Cover Reveal: BAD GUY

Hannah Barnaby crafted a hilarious story about a child's desire to be the villain (and to torture his sister). As a kid, I preferred to be the hero, Wonder Woman specifically, but I see the appeal. Mike Yamada has brought the story to life with his vibrant, brilliant art. Here's just a taste of what the book will be:



Special thanks to Carter Higgins for doing the cover reveal


CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE (Actual) Cover Real and Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt Winners!

And now, some news from Christian McKay Heidicker:

Welcome back, scavengers! Glad you survived that crazy, pixelated city.

 It would be exhaustive to list everything discovered on the CURE cover, so I’ll just name the top ten things I didn’t even know were on there (and a few that made me chuckle):

1.         “Six barber-pole swords”

2.         “A man reading a love letter written with invisible ink”

3.         “A lucha libre parade float falling in the street” alternately “Just the sweetest, fattest, blue-haired little baby chubbo that better end up on a t-shirt or I'm going to scream and cry at the same time. Scry? Cream? Hmmmm.”

4.         “A camouflage helicopter blasting David Bowie music (obviously)” alternately “the Quad City DJs copter blasting tunes to the neighborhood”

5.         “1/10 of a robo-squid”

6.         “The bottom of someone's leg, wearing a purple-striped sock. This person must be a giant.”

7.         “Two happy green tripods talking about the upcoming presidential election (they're both rooting for Trump).” alternately “A couple of gleeps having a sweet convo”

8.         “A rather muscular wrestler standing under a purple umbrella with his favorite child (everyone has a favorite).”

9.         “A potted succulent on a balcony.”

10.   “That yellow dog head is totally licking its own eyeball.” alternately “A dog-head sculpture. Maybe it's a vehicle... If people ride in these, do they stick their heads out the window?”

And, of course, they can all by seen now, by you, in full, on the cover of Cure for the Common Universe:

Pretty nifty, eh?

Pretty nifty, eh?

This eye candy of a book was pitched by John Cusick, bought by Simon & Schuster BFYR, edited by Christian Trimmer [that's me!], and designed by Greg Stadnyk with art by eboy. I feel obscenely lucky to work with such talented people and to have such a jaw-dropping luscious cover. I only hope the words inside live up to it.

As my friend Korey Hunt, who actually came up with the idea for a story about a video game rehab in the first place . . . MISCHIEF SCAVENGED.

But that’s not why you’re here.

You’re here to see if you won one of our five elite prizes, which, to remind you, look like this:

Our five Manic Pixel Dream Reveal winners are . . .

1.         Krys McCintyre

2.         Yamille Mendez

3.         Annette Weed

4.         Alicia Van Noy Call

5.         Tim Campbell

The Cotton Floozy will get stitching and Simon & Schuster will get printing and we’ll hopefully have your stuff out to you by December.

Thank you for hunting. I hope you enjoy the inside of the book as much as I enjoy the outside. 

See you in June,

Christian McKay Heidicker

P.S. Thanks to all of the bloggers who participated: Christian Trimmer, John Cusick, Elana Johnson, Jennifer Bardsley, Valynne Maetani (friend and agent-getter), Brooke Lark (who designed my website and shot the prizes!), Carol Lynch Williams (who taught me a thing or eight about writing), and finally, Marie Davis Brian, The Cotton Floozy, who made the embroidery-posing-as-cross-stitch that elicited just as much drool as the cover.


How fun! Congratulations to the winners! Don't forget to add Cure for the Common Universe to your "Want to Read" shelf on Goodreads. The novel will be available for pre-order beginning this weekend--why not order it now so that you receive a surprise package early next summer?



Over the last number of months, I've had the supreme joy of working with Christian McKay Heidicker on his debut novel, Cure for the Common Universe, and I'm now partnering with him to reveal its cover. I've talked quite a bit about Cure for the Common Universe on my site, here and also here. But now, I'd like to give the other Christian a chance to speak. Please listen closely.

[Begin correspondence from Author Christian.]

Hello, everyone. My name is Christian McKay Heidicker.


Whew. That’s a mouthful. Let’s try . . .


There. Better.

You may be asking yourself, Where’s the cover? I came here to see a cover.

Okay, first, have I told you how nice your hair looks today?

And second, the cover isn’t here.

Cure’s cover art is a little intense to take in all at once, so for everyone’s safety, I’ve divided it into nine pieces (er, pixels) and spread them across the internet.

WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO US? you're asking.

To make a scavenger hunt, of course. What’s the use of a book about a kid going to video game rehab if there isn’t some gaming first?! The art is reminiscent of books like I Spy or Where’s Waldo?, so this scavenger hunt will work just like that...except instead of finding a cat's eye marble or some seemingly friendless chump in a red and white striped sweater, you’ll receive ACTUAL PRIZES.

Five lucky winners will receive a signed ARC (advanced reading copy) of Cure for the Common Universe AND an embroidery of one of the phrases from the book, hand stitched by the extremely talented Cotton Floozy.

GAH! I WANT THAT. HOW DO I WIN? you're scream shouting.

Every one of the nine pixels is packed with cool objects. Make a list of all of the fun things you discover and send said list in an email to or message to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook. For every three items on your list, I’ll enter your name in the drawing.


Subject: Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt

Dearest Christian,

I found:

1.         A puppy made of garlic cloves

2.         A bottomless bowl of undercooked breadsticks

3.         A Christmas tree wearing lipstick

4.         Amelia Earheart’s monocle

5.         A bottomless bowl of overcooked breadsticks

6.         A Who*

(*Objects not actually on cover. This imaginary person would receive two entries in the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt.)


Tomorrow, I’ll post the whereabouts of the nine pixels, on this blog and at (You can also follow them with #cureforthecommonuniverse and #manicpixel.)

The Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt begins!

[End correspondence from Author Christian.]

Hey readers, it's Editor Christian. You're going to love this cover and book. Make sure to add the novel to your "Want to Read" shelf on Goodreads.

For now, I'll leave you with this image and the question, What do Christian McKay Heidicker and Miley Cyrus have in common?

Prepare to be cured, June 2016.