I'll be at the San Diego Comic-Con in support of my new book, FAT VAMPIRE.

On Sunday from 11-12:00 I'll be participating in a panel called Entertaining One's Inner Child in room 24ABC. Also participating will be Matt and Jennifer Holm (Babymouse), David Steinberg (Daniel Boom), Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules), Sina Grace (Among the Ghosts), and Greg Van Eekhout (Kid vs. Squid).

I'll also just be wandering around most of Saturday and Sunday, so if you see me please say hi. I'll be the guy who looks like me.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Okay, it seems I owe some of you an apology.

Ever since Adam died I’ve been insisting that he absolutely is NOT one of the legion of the undead, but then he stopped by last night and sort of broke it to his mother and me. It’s not a choice he made, it’s just who he is now. I think we’ll get used to it, in time.

And I guess he really has written a vampire book. He gave us a copy, which he insisted we begin reading immediately while he watched us with those smoldering eyes of his. I like it all right, but it’s not really his mother’s cup of tea.

Maybe you people will like it better. Here's an excerpt.

Adam’s mom wants me to take down that last post, but I can’t figure out how. She wants everyone to know that her son was very successful. Maybe not as successful as he would have been had he followed his father into engineering–ask me how many homicidal goth copyeditors have visited me lately at Honeywell–but I guess that’s water under the bridge.

Heh. Water under the bridge. You know some legends say vampires can’t cross water? I read it on Wikipedia. A little dead son vampire humor, there.

God, you people are getting to me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adam's Dad Again, and This is the Last Time.

You people. You people with your sick rumors. For the last time:

Adam has NOT returned from the dead to shop around a new vampire novel. I don’t even know where to begin telling you what’s wrong with that idea. To start with Adam simply would not write a vampire story–it’s not his style. And with the YA and Adult market already oversaturated with other people’s vampire stories? It would be ridiculous.

Please show some respect for the dead.

We’ve heard about the book too, but I’m sure it’s just by another author with the same name, or else some sicko trying to cash in on our boy’s death. The joke’s on you, mister sicko. None of Adam’s books ever made any money.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Adam's Dad Again

Hi, Adam’s dad again.

I’d like to say right off the bat that Adam’s mother and I don’t appreciate all the rumors flying around the internet about Adam being killed in some supernatural way. I’m a man of science and I don’t believe in such things.

Yes, he was found in his car yesterday, nude and completely exsanguinated. On his chest there was a message in blood that read “YOU USE TOO MANY COMMAS,” so of course police are looking for that copyeditor gal.

I thank all of you who posted thoughtful emails and comments. To the rest of you I say: knock it off with all your “advice.” We are not going to cut Adam’s head off and fill the mouth with holy wafers. We’re Presbyterian.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Message from Adam's Dad

Hi, this is Adam’s dad.

If you read this blog then you’re probably already aware of some of the stories getting around about him, but I want to set the record straight.

Adam was last seen at the Phoenix Book Festival in the company of what I’m told was “a fair-skinned and darkly beautiful young copyeditor.” She approached him after his signing and professed to be a big fan and brushed her slender hand against his. Phoenix in July is pretty warm, and Adam was heard to whisper that he could not account for the fractal chill that spread in his breast.

He’s always talking like that–you should have heard him when he was a teenager.

According to eyewitnesses he walked off with the beautiful copyeditor after she remarked that she wanted to share with him her “dark embrace.”

“Ha!” he was heard to say as they left. “For a moment I thought you said your ‘dork embrace.’ Huh…that would be a funny premise for a book.”

He hasn’t been seen since.

If anyone has any information, we’d appreciate it. He was supposed to come over last night for Jenga.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Queen of the Quail

Baby gift for my friends Phil and Angie, and brand new friend Phinneas.

5x7, oil on paper.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Guys vs. Vampires

HarperCollins has created a facebook page for my new novel, FAT VAMPIRE: a Never Coming of Age Story. I'm sharing it with Eric Luper's excellent new book Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto, hence the name GUYS VS. VAMPIRES.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Inkpop Live Chat

If you're a member of the online teen writer community Inkpop, or know someone who is: I'll be having a live chat there Wednesday, July 7th, at 5pm eastern time. HERE'S THE LINK

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Starring Mac Barnett and featuring Jon Korn. Directed by Shawn Harris. Written by Mac, Jon, and Shawn.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Clock Without a Face Update

Remember Clock Without a Face? If you don't, click here to see my previous posts about the book. Click here to visit the official website, and read stories about real treasure hunters who studied the book and were rewarded with emeralds. It occurred to me that I never posted my portrait of the world's greatest sleuth, Roy Dodge, so there he is on the left. Click to make bigger.

What I'm really excited about, however, is listening to authors Mac Barnett and Eli Horowitz talk about the book this morning on NPR's Weekend Edition. Listen to the story here. You'll also hear from one eighteen-year-old in southern Wisconsin who describes her successful search for the number eight.

There are still three numbers left in the ground! Including the twelve, which contains as many emeralds as all the other numbers combined! Emeralds! Okay, that's all.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I couldn't think of a better title than that. Pretty good though, right? It's punchy, it says what it is.

Anyway, the anonymous editor of Editorial Anonymous conducted an interview with me recently and it's up right now on the blog. Go find out what I was talking about when I said "my own amateurish blindfolded plate-spinning might actually be a legitimate means to an end."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

They Grow Up So Fast

Previously, I presented the pigeon nesting on my porch, and later the one-week-old results of her efforts. Here they are again, now no older than three weeks.

Mugwort Jon Smelly, and Bert Lane Rasputin.

And here they are again, a day later and with a different camera.

I also shot this of the parents, Penelope Van der Pigeon and Andrew Toodlewinks de la Xavier, who are now nesting on the other side of the porch.
Thank you all for the naming help.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

BEA Comic

This is a bit of a last-minute reminder to those of you actually attending Book Expo America this week, But I'm in New York at the moment and my internet access has been spotty. I sign my next novel, Fat Vampire, today at ten o'clock. As evidenced in this little comic I created from an excerpt of a longer interview with Edward Nawotka for Publishing Perspectives. Hopefully the longer interview will be available soon–that web address they told me to include at the bottom of the comic doesn't seem to work.
Click to enlarge.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Where do Baby Pigeons Come From? They Come From My Porch.

Previously, I posted about a pigeon nesting on my porch. She produced a couple eggs, but frankly I didn't follow up on it because they turned out to be duds. I'm sure that's the correct term an ornithologist would use–duds. But the pigeon mother and father rebuilt the nest and tried again, and yesterday I noticed mother was absent for the first time in weeks. So I stood up on the porch railing and saw this:

I know they look huge compared to that egg on the left (another dud?), but a little internet research tells me they're not much more than a week old. I probably shouldn't get attached, but I would like y'all's help in naming them. Thank you.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

San Diego People

I'll be at The Yellow Book Road this Thursday, the 6th, at 10am.

7200 Parkway Dr #118
La Mesa, CA 91942

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bookie Woogie

I had a really fun time video-chatting with the Z-Kids from the blog Bookie Woogie the other day; and their dad, Aaron Zenz, just completed the harrowing task of transcribing our meandering conversation and posting it as an interview. So please go check out what Isaac, Gracie, Lily, and I (and Aaron) had to say to each other. illustration above of zombies at the zoo by Lily Zenz, age 7, based on the zombies from Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich by Adam Rex, age 36.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

And the Rest...

Like the theme song from the first season of Gilligan's Island, I'm just going to cram all the other players from the book The Clock Without a Face into one final post. Seriously, you need to check out the link there if you haven't already. Find out all about this weird book, and let me know when you've uncovered one of the very real treasures that have been buried in twelve different spots across the United States of America.

Actually, I may be taking it for granted that all the treasures are in the U.S. One of them could be in Guam or Ontario for all I know. But I'm pretty sure they're in the U.S.

Anyway, for your consideration: the paranoiac,

the puzzle ladies,
the superfan,
the doormen,
the hamster-man,
the mime,
and the artist (encased in plaster).