Month: July 2014

Publishing Academy – Author’s Panel

I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak on a panel of published authors for Open Book’s Publishing Academy – Fantasy Fiction Workshop.  Look, I even have proof – that’s me, second from the left … the one that looks totally out of place 🙂


What a great time! We had a wonderful discussion with the students and the other authors on  the panel about where we get our ideas, how we keep from being distracted and other valuable insights into the writing process.  Other authors included Wesley Chu, Libby Fischer-Hellmann and Patricia Ann McNair of Columbia College among others.


The students were great, and they asked some fantastic questions.  Luckily I remembered to bring my “Adventures of the Salamander” bookmarks to hand out to everyone.  I look forward to doing more projects and presentations with Open Book in the near future. 

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that provides literacy experiences for thousands of readers each year through inspiring programs and creative capitalization of books.  Learn mor about them on their website:


My Visit with 826Chi – Writing Lab

Thank you 826Chi!  I had a great time presenting my drawing techniques to your writing lab class today.  I really enjoyed reading to the kids (and adults) and answering their questions.

Here are some of the questions I answered today:

Q: Who is your favorite children’s book author?

A. Dr. Seuss

Q. What inspired you to write “The Adventures of the Salamander”?

A. I found the original story that I wrote when I was five years old in my mom’s attic.  I was very excited to find my old story, but when I read it, the ending was so bad, I had to write it all over again.

Q. What is your favorite illustration you drew for the books?

A. I really like the picture in which Slippy and Squeeks are running from the Earth-Wyrms.  I also really like all the maps.

Q. Are you writing any other books?

A. Yes, I am working on finishing “Return of the Mirms” the sequel to “The Adventures of the Salamander.”

I also really enjoyed the pink salamander drawing we worked on together, that was fun!

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826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write.

Visit the 826CHI Website

A Great Review from Kirkus!

I could not be happier!  The Adventures of the Salamander was recently reviewed by Kirkus, “one of the most trusted and authoritative voices in book discovery.”  Here are just a few of the great things they had to say about Slippy and his tale:

“The series does for naturalism what the Magic Tree House series did for world history”

“…an engaging story, a sympathetic protagonist and great illustrations…”

“…should appeal to both boys and girls from a wide variety of backgrounds…”

“Entertaining and educational; a welcome find for parents and kids looking to get hooked on a new series”

While the true judges of the series will be the children who grow up with it, it is great to be recognized by a well respected organization like Kirkus.  Read the whole review here:


Slippy and his friends travel to Piggle-Paggle-Ding-Dong-Doodle via rocket to attend the 3rd Meeting of the Tri-Lateral Commission.  For a detailed history of Piggle-Paggle-Ding-Dong-Doodle, the Great Interplanetary War and the unfortunate fate of the planet Limpoo, please refer to Book II, Volume 7, Appendix 3, page 141 of the Adventures of the Salamander, also known as “Slippy and the Progression of Problematic Predicaments.”