What if the new pet store around the corner from your house sold animals that everyone thought were extinct? Barry and Lena are about to find out...
Prehistoric Pets is a new novel I am writing. It is for children and young adults (target audience is roughly 8 or 9 to about 14 or 15), though I hope that even older teenagers and adults will find Prehistoric Pets enjoyable too, in the same way that I find enjoyment in sharing books with my own kids. Prehistoric Pets tells the story - as the title suggests - of a pet store that sells animals from prehistory (i.e., extinct animals). How the store manages to do this, and the consequences, are the subject of the novel.
The novel will be written in a lighthearted, comic style that includes illustrations and humorous digressions, with something of a debt (and please excuse my perhaps obscure reference) to Jerome K. Jerome's humorous nineteenth-century novel Three Men In A Boat (To Say Nothing Of The Dog). Other similarities, particularly in the use of illustrations in the text and their relationship to the text, are to the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the Captain Underpants series (both of these series were introduced to me by my own children). And finally, and perhaps most importantly, there will be similarities to the humor and sensibilities of my first two books – in a very real sense, the evolution of Prehistoric Pets will be traceable to After The Blue and A Bowl Of Fruit, A Whale In The Woods.
You can read a bit more about the new book, including a draft excerpt, at the web page for Prehistoric Pets.
Why do I believe I can do a good job with this project?
Because I have a great track record!
I am the author of two previously published novels: After The Blue and A Bowl Of Fruit, A Whale In The Woods, both of which were favorably reviewed in Booklist, the review publication of the American Library Association (according to the American Library Association, a review in Booklist constitutes a recommendation for library purchase). More about both of my previous books can be found at http://www.russlike.com/.
After The Blue was used by a number of schools, ranging from middle school through college, and from New Jersey to british columbia, to teach satire, as described here.
After The Blue was also a selection of the Booksense 76, which was a bimonthly list of books recommended by the American booksellers association at the time After The Blue was published (see here).
After The Blue had an unusual route to print (that is, for the pre-Kickstarter age). The original publisher appeared to lose interest after the editor whose project it was left the firm; ultimately, the publisher offered to let me have the rights back, and even let me keep my small advance, if I found another interested publisher. The publisher I found was one that I decided to start myself (since at that point I was tired of waiting for someone else). My vindication for releasing the book into the world came in the form of numerous positive reviews and write ups, including Booklist (the review publication of the American Library Association), the American Booksellers Association, and the New York Times, not to mention the fact that so many schools chose to use the book to teach satire – enough to require a second printing.
My second book, A Bowl Of Fruit, A Whale In The Woods, also received excellent reviews (example at http://www.sfsite.com/02a/ab169.htm). More about the book can be found here. Here's a picture of the cover:
Both of these books were written several years ago, before my own children were old enough to read them. Now that my kids are old enough to read books of this sort, I am inspired to write for this audience again. My experience as a parent will give my writing greater depth. The middle school web site MiddleWeb has published an essay I wrote about the route that brought me to write for children - you can read the essay here.
Question: why are you asking for this much money, and what will the money be used for?
The money will be used for the following:
-typesetting / layout
-professional cover design (the cover you see above is a draft!)
- ebook production
-illustrations (I can write but I can’t draw)
- to presell enough copies to show that this project is worth publishing. I have been through the publishing process before, and I know that it takes time and effort to do it right. The story already exists in my head, but if I am going to go to the effort of publishing and promoting it, it would be nice to see if there is interest. Kickstarter is great in that it lets me know whether this latest book is something people want to see. I'm looking forward to your support!