Unlike a lot of authors these days (at least those that I know), I tend to start new projects longhand, with a pen or a marker and, usually, a brand-new pad of unlined paper. I do this for a couple of reasons.
One is that I think I think better with a pen in my hand, as opposed to a keyboard beneath my fingers. Writing takes longer than typing, and that extra time lets me think a little more about the characters I’m creating and the worlds I’m building. Once I’ve scratched out a rough draft, once I feel I’ve figured out what sort of story I’m actually trying to tell, then I’ll move over to the computer, where I can work more quickly and confidently to bang out a second, and hopefully much less rough, draft.
The other reason I like to start new projects the old-fashioned way is that I like to draw. A lot. It helps me think things through, making the characters and situations I’m writing about feel a bit more real. Also, it’s just fun.
Recently, I thought it might be cool to share some of the drawings that have been popping up alongside the stories I’ve been working on lately. It’ll give readers a behind-the-scenes look at my works in progress, and maybe even inspire any aspiring writers and/or artists out there to do a little drawing themselves.
So here, completely contextless, are some selections from my sketchbook. I’ll leave it up to you to imagine why an alien might need to disguise himself as a human, or why a boy might suddenly find himself falling through a hole in space-time.
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The battle between boys and bots is on in this funny, fast-paced novel.
Ken is an EngiNerd: one of a super-smart group of friends—all nerds—who have been close since kindergarten.
They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has beenbuilding robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind.
At first Ken is awed and delighted: what kid hasn’t dreamed of having a robot all their own? Someone who can be their friend, clean their room, walk the dog, answer homework questions…how amazing is that?
But be careful what you wish for: Dan’s robot, Greeeg, may look innocent, but his ravenous consumption of food—comestibles—turns him into a butt-blasting bot. And once the other robots ‘come alive’ it’s up to the motley crew of EngiNerds to not only save the day, but save the planet!