We haz a winner, yo

The Gentleman Bug, a picture book by Julian Hector
I identify with the Gentleman Bug. I'd hang out with him if he was, you know, real.

The winner of the Julian Hector picture book giveaway extravaganza, held in honor of the 2011 edition of Random Acts of Publicity, is Pat Zietlow Miller! Congratulations Pat, I’ll hunt you down via one of the many social media networks we’re both on – once you’ve sent me your address and the name of your indie store of choice I’ll get your copies of MONDAY IS ONE DAY, THE GENTLEMAN BUG and THE LITTLE MATADOR out in the mail right away.

My first round of line edits are done, by the way! Exciting stuff. We’ll see how much more polish that puppy needs, but in the meantime I have a couple of other writing projects to get back to, including a new mystery project that I feel very happy to be a part of. I honestly don’t know if I can spill the beans about it yet – I’ve been so consumed with other stuff that I actually haven’t made the effort to ask if it’s okay to go public – but there’s been something like radio silence around it, so I’ve held off on saying anything. So keep your eyes peeled for this confidential double-secret probation writing news at some point in the future. No, it’s not a new book deal, but it’s very cool nonetheless. Until then, minions…



Random Acts of Publicity 2011: Julian Hector!

My birthday card from Julian Hector
Come on, how can you not love a guy who makes a birthday card like this?

Ahhhhh, line edits due VERY VERY SOON! No time to blog! Must make this really, really fast! Here’s the official scoop on the very cool event known as Random Acts of Publicity:

The 3rd Annual Random Acts of Publicity, September 6-8, 2011 is a week to celebrate your Friend’s book, or your favorite book, by doing a Random Act of Publicity:  Blog, link, Like, review, or talk about the book . (BLLuRT!)

Awesome stuff, huh? Darcy Pattison, a mainstay of the kidlit community, came up with the idea a few years ago, and it’s built up quite the head of steam ever since.

So! The friend whose work I want to celebrate is the guy who thoughtfully whipped up the lightning-fast yet hilariously funny birthday card at the top of this post.  He also collaborated with my own editor (and picture book author par excellence) Arthur Levine on the wonderful ode to working parents and their children, MONDAY IS ONE DAY. Yes, it’s Julian Hector! A trio of huzzahs for Julian!

Aw, look at this little guy, iddint he the most adorable thing ever?

One of these days we’ll meet in person, Julian and I, but for now I’m gonna celebrate his work with this stunningly generous multibook giveaway! I know what you’re thinking – “well gee whiz Mike, I want to give you a balloon animal because you are just such a swell guy.” I am, in fact, an extremely swell guy, thank you for noticing.

But enough about me – to enter, just leave a comment on this post about a picture book author, illustrator, or author/illustrator whose work you admire as much as I admire Julian’s, which is to say, a whole lot. I’ll randomly select a winner, who will receive an Indiebound order (from the indie store of that person’s choice) that includes three selections from the Julian Hector ouvre – the aforementioned MONDAY IS ONE DAY (illustrated by Julian, written by Arthur A. Levine), THE GENTLEMAN BUG (written and illustrated by Julian), and THE LITTLE MATADOR (also written and illustrated by Julian).

I’ll take entries until, oh, midnight on Friday, September 16. The winner shall experience feelings of tremendous glee and contentment and own three awesome picture books by one of the rising stars in the biz. The winner will also have to wait a couple of weeks, because I have a deadline and I’ve already spent too much time goofing around on the old bloggy wog, but it’s three free books, for crying out loud! What, you’re gonna complain? I HAVE DECREED IT TO BE SO, AND SO IT SHALL BE. Got it? Ready? OK GO!


P.S. Just so you know, the contest is closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

I want to show you my, what do you call it, oh yeah, right, my COVERRRRRR

Sheer perfection, right?

The thing is, I don’t have much to say about this cover that I haven’t already said in a thousand other places. Yes, those of you who rely on my blog to provide information  FIRST have been royally screwed, but then again, if you are relying on my blog for first alert info, err, you’re not paying terribly close attention as it is…

THIS IS THE COVER FOR MY BOOK GEEKS, GIRLS AND SECRET IDENTITIES! I have a cover! Designed by Phil Falco, no less, who’s also done stellar covers for the likes of How to Say Goodbye in Robot, The Eleventh Plague, and Tentacles, and illustrated by Mike Maihack, who’s done about a zillion cool things in the comic book world.

There’s my little protagonist Vincent Wu with that one cute little clenched fist, standing front and center! Ain’t he a tough little guy? My brother described the robot as “Kirby-esque,” which of course makes perfect sense to all of you old-school Marvel Comics aficionados who remember the halcyon days of Jack “King” Kirby, who partnered with the legendary Stan “The Man” Lee in creating a new world order for superhero devotees like yours truly. Pretty cool to have that kind of association with my little book.

I mean, dude, it’s AMAZING, is it not?? I’m kind of in shock over how good it is – it’s like a #$%&ing dream how these incredibly good things keep happening right at the very start of my career as an author. Either I’m on an incredible hot streak of good luck (which I might be anyway), or somebody up there just likes me. Or the planets are all aligning in exactly the right way at exactly the right moment or something, I don’t know. Whatever, man – I’m gobsmacked and blubberingly thankful for my good fortune. It’s the cover of my book!

A letter to my dad

Dad, you’d be thrilled to see your grandchildren in action. The 4.93 year old can do a pirouette and remember the words to the Whole Foods Parking Lot rap! The 7.5 month old is crawling and standing up in his crib, and he’s getting his fifth tooth! I’m doing okay too. My book’s coming out sometime next year with Arthur A. Levine Books – Arthur’s a wonderful guy, you’d like him. My agent, Ammi-Joan Paquette, is equally wonderful, you’d like her too. In fact you’d like everyone at the Erin Murphy Literary Agency – it’s a remarkably warm and welcoming group. I feel so attached to them already! I get to work with the best people, I’ve made some new friends, and for the first time in my entire life I feel like I may have found my calling. I know how doubtful my prospects for doing that have seemed at times, but I think it’s happening now.

I can’t go back and change the past, though, no matter how much I might want to. I was a terrible son. I hurt you on more than one occasion, either through blind, lashing anger or thoughtless indifference, and I don’t know that either of those is less destructive a reason than the other. It’s far, far too late, and it doesn’t mean much (if anything) to say it now, but I’m sorry.

I can’t really make it up to you by trying to be a good dad, can I? I don’t think it works that way. I am trying, though. It’s kind of easy to try, actually – they’re such great kids, Dad! They’re so funny, both of them! And smart, and creative, and affectionate, and happy, and full of life…you’d love them, and they’d love you. We have one of each, a girl and a boy, and they love each other! It’s astonishing, wonderful, miraculous – they bring me such joy. I’m incredibly tired every single minute of the day, but I’m so happy that they’re here with us. I love them so much, and I think I have you to thank for how easy it is to love them, because I’ve never forgotten your obvious, overflowing love for kids. It always showed. Cousin Sandy has the best story about how you were there for her after Tom’s birth, when she was feeling so sad and lonely and left to her own devices.

It’s been a few years now since you passed on, and the pain of your departure has been rounded and softened by the passage of time, but it’s still there. And it has its flipside, of course. I’m horrendously sad that you can’t be here to talk to and play with your grandchildren, but that’s because I know how much love you would shower them with, and I also know that there still is a path your love can pass through to reach them. The path runs through me, of course.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I know it’s good that you’re no longer in pain, struggling along in a state of physical diminishment and emotional hardship. You’re at peace, and that’s for the best. But I still miss you, and I wish you were here.

The event comes together despite bad planning and vomiting children

Aw look, they love my agent as much as I do. *sniff*

Yesterday was quite the eventful day – my inaugural SCBWI event on building an online presence was at 2, which of course meant I went into a bit of a panic when my daughter started violently throwing up at 10. I mean, holy cow, it was terrible. But superheroic dad that I am, I did my part to get her comfortable and taken care of, frantically polished off the rest of the Saturday morning errands, and managed to arrive at the event venue with my composure intact and no discernible smell of vomit in the air. Victory! Continue reading “The event comes together despite bad planning and vomiting children”

Wherein the blogger shamelessly pimps his own event

Molly O'Neill is right, this DOES look like something from a Lisa Yee book cover.

YEEEAAAAH, I’m gonna do it. Marketing. Promotion! EVENT PUBLICITY! Oh I feel so cheap and tawdry–oh wait, that’s right, I always feel that way…

DON’T BE A PINHEAD: Building an Online Presence Before Landing a Book Deal 

SCBWI California. San Francisco East/North Bay Area: A Beyond the Bay event
Sponsored by Deborah’s Rotten Tomato Stand and Arthur’s Transatlantic Croissant Delivery Service
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
1924 Trinity Avenue, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
Hecklers welcome

Mike Jung has an agent and a book deal, but before that stuff happened he was just another irritating guy spending too much time on the internet blabbing on and on about nothing. Find out how he pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes and started a career as a published author anyway. Mike is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency, and his debut novel GEEKS, GIRLS AND SECRET IDENTITIES is forthcoming from Arthur A. Levine Books. Yes, in fact I AM writing about myself in third person. TRY AND STOP ME. Yes, in fact I AM inviting people who live as far away as France. YOU SHOULD BE FLATTERED. That’s an unreasonably long way to travel, I must really want to see you there!

Fun, inventive and possibly masochistic activities that you may be asked to participate in at this gala event:

  1. You will have the opportunity to serve as proxy for a heckler who cannot attend.
  2. You might be forced to hold a ridiculous homemade sign and participate in a group photo.
  3. There will be at least a couple of attempts to coerce you into doing something silly that will eventually appear on YouTube.
Err, um, it’s not free. I think it’s $10 for SCBWI members, $15 for non-members. But if you attend I’ll give you a free doughnut! Promise! FREE DOUGHNUTS! (Psssst, actually they’re cookies, and SCBWI will provide them, but JUST PRETEND THEY’RE DOUGHNUTS)

My unproductive day off, or yeah yeah, it’s been a while since I blogged…

I'm totally writing a Claes Oldenburg-ish character into a future book. IT'S MY IDEA, HANDS OFF...

…and please curb your expectations, because I’m not yet ready to get aaaaaaaall the way back into the regular every-week-or-so blogging thing. I’m coming off a pretty intense round of revision, my kid’s adjusting to his crib by waking up 3 or 4 times a night, and I did a couple of raggedy posts over on EMU’s Debuts. Also, when my social media hiatus ended the vast power of my online addiction reasserted itself with terrifying speed, so I’ve been updating my Facebook status every 90 seconds. I’m busy, yo.

Continue reading “My unproductive day off, or yeah yeah, it’s been a while since I blogged…”