It's My Summer 2016 Picture Books!

Summer is nearly upon us--HUZZAH!--which means the books of summer will be hitting bookshelves very soon--DOUBLE HUZZAH! As I've done the last two seasons, for Spring 2016
and Fall 2015, I wanted to give you, dear reader, a glimpse into the cover-designing process. A LOT of thought, time, and energy goes into the creation of these beautiful images. My Summer 2016 is pretty big, so I'm going to break it up into two blog posts: picture books and novels.

Let's start with Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay (5/3/16) by Susan Hood with art by Sally Wern Comport. I don't think we considered any concepts other than the below for this amazing true story of an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from trash. Sally so expertly combines the major elements of the story--Ada, her violin, the trash, and the orchestra members--in this inspiring, stunning piece of art. Early versions of the cover were in warmer tones, but we decided to go with shades of blue to capture the spirit and joy of the orchestra. 

I'm very happy to be simultaneously publishing a Spanish-language edition.

We printed the jacket of the F & G's for Ada's Violin on a gritty matte paper in an effort to capture the grittiness of the setting. Though the finished product looked cool, the paper was almost too gritty--it didn't feel great in your hands. The actual book jacket is now on a regular stock with matte lamination and a beautiful spot gloss on the title.

Next up we have It Came in the Mail (6/21/16) by Ben Clanton. The story follows young Liam who loves getting mail...except he never gets any. He comes up with the brilliant idea to send his mailbox a piece of mail, asking for some mail in return, and the mailbox delivers. The first item the mailbox sends Liam is a delightful dragon; the interior image looks like this:

When I presented It Came in the Mail in our Summer 2016 Launch meeting (where we present all of the summer titles to the sales and marketing team), this moment got a big, "Awwww!" Lucy, that genius designer, suggested we make a version of the art our cover. We thought a less crispy version of Liam better suited the front cover, and Ben obliged. 

The book has a trim size of 8.5 x 11 inches. The jacket has a matte lamination.

Finally, we have A Tiger Tail (Or What Happened to Anya on Her First Day of School), a fantastic new offering from author-illustrator Mike Boldt. Mike's a pretty big deal in his homeland of Canada, and he's garnering attention in the United States for his work on Dev Petty's I Don't Want to Be a Frog. I scooped up A Tiger Tail and a second picture book in a hotly contested auction. 

Almost always, the cover is the last piece of art to be completed on a picture book. The book's designer (in this case, Krista Vossen) wants to see how the interiors come together before thinking about the cover. Sometimes, there's a piece of interior art that will double as the front cover; other times, a new piece of art is created. For this book, the latter was the case. We reached out to Mike to see if he had any ideas, and he delivered the following sketch:

Cover Concept - A Tiger Tail.png

It's not at ALL what I had in my head--it's SO MUCH BETTER. The image so elegantly captures the spirit of the book--just look at Anya's anxious little feet!

Like It Came in the Mail, the book is 8.5 x 11, printed with a matte lamination with a spot gloss on the title treatment.

Check out the "Coming Soon" tab to learn more about these books!

JLG Love

I am feeling the love from the wonderful Junior Library Guild! So far, four books on my 2016 list have been picked for this honor: Thanks for the Trouble by Tommy Wallach, Ada's Violin by Susan Hood and Sally Wern Comport, El Violin de Ada, and Rise of the Robot Army by Robert Venditti. Thank you, JLG! 

Add It to the List: BAD GUY by Hannah Barnaby, art by Mike Yamada

Most of the picture books I acquire are the package deal--the author and the illustrator are the same person (see Ashyln Anstee, the Fan Brothers, Ben Clanton, Mike Boldt, and Jessie Sima's books, as examples.) When I do buy a manuscript, there's usually a very clear reason, such as the writer is a celebrity (Laurie Berkner, Quvenzhané Wallis, Ylvis) or there's some obvious promotional opportunity (for example, Ada's Violin, which, beyond being an awesome book, has Earth Day, publicity, and education market potential).

Hannah Barnaby's Bad Guy is simply a well-written and funny story with awesome opportunities for illustrations--all the things you want from a picture book. For sure, the picture book will appeal to families with more than one kid--the story offers an original sibling rivalry narrative--and I've learned that many children relish the opportunity of playing the villain, which our hero excels at. But I really wanted this book on my list because it's GOOD. Mike Yamada's artwork has the right balance of sweetness, humor, and detail--I can't wait to see what he delivers for Bad Guy. It's always a joy to work with his agent, Kirsten Hall at Catbird, and I'd been very eager to do a deal with the glorious Linda Pratt of the Wernick Pratt Agency. Mission: accomplished!

It's "Meet Mimi and Shu" Monday: Look!!!

Remember that kid from elementary school who took her (let's be real--it was usually a girl) time eating whatever birthday treat was brought in? She'd delicately nibble at it or politely lick the frosting while the rest of us shoved the whole thing into our mouths. Then, we'd gather around her desk, begging for a bite of her brownie/cupcake/cookie. That girl had so much power and self-control. I thought of that girl when I was developing Shu. 

A little over two weeks until (Mimi and Shu in) I'll Race You! hits bookshelves!


Add It to the list: THE SHAW CONFESSIONS by Michelle Hodkin

The online edition of my favorite magazine, Entertainment Weekly, just announced that S & S will be publishing three new books with the wonderful and savvy Michelle Hodkin. I was very fortunate, indeed, to inherit editing duties on The Retribution of Mara Dyer, the third book in the Mara Dyer Trilogy. Now, I get to do three more books in that world, all told from the point-of-view of the hot, brilliant Noah Shaw.

You can read EW's article here. They cut my quotation, so here's that portion of the press release:

BESTSELLING YA AUTHOR MICHELLE HODKIN TO PUBLISH A NEW TRILOGY WITH SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

New York, NY, November 3, 2015

What happens after happily ever after? By the end of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, Noah Shaw and Mara Dyer discovered their world-changing abilities along with their love for each other. In the first book of The Shaw Confessions, Noah’s father is murdered, and Noah inherits unimaginable riches, terrible knowledge, and the chance to find other people like himself. But as Noah and Mara begin their global search, they’ll discover that they have very different goals: Noah wants peace. Mara wants power. When the girl of your dreams turns the world into a nightmare, what do you choose? The girl or the world? 

“Like many fans of the Mara Dyer Trilogy, I fell in love with Noah Shaw the moment he was introduced in The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer,” says Christian Trimmer, executive editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. “Michelle tantalized readers with a few chapters in his voice in The Retribution of Mara Dyer, and I couldn’t be more excited that she is now giving him his own series.” The first book in The Shaw Confessions is scheduled to release in Summer 2017.

“When I wrote the first words of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I knew that I was writing an antiheroine’s origin story,” says Michelle Hodkin. “What I didn’t know was how many readers would ask for the adventures of that antiheroine and her hero: both powerful, both in love, and almost certain to destroy each other. I always wanted to tell the story of the choices the characters would make and the risks they would take after they discovered who and what they really were, and I’m thrilled to finally have that chance. Readers may think they know Noah Shaw, but there’s so much more to tell.”

Christian Trimmer, who will edit all three books, acquired world rights to the three books from Barry Goldblatt at Barry Goldblatt Literary.

Add It to the List: LIFEBOAT 12 by Susan Hood

I had an amazing, inspiring time working with Susan Hood on Ada's Violin, a picture book that details the origins of the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, Paraguay and comes out this May. Susan poured all of her energy into the development of this picture book manuscript, working with representatives of the Recycled Orchestra, folks at the Landfill Harmonic Movie, and reporters who had covered the orchestra to get the details just right. 

As such, I was thrilled when I received a new submission from her agent, this one for a novel, Susan's first! Lifeboat 12  is based on true events and follows six young boys (ages 9 - 13) who survived a major naval disaster in September 1940. The story details the U-boat torpedo attack on a ship carrying British children to Canada and the subsequent eight days, during which one of the lifeboats, carrying our heroes, was adrift on the Atlantic Ocean.  While the people, dates and events are factual, Susan decided to fictionalize this account to tell it from the point of the view of thirteen-year-old Ken Sparks, the eldest boy on board and the boy who spotted the rescue plane.

True to form, Susan has dived into her research. She has spent some time in London with plans to go back, and she had tracked down some of the survivors of Lifeboat 12!

Lifeboat 12 is scheduled for Fall 2017. 

Add It to the List: Two Books by Ben Clanton

I'm a huge Ben Clanton fan. I inherited his fantastic Something Extraordinary shortly before it went on sale, and I had an enormously good time editing It Came in the Mail, which comes out this summer. Just last week, I got to share the announcement that brilliant Ben would be illustrating two books in the Laurie Berkner program I'm editing. And I have a piece of Clanton original art hanging just to my left as I type this entry. Ben has a great sense of what kids like, and he's a gentleman to boot. 

I was eager to develop a series with Ben, so I asked him if he had any characters he felt could support one. Enter Rot, a mutant potato with bad breath, scraggly hair, and a heart of gold. Admittedly, I never, ever, EVER would have guessed that Ben was going to pitch me a potato, but I'm oh-so-glad he did. Here's the piece that recently appeared in PW's Children's Bookshelf:

Christian Trimmer at Simon & Schuster has acquired two picture books by author-illustrator Ben Clanton: Rot, the Cutest in the World and an untitled Rot sequel. The books introduce Rot, a mutant potato, who enters a beauty pageant where he competes against adorable bunnies, playful kitties, and cute jellyfish. The Rot sequel will continue his adventures and introduce the reader to key family members. The first book is planned for spring 2018, and the sequel will follow in spring 2019; Marietta B. Zacker at Nancy Gallt Literary brokered the deal for world English rights.   

And here's the full Ben Clanton publication plan:

Something Extraordinary: available now!

It Came in the Mail: Summer 2016

We Are the Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner: Spring 2017

Rot, the Cutest in the World: Spring 2018

Monster Boogie by Laurie Berkner: Summer 2018

Untitled Rot Sequel: Spring 2019

#TeamBen

 

Add It to the List: Three Books by Laurie Berkner

A little while ago, my boss forwarded me a submission from Jill Grinberg of Jill Grinberg Literary. Laurie Berkner, a huge star in the world of children's music, was interested in turning some of her songs into picture books. To be perfectly honest, I did not know who Laurie was. But her bio was impressive, she was constantly touring, she had a background in education, and she had a massive social media following, so I thought, I really should give this proposal a look. 

I spent a number of days listening to Laurie’s music and watching her videos ahead of my meeting with her, and I was very excited by the possibility of making picture books out of some of her songs. But after meeting Laurie, I was desperate to work with her. Every trait she conveys in her videos—funny, playful, generous, talented—she possesses in person, and then some. And she’s deeply passionate about her art and audience. I find her incredibly inspiring and was thrilled when I was able to acquire these books in a competitive auction. Here's the press release that we sent out recently.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BESTSELLING CHILDREN’S RECORDING ARTIST LAURIE BERKNER TO PUBLISH THREE PICTURE BOOKS WITH SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS

New York, NY, October 13, 2015: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, announced today that it will publish three picture books with award-winning and bestselling children’s music star, Laurie Berkner.

Author Photo_Low Res - Berkner.jpg

We Are the Dinosaurs, based on one of Berkner’s most popular songs, will release in Spring 2017 and will be illustrated by Ben Clanton. Pillowland, a gorgeous lullaby destined to become a beloved bedtime book, is due out in Fall 2017 and will be illustrated by Camille Garoche. Monster Boogie, a hit at Berkner’s live shows, is scheduled for Summer 2018, also to be illustrated by Ben Clanton.

Ben Clanton will illustrate two of the picture books...

Ben Clanton will illustrate two of the picture books...

...and Camille Garoche will do the third.

...and Camille Garoche will do the third.

Berkner, whose latest album, Laurie Berkner’s Favorite Classic Kids’ Songs, hits stores this month, was a former preschool music teacher and indie rocker. She started marketing her music more than fifteen years ago from her living room on her own label, Two Tomatoes Records; today, she is widely recognized as a pioneer in the “kindie” music genre and was crowned “the undisputed queen of kindie rock” by USA TodayThe Wall Street Journal noted, “Her music is distinctive because it speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grown-ups.”

“It is no wonder that Laurie is beloved by children and adored by parents,” says Christian Trimmer, executive editor, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. “Her songs, besides being incredibly catchy, are crafted with the utmost care and respect for her audience. She understands what kids, parents, and educators want and need. On top of that, she’s just really cool. I’m very excited to be making books with her.”

“I could not be more thrilled about my collaboration with Simon & Schuster,” says Laurie Berkner. “I’ve always imagined my songs being made into picture books. Now Ben’s and Camille’s stunning talents will bring them to life in ways I can only dream of! Their talent and Simon & Schuster’s expertise (with the gifted Christian Trimmer at the helm) is the perfect combination to help me create many wonderful books to share with my fans.”

Trimmer, who will edit all three books, acquired world rights to the three books from Jill Grinberg at Grinberg Literary. Marietta B. Zacker of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency represented Mr. Clanton. Kirsten Hall of Catbird Agency represented Ms. Garoche.

Add It to the List: Four Books by Quvenzhané Wallis

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

QUVENZHANE WALLIS, 2013 ACADEMY AWARD NOMINEE FOR BEST ACTRESS, TO PUBLISH FOUR BOOKS WITH SIMON & SCHUSTER CHILDREN’S PUBLISHING

NEW YORK, NY, Wednesday, October 7—Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, announced today that it will publish a three-book chapter book series and a picture book with Academy Award nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.

Photo courtesy of the actress/writer

Photo courtesy of the actress/writer

World rights were jointly acquired by Christian Trimmer, Executive Editor of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, and Dawn Davis, Vice President and Publisher of 37 INK, a division of Atria, from Esther Newberg of ICM Partners. The yet-to-be-titled chapter book series launches in January 2017, followed by the second chapter book and the picture book in Fall 2017. The third chapter book is scheduled for Summer 2018. Illustrators for the series and the picture book are yet to be selected.

Quvenzhané Wallis, age twelve, is an actress known for her Academy Award–nominated role in the 2012 film Beasts of the Southern Wild, 12 Years a Slave (2013), and last year’s holiday blockbuster, Annie (2014), which garnered the actress a Golden Globe nomination.

“Reading is very important,” notes Quvenzhané Wallis. “It allows people to form a visual experience in their minds of what is going on in the story. I hope all readers enjoy using their imaginations along with me and take a journey into my books.”

Loosely based on the author’s own experiences, Miss Wallis’s yet-to-be-titled picture book follows a spunky young heroine who is very much looking forward to a night out with her mom at an awards show. The duo has a grand time getting dressed up, riding in a limo, and walking the red carpet.

A precocious and talented third grader is the star of Miss Wallis’s chapter book series. The books follow Shai Williams, a star in the making, who has a flair for the dramatic . . . both onstage and off. Perfect for readers ages six and up, the series is sure to appeal to fans of Clementine and Judy Moody.

“I’m thrilled that Quvenzhané is turning her estimable abilities to books,” says Christian Trimmer. “Her dedication to great storytelling is readily apparent. Readers of all ages are in for a big treat.”

“The characters Quvenzhané has portrayed have an alluring mix of self-possession and vulnerability,” adds Dawn Davis. “We look forward to her bringing that same electric combination to the page. We also hope these books will help expand the diverse array of voices in the children’s book space.”


Quvenzhané Wallis is an Academy Award– and Golden Globe–nominated actress whose talents and command of the screen go beyond her young age. Originally from Louisiana, Quvenzhané got her big break at the age of five when she was cast in the lead role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Quvenzhané’s work in Beasts was hailed by critics as a career-defining performance and one of the best by a young actor in history and led to an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, making Quvenzhané the youngest actress ever to receive that honor. In 2013, she worked alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita Nyong’o, and Michael Fassbender in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave, winner of three Academy Awards. Quvenzhané further propelled her status as an acclaimed lead actress in her Golden Globe–nominated role as the titular character in the feature film Annie (2014), a modern retelling of the Broadway classic that has delighted audiences for generations, alongside Jamie Foxx and Cameron Diaz. Most recently, Quvenzhané starred in the animated movie adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s iconic worldwide bestselling book The Prophet, which was produced by and starred Salma Hayek, along with Liam Neeson, Jon Krasinski, and Alfred Molina. She is next set to star alongside Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried in the Gabriele Muccino–directed Fathers and Daughters. Recently announced, Quvenzhané also is attached to the film adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book, Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. In that film, she will portray main character Willow Chance.  



SIMON'S NEW BED Instagram Giveaway!

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Simon's New Bed Twitter giveaway. Now let's do the same thing on Instagram! You--yes, YOU--could win one of three signed copies (by me and the artist, Melissa van der Paardt). Here's how to enter:

Between Monday, 10/5 and Monday, 10/12, post a photo on Instagram of your cat in your dog's bed, your small child in your cat's bed, your guinea pig in your bed, etc. Your post should include the following copy: Get your own bed! #SimonsNewBed http://bit.ly/1YEvxpo (plus any other clever copy you'd like to add).

Post up to three different pictures for three chances to win. Entrants' names will be put in a hat, and three lucky winners will be selected!

Good luck!

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.

[END CORRESPONDENCE]

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?

 

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal and Scavenger Hunt, Part 2

And now, a message from the charming Christian McKay Heidicker. He likes to write in ALL CAPS, which is odd as his speaking voice is quite calm:

WELCOME TO THE MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT!

LET’S GET SCAVENGING!

Cure 3.png

Ooh. Aah.

For a chance to win, just participate in the Manic Pixel Scavenger Hunt. Here's one of the nine pixels now:

What do you see?

Write down your findings from this and the other pixels at any or all of the other blogs (listed below) and email them to me at cmheidicker@gmail.com or message them to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook.

For every three things you send, I’ll put your name in a hat (or my jeans pocket), and then I’ll draw five names out of the hat/pocket and send prize packages to those people.

Go! Get started! Win it! Win it all!

Here are the eight other participating blogs.

Valynne Maetani

Carol Lynch Williams

Elana Johnson

John Cusick

Brooke Lark

Jennifer Bardsley

The Cotton Floozy

Christian McKay Heidicker

#cureforthecommonuniverse #manicpixel

Tune in tomorrow to find out if you’ve won!

Prepare to be cured June 2016.

CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE Cover Reveal AND Scavenger Hunt

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.

WELCOME TO THE CURE FOR THE COMMON UNIVERSE COVER REVEAL AND SCAVENGER HUNT!

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

MANIC PIXEL SCAVENGER HUNT!

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 cmheidicker@gmail.com or message to C.M. Heidicker on Facebook. For every three items on your list, I’ll enter your name in the drawing.

EXAMPLE:

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.)

THAT’S IT!

Tomorrow, I’ll post the whereabouts of the nine pixels, on this blog and at www.cmheidicker.com. (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.

SIMON'S NEW BED Twitter Giveaway!

Simon's New Bed has been out for a whole month, which means it's time to give some copies away! You--yes, YOU--could win one of three signed copies (by moi and the artist, Melissa van der Paardt). Here's how to enter:

Between Friday, 9/25 and Friday, 10/2, post a photo on Twitter of your cat in your dog's bed, your kid in your cat's bed, your anaconda in your bed, etc. You know, a photo like this:

Photo (c) the brilliant  Julian Hector

Photo (c) the brilliant Julian Hector

Your post should include the following copy:Get your own bed! #SimonsNewBed http://bit.ly/1YEvxpo (plus any other clever copy you'd like to add).

Post up to three different pictures for three chances to win. (Retweet my tweet announcing the giveaway for one additional chance.) Entrants' names will be put in a hat, and three lucky winners will be selected!

Good luck!