Posts Tagged ‘Richard Due’

A Perfect Tales-Told-By-the-Fire Book

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By Tricia Rightmire

I’ve been working on how to phrase this review for a while, but I sit down planning to sound all clever and erudite and end up getting all wistful and making lots of hands-over-my-heart gestures at the screen, so I think this time I’m just going to go with that. . . .

The Moon Coin is lovely, folks. It is charming and clever and beautiful and daring; it’s full of adventure and surprises and courage and puzzles and characters with whom I fell immediately and permanently in love. It’s written with a younger audience in mind—think “older elementary school, some middle schoolers”—but it’s the sort of book that just begs for a blanket and some comfy pillows and a crackling fire on the hearth, with everyone piled in together and hearing about far-off lands full of faeries and dragons and cats big enough to ride (they get really crabby about that, though, so I don’t recommend trying it). It doesn’t shy away from big words or complex ideas, but couches them all in a universe that’s so rich and consuming that they’re not “too hard” . . . and it’s just. so. fun.

The downside is that it’s the first of an as-yet uncompleted series, so you can’t just sit down and binge-read through them all; the upside is that every minute in this world is delicious and grand, and makes you want nothing more than to have your own Moon Coin so you can go adventuring. Grab the youngsters who mean the most to you, settle in, and enjoy!

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For me, getting to work with Carolyn Arcabascio was a dream come true. We worked from a master list of scene options, with Carolyn picking out scenes she liked and making sketches. For the prologue, Carolyn drafted three options. All three were great, but two in particular were spectacular. I first went with option 3 (one of my scene suggestions). I think we spent more time on this sketch and subsequent color drawing than on any other piece. But it never seemed right. At the eleventh hour, I asked Carolyn how hard she’d hit me if I suggested scrapping the thing and instead going with the pinky promise scene you see below (one of her scene suggestions).  Carolyn responded: “There would be no hitting involved!” and told me it wouldn’t be a problem. You sure can’t ask for better than that.

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From the Prologue: Bedtime Tales.

Click on image to enlarge.

Richard: Did you make all these sketches in the same location, Carolyn?

Carolyn: Yes, I do all of my work at a drafting table that’s situated in a little nook of my apartment in Acton, Massachusetts. There’s a bookshelf to my right and a wall of “inspiration” to my left, where I hang prints of other artists’ and illustrators’ work. On either side of my drafting table are drawers of supplies, and stacks of sketchbooks and old paintings. The drafting table faces a window overlooking a quiet street and the woods beyond it.

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From Chapter Two: A Coin of the Realm.

Click on image to enlarge.

Richard: Do you use models when you’re sketching?

Carolyn: I use a combination of models and photo references. If I need to work out the nuances of a character’s posture and really understand the perspective of it, I’ll ask whatever friend or family member is handy to pose for a sketch. Often, I’ll get into the position myself or mimic the facial expression I want to portray in order to get the feel of it. And sometimes, if there’s a character being portrayed multiple times across scenes, I’ll make a rough model of their head out of clay so I’ll have it to refer to.

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From Chapter Four: To Barreth.

Click on image to enlarge.

Richard: When drawing fantastical creatures, do you use bits and pieces of real animals for inspiration, or have you actually seen a wirtle and you’re just not telling us? 😉

Carolyn: No wirtles native to Massachusetts, fortunately! When figuring out the look of fantastical creatures, I use photo references of different animals to understand the way the anatomy might work, and then combine features as I see fit and as the story calls for. To understand the wirtle’s legs and paws, for example, I referred to a series of photographs of show dogs leaping over hurdles. The severely arched, scruffy back was influenced by photos of hyenas on the prowl. The bone-structure of the face ended up being something of a cross between a cow and a warthog, and I wanted the snout to be bare—kind of gross and raw-looking. Add it all up and, voila! We have a wirtle.

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When Lily and Jasper’s uncle disappears, Lily must search for him in the most unlikely of places: the fading realms of her childhood bedtime tales.

Gold Medal Winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award.

Epic fantasy for ages 9 to 99. Visit the Moon Realm

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Copyright © 2011-14 by Richard Due. All rights reserved.

No portion of this website may be used in any manner without the expressed written consent of the copyright holder.

Gibbering Gnome Press, A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink®

The Moon Realm®

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Click HERE or on the image below to read the interview.

Layered Pages Interview

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My Desk.

Desk with numbers

The vintage items you see here aren’t part of a deliberate theme on my part. Everything simply came together over time.

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1. 20-inch Dell 2009w LCD monitor. I bought this in 2008. It’s great for text, but the color isn’t up to snuff for production work. (Oh, and hiding behind that lovely illustration by Carolyn Arcabascio, is the working draft of The Murk, which I am currently editing.)
 
2. Western Electric model 500 telephone (sold from 1950 to 1984). This is my high-tech communications system. I picked it up at a yard sale ($5) several years ago because I was getting tired of buying new batteries for my cordless phone. It still dials out, but when confronted with an automated message system and asked to press “4” or whatever, I just have to hang up.
 
3. Panasonic Electric Pencil Sharpener, model KP-77 S (probably early 70s, with Auto-Stop!). My trusty friend, bought by my wife for $3 at a church bazaar. Amazingly, you can still buy replacement parts for this model.
 
4. Sony MDR-V700DJ headphones. My portable orchestra. I bought these in 2001, shortly after purchasing an iPod, because said iPod couldn’t pump out enough juice to drive my old AKG 260s.
 
5. 15-inch Apple Macbook Pro (Winter 2006). Tucked behind the monitor, Graphic Mayhem rests in a little wooden bracket and runs in closed-lid mode when it’s not doing color work.
 
6. Apple Pro Keyboard (2000). The computer this came with is gone now, but I kept the keyboard because Apple built it to outlast the sun.
 
7. Apple Mighty Mouse (2005). I have no clear memory of how I acquired this mouse, but it’s still on the job.
 
8. Picture of an Egyptian chariot (gift from a friend), because chariots are cool.
 
9. Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, Second Edition (1938). Yes, it’s old, but it still beats the hell out of any other dictionary I’ve ever used.
 
10. Two Rinn. These were a Christmas gift, hand-made by my wife and children. They are more precious to me than my weight in 1st edition hardbacks of The Princess Bride, by William Goldman (Fine in Fine dust jackets). And THAT, my friends, is saying something.
 
11. Placebo coffee (or sometimes placebo tea). It’s hard to see in this photo, but it’s right here on the corner of this middle shelf.
 
Featured on lifehacker.com.
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Author Signing blog

Eastern High School library, Wash. DC, Friday 31, 2014

This was taken right after an Imagine, Write, Repeat presentation. Here I’m talking to one of the students while signing Moon Realm books. It was a smart crowd, filled with lots of good questions. The signing ran over a bit, but luckily the parents were very gracious. The librarian asked if I’d be interesting in coming back to run a writing workshop!

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Crossover

The Moon Realm Invades Barnes and Noble Bookstores Everywhere

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et_TMC_TD

 

I wish I had a more exciting tale to tell, but getting a self-published book into Barnes and Noble is all about time, diligence, and whether or not they want your book.

In a nutshell, here’s how I got the Moon Realm series into Barnes and Noble. Last fall I submitted to their Small Press Dept., at their Headquarters on 5th Ave, in New York. On their website, they said that if I didn’t hear back from them I should resend, as they get 2,000 submissions a week, which means, every once and a while, they have chuck everything and start over. I got a letter back from them maybe two weeks later requesting paperback copies of The Moon Coin (the only Moon Realm book in paper at that time). That was back in November. My next task was to get a distributor or wholesaler. B&N had sent me a list of them. I sent submissions two wholesalers that could work out for me. One replied in a week with a no. The other, Baker and Taylor, took longer. On March 26th, B&N sent me another letter saying they still wanted The Moon Coin, but that since they hadn’t heard from me in a long time, they were going to take their offer off the table 30 days from the date of that letter. That seemed more than fair to me, generous, in fact. It was a bit of a bummer, though, as I’d decided in my mind that Baker and Taylor, not having gotten back to me—I’d submitted to them in January—wasn’t interested in my book. Then, on April 11th, Baker and Taylor sent an email to Gibbering Gnome press saying “We are pleased to inform you that after reviewing your materials, we would like to have your company become a vendor with Baker & Taylor.”

That was a fine day.

Since the second book in my series, The Dragondain, had come out in December, and since my original contact from Barnes and Noble had changed since last November, I decided to send my new B&N contact new copies of both titles. She called a few weeks later to say they were going to order The Moon Coin, and that The Dragondain was now being reviewed by their buyer. During that time, Gibbering Gnome Press set up its account with B&T. I sent copies of books to my contact at B&T at that time, too. Soon, I was in B&T’s system.

On July 18th, the day before I was leaving for vacation, the first two purchase orders from B&T rolled in. So, instead of packing, I spent the evening thumbing through a 55 page document on how to make a proper shipping label for B&T’s warehouse. It involved me—I’m Gibbering Gnome’s typesetter, among other things—generating a label containing six barcodes. I’d never made barcodes before. I mean, I’d order them from Bowkers, of course, but never made them from scratch. By midnight, though, everything was boxed and ready to ship. I did what packing I could, then finished up in the morning. We sent the books off as we left town.

Unrelated to all this, I’d been in contact with a B&N Children’s Book Manager since last summer. Her store is in Utah. She’d contacted me on GoodReads, and wanted to know why my books weren’t in B&N’s catalog, Bookmaster. I’d told her I was trying my best. We kept in contact during this whole process, and, now that my books were in the system, she ordered copies for her store. She’s picked out a display, and Gibbering Gnome Press has sent her posters and postcards adverts.

Now all I need to do is sit back and watch the purchase orders roll in, right? Ha! If only it was so easy! But seriously, my job now is to run around to local B&Ns and independent bookstores, handing out free review copies and letting them know that I’m in B&T, or, in the case of the B&Ns, that I’m in Bookmaster. If I’m lucky, I might be able to get in on a few signings.

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TMC & TD GRG

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Copyright © 2011, 2012 by Richard Due. All rights reserved.
Gibbering Gnome Press,
A Division of Ingenious Inventions Run Amok, Ink®
The Moon Realm®

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“And while this title is considered middle-grade fiction (ages 7-12) due to the ages of its protagonists, it is so much more than that. It is an addictive drug for those of us who have lovingly flipped through its pages. It is the fantastical story you dreamed of while waiting to fall asleep. It is youth brought to life. It is all the things I still wish I could do. Things like have adventures of my very own.”

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JensBookCloset

Click HERE or the image directly above to read the review.

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