It’s Absolute Mayhem! And this time, my children are not the cause

When fellow blogger, Kelly Suellentrop, first asked for help spreading the word about her new children’s book, Absolute Mayhem, I vacillated. I’m playing catch-up on my own writing these days and I didn’t want to commit to something if I lacked the time to follow through.

Then, I remembered how daunting it is to navigate the process of self-publishing your first book. How do you take a stack of paper with words or drawings on the sheets and turn that pile into an actual book that people can buy? (And I’m not talking about a comb-bound course packet from the Kinko’s copy center.) It’s not an easy process the third or fourth time you do it. The first time, it’s a mind-blowing mystery. To borrow from Kelly’s book title, it’s Absolute Mayhem.

It’s a lonely, confusing process, and anyone who makes it through deserves congratulations and support from the independent author community.

I signed up to help.

And then I had that moment. If you interact with writers at all, you know that moment. It goes like this in your head: “Oh my God! What if I don’t like the book? I’ve just agreed to blog about it, but what if I hate it? How will I get out of it? I know. I’ll tell her my blog is busy washing its hair.”

Before I opened the electronic proof file Kelly sent, I crossed my fingers and pleaded, “Please be good. Please be good. Nobody ever buys the hair washing excuse.”

Then, I opened the file and forgot all about making excuses, because Absolute Mayhem is an awesome children’s book. I don’t have to mince words. I don’t have to finesse anything. I get to relax and tell the truth, which is simply that I really like this book.

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Absolute Mayhem is the story of Lulu and Milo, siblings who dutifully do their schoolwork and chores all week long in anticipation of the fun they expect to have on the weekend. During the week, they rely upon their imaginations. But on the weekend, it’s Absolute Mayhem as they live their dreams.

I love the artwork in this book – not for any technical reasons, because I have no artistic talent, so I wouldn’t know a technical reason if it bit me in the deep lower back. The art here has an endearing playfulness. It’s the funny, little touches, like the rabbit spraying air freshener around the doggy doo in the back yard, that make the illustrations special.

The story is relatable to both kids and adults, a target that many children’s books miss. As a parent of three, I’ve been exposed to approximately 3.2 metric tons of children’s literature and this one is up there with the best of them.

Absolute Mayhem on Amazon.com

Kelly Suellentrop’s author website

Kelly Suellentrop’s blog: are you finished yet?

 

Books: so much more appealing when they have covers

Occasionally I take a post off from Daddy Blogging in order to talk about blogging or writing in general. This usually happens when another blogger tags me for some type of event that’s going around the blogging community. Then, I put the kids to bed and talk about my blogging process or the writing life.

This is like that, but different. I’m taking off the Daddy Blogger hat, but not at the behest of other bloggers. I’m doing it on my own, in order to make some exciting announcements.

The thing about me and announcements is I’m not very good at them. They make me nervous. People will know my plans, so now I have to follow through on them. I’d rather finish my projects and then say, “See? That’s what I did.” But that doesn’t build any hype, and hype is part of marketing, and marketing is what you’re supposed to do at times like this. So I’m told by successful writers.

And I want to be successful.

So, announcements.

We have cover art!

Last time I took off the Daddy Blogger hat, I mentioned that I’m working on publishing a new book. It seems like I’ve been working on publishing this book forever. One of the delays was finding the right artist to do the cover. I finally found her. Her name is Jessica O’Brien. She did this awesome artwork.

 

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I just have to get the final proofing done and we’ll finally have a book. Cross your fingers.

And when will this final proofing be done? Ha! You actually expect a man with my dread of announcements to give a date? Don’t worry; I’ll make an announcement.

I’m working on a new blog.

As part of this book rollout, I’ve replaced my author website with a new WordPress blog. My static website was a completely amateurish endeavor, built by me, a completely amateurish web designer. In moving to WordPress I hope to do more with less (time and money). That savings should allow me to maintain two blogs at once. We’ll see about that, won’t we?

At the other blog, I will be writing about writing. If that’s the sort of thing that excites you, you probably have issues, so you should go here www.scottnagele.com and click “follow” right away.

This blog will remain.

I’m proud of this blog. It’s not the most widely read blog, but I think it has its entertaining moments. (Click the Index of Posts tab at the top to see everywhere it’s been.) But when you are trying to publish a book, write another one, transition a website, work a full-time job, and raise three boys, time can get tight. (Note to the homeowners association: this has nothing to do with why my lawn is eight inches high; it rains every time I try to mow, so tell it to the weatherman.)

I cut down to posting once per week here over the summer. Maybe once my obsession with this new book eases, I’ll be able to post more. I hope so, because Daddy Blogging is the most fun writing I do.

P.S. My apologies to those who read the title and thought this would be a fun post about toddlers tearing the covers off books.