The Adventures of Mr. Schnoozle has a history that dates back to the 1980's. The following is directly from the forward of the book. Buckle up, this may be a tear-jerker:
Nearly two years after I was born, and only several months after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, my father sat down to write a story for his children, Eric and Gretchen. I can only assume that the impetus was watching us play in the backyard, delighted by our imaginations that ran freely in the out of doors.
Our imaginations must have ignited his, and the curious Mr. Schnoozle was born. My father wrote of a crow and a mushroom house and a trip to the beach. Two months later he wrote of a roller skating adventure and getting lost in the woods. During this time my aunt drew a picture of dear Schnoozle so we would have at least one illustration to go with the stories. My father read them to us often, and they delighted us over and again. I begged to be added as a character in the stories like my big brother was. My father had every intention of doing so, as soon as life slowed down.
Life took over. He was honourably discharged from the Navy, we moved to Oregon, and he continued to write, but only in his journals. He wanted Eric and me to know him, to know “what made their dad tick.” It was his way of sharing himself with us, knowing that his time to truly share himself with his children was limited. He did not want us to grow up both fatherless and ignorant of who our father was.
Then the cancer took over, and his stories died with him. Or so we thought. Mr. Schnoozle and his adventures were lost for over two decades. Upon their rediscovery in 2014, I made a promise to myself, and to my father, to carry on his legacy of “word-smithing,” to bring his writing to life in the hopes of delighting others as he had us. After making some (more than a little) embellishments to his original stories and writing eight more, I have had the pleasure of seeing The Adventures of Mr. Schnoozle come into being.
Mr. Schnoozle is a little green creature who enjoys the quiet life in the magical land of Willowbrook. He loves to eat pansies and take nice, long naps. However, his life of frequent naps and even more frequent pansy snacks is soon interrupted by an adventure. Then another, and another. With each adventure Mr. Schnoozle, with the help of his friends, learns an awful lot about loyalty, friendship, and finding courage in the most unlikely places. Namely, himself.
The Adventures of Mr. Schnoozle is a children's chapter book (10 chapters + a prologue & epilogue) for children of the ages 8-12. Just to give you an idea of what you'll find inside:
Prologue (click here for a sneak-peak into the book!)
Chapter 1: Mr. Schnoozle Makes a New Friend
Chapter 2: Mr. Schnoozle Answers Some Questions
Chapter 3: Mr. Schnoozle and the Very, Very Eventful Day
Chapter 4: Mr. Schnoozle Receives a Gift
Chapter 5: Mr. Schnoozle and the River Sticks
Chapter 6: Mr. Schnoozle and the Banyan Tree
Chapter 7: Mr. Schnoozle's Underwater Adventures
Chapter 8: Mr. Schnoozle and the Competition
Chapter 9: Mr. Schnoozle and the Great Rescue
Chapter 10: Mr. Schnoozle and the Mysterious Postcard
However, as I've mentioned, this is a book for both children and former-children, for it is never too late for an adventure, no matter what your age is! Bravery, after all, is something we could all use a little more of. It's time we take a page from Mr. Schnoozle's book (excuse the pun), stop acting from our self-imposed limitations, and act instead upon opportunity and possibility!
Mr. Schnoozle is green! I don't just mean the colour of his skin. The book will be printed at Impact Digital Printing near my new home in Melbourne, Australia. They are a 100% carbon neutral company and through them I have the honour of printing The Adventures of Mr. Schnoozle on quality paper, made from 100% recycled materials. Something we can all feel good about!
There are 10 full-colour, full-page illustrations, and, depending on how much we raise through this Kickstarter, we may have additional smaller illustrations scattered throughout the book to accompany these delightful tales. But that will be up to you, the backers!
The inimitable Simon Howe has taken on the task of enhancing the visuals of this book. He is the master of colour, line work, and emotional nuance. He has captured the warmth and whimsy that is Mr. Schnoozle, and his images of Willowbrook will make you want to jump straight into the page. With his talent and your support, we will have what we need to ensure the book is full of the soon-to-be-unforgettable characters of Willowbrook.
As I've mentioned in my video, this project is about connection. Not only has this project already connected me to my father's imagination, but now we have the chance to connect, and to help you connect to that child-like wonder so many of us have forgotten about. For the little ones, they will be delighted by 10 tales of courage, friendship, and overcoming life's obstacles. It's a win-win all around!
The funding goal has been chosen based upon the costs of self-publishing. Believe it or not, this number will just help us break even! With your help, I believe we can make this happen. As the campaign progresses, I will update you with more details so you know exactly where your support is going!
Risks and challenges
I'm a big fan of full-disclosure, so if you're wondering where the project is at at the time of launching, and what potential bumps in the road we may encounter, read on!
WHERE WE'RE AT NOW:
- The manuscript of the book is complete and fully edited (that is, it has gone through all the necessary stages of editing, thanks to the professionals at Indigo Editing in Portland, OR.)
- The illustrations are due to be completed by early 2018. As I've mentioned, we will absolutely have at least one, full-colour page of illustration at the beginning of each of the ten chapters. However, the hope is that we will be able to put more colour and life throughout the book with smaller illustrations scattered throughout the text.
-The book designer is ready and waiting for the completion of the illustrations (see below for more detail).
WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN NEXT:
-Completion of illustrations by Simon Howe: This will be the most time-intensive portion of the post-campaign process. (No pressure, Simon!) The goal is for the illustrations to take no more than 6 months from start to finish. If for any reason this is delayed, I will be sure to notify all backers immediately! (One of the reasons this may change is if we reach a stretch goal of more than $20,000! If that's the case, Simon will need more time to do more illustrations, and that may push our dates back by a few months.)
-Book design: Once the illustrations are complete, the lovely Bec Yule with Red Chilli Design will be putting text and image together to create a gorgeous children's book that you can enjoy for years to come. This should take 4-6 weeks.
-Printing the book & e-book conversion: As mentioned above, I've chosen Impact Digital Printing in Brunswick, VIC as my book printers. A print run of 500 books should take less than a week from the word "go" to having the books on my door step. (If we raise more than the funding goal, we will be able to print even more than this! Any extras will either be donated to primary schools, put in local Melbourne bookstores on consignment, or sold directly to readers through any future readings that I will be doing at local libraries, parks, bookstores, etc.)
-Printing bookmarks & stickers: These will most likely be printed through Ready Steady Print & Oz Sticker Printing, since Impact Digital does not print bookmarks (they are about the only thing they don't print, funny enough). This should take 1-2weeks, tops!
-Shipping the rewards! For Aussie backers, there should be less than a week between popping your reward in the post box and it arriving on your doorstop. For international backers, it can take anywhere from 10 days-3 weeks depending on your location. E-books will, of course, be pretty much instantaneous from the time of sending to seeing them in your inbox. As soon as I receive the physical books, I will be pulling long hours to make sure they are sent to you ASAP.
WHERE THINGS COULD GO WRONG (but hopefully won't):
-Delay in illustrations due to Simon being in high demand for his artistic skills
-Book design may take longer than expected
-Errors or delays in printing
-Shipping mishaps... This is more likely to occur with international versus domestic shipping, but fingers crossed there will be little to no hiccups involved in getting your rewards to you in a timely manner.
I will keep all of my backers up to date on the timeline regarding all of the above, so stay tuned!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)