When you feel like you don’t fit in

I’ve had several detours the past year which have slowed my writing to a near-halt at times. It’s during those periods where you simply must roll up your sleeves and get something done.
My inspiration for my latest work is my granddaughter, Olivia. She loves-loves-loves the Goosebumps stories on Netflix, and begged me to tell her a scary story.
Who can refuse a request like that?
I wrote up a story plumbed from the depths of my own unique imagination, and I’m pleased with the result. Then a friend at work that I shared it with insisted “Dude, you have to illustrate this and get it published.”
Ah, me. I explained that my original illustrator, my daughter Karen, has moved on to other ventures and was unavailable. My friend was unrelenting. Which brings us to this milestone today.
I had to illustrate it myself.
This wasn’t a total start from scratch for me, as I create many chessboard designs and have handled my recent covers well. Most of those don’t encompass transforming my visions of the characters into stick figures on the page, however.
I spent hours on YouTube seeking methods and rules for drawing the human figure, with some success. To this day I remain unable to splash anything near professional onto the canvas. So I adapted my approach.
The main characters are deliberately simplified. I discovered only in the past several days that one can look at figures much like a paper doll cutout book – find the boots and a coat, trace them out with some simplification and shading, position them where they need to be, and draw in a rough body shape behind them. That process helped get me over the finish line quicker.
I also found that I could find photos of people/body parts that captured the effect I wanted to portray and could trace their outlines and transfer them to my book. A man pointing is one example. My favorite is the old woman with upraised jazz hands: I captured those from a picture of no less than Captain James T. Kirk. See, you really can make your childhood dreams come true!
So here it is: my new picture-book: “The Vampire Who Had No Fangs”. Still awaiting final proof from CreateSpace on the files, but it will be out soon.
Reality beckons, even for a fantasy/adventure buff like me.


Click on the autographed copies of books link or here to see the cover. The back cover text reads:


Olivia is not like the other little vampire kids.
No one knew why her fangs never grew in.
She always felt different and left out.

One day, she decides to do something she has
never done before. When she does, she finds
that her life will never be the same again.

Sometimes being different isn’t a bad thing.
Maybe you’re just special.

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