FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
"...it’s a story that advocates for defending one’s passions and running wild with them..."
Ally still loves dinosaurs in this follow-up to Ally-saurus & the First Day of School, and Torrey again outfits her with a pink-outlined tail and spikes—all the better for her to live out her imaginary double life as Ally-saurus. Her friend Kai’s purple top hat and tuxedo similarly reflect his dreams of being a star dancer, but the children’s patience is tested by new neighbor Maddie, who insists on everything being done her way: “If you’re going to play monsters, you have to follow the rules!”
To read the entire review click here
I first posted this picture on my Facebook page in May of 2016 with the caption, "staring at a blank page, beginning the long-sometimes painful-but always exhilarating-process of turning a spark into a story..."
I then struggled for two months only to create a hash of a story which I subsequently buried next to the many other "misses".
Having gone through this process many times, I know the best thing you can do sometimes is to put the story away in order to let it "ripen"...for a month...a year...sometimes ten. I probably have a hundred stories, or pieces of stories that I worked on for days, months, or in some cases years. Sometimes when I pull them out again, they will have indeed ripened. Other times...not so much-still rotten.
If there is one thing that separates an amateur from a professional, it is the massive amounts of time invested-with absolutely no guarantee of a positive outcome. It is understood going in that it often won't end well. iIt's a tightrope walk without a net.
That said, if you put in the work, learn from the gazillion mistakes you will make, and stay with it, you get better at generating ideas. You get better at fleshing them out. You get better at sensing whether you have something that is worth the investment of your time. You also start to love that tightrope.
So, the story I posted about last May-and buried last July...well, I dug it up last month, ripped out much of what was rotten (most of the story), and just put the finishing touches on a new version-and Sue likes it!!!! (which is always the first test). Time to send it off to my agent. I'll let you know if anything happens.
Arriving home late Tuesday night, I was greeted with a package containing an advance copy of ALLY-SAURUS & THE VERY BOSSY MONSTER. Having started the process of brainstorming ideas for this book 18 months ago, the feeling of holding the finished product in my hands is indescribable.
Yesterday marked the passing of a legend, Frank Deford.
He was a brilliant writer and editor, a visionary, and a showman.
In 1989, I ended my first comic strip, Hartland and began doing editorial cartoons and story illustrations for the brand new sports daily-The National. Frank Deford was the editor.
It was great exposure, wonderfully challenging work, insane deadlines...but they paid VERY well...which is why they only lasted two years. To this day, it was the most fun I've ever had doing what I do.
Toward the end of The National's run, Deford asked me to create an exclusive sports comic strip-which I did. Days after getting editorial approval for the strip (called Benchwarmers), The National went belly up.
I subsequently changed the name of the strip to Pete & Clete and sold it to Creators Syndicate in LA.
RIP Mr. Deford. Thank you for the wild ride.
Read more about Frank Deford in the NY Times by clicking here.