Monday, June 20, 2016

#SpacedOutBooks LAUNCHED!

Hello Space Lovers everywhere!

July 20th is Space Exploration Day, honouring the day humans first touched foot on the moon (that we know of anyway).

My buddy Wesley King and I have space books that we think you'll love MINRS and The Incredible Space Raiders... from SPACE!


(But there are LOTS out there and we'd love to hear your suggestions too).

So, for the next month we want to celebrate Space Exploration by giving away some FREE stuff.

Here's the deal.

Tweet us a pic of you reading, using the hashtag #SpacedOutBooks.

Each week, two lucky winners will get a copy of either MINRs or Space Raiders 

And everyone who enters will be eligible for a grand prize.

On July 20th we'll pick three schools or libraries each for a free Skype visit this fall. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

RIP Mr. Hockey

Very sad to hear the news about Gordie Howe. Although what a great life.

I was lucky enough to see him play with Hartford when I was young and he was always a huge figure in my life as a hockey fan (I have a Gordie Howe Christmas ornament), and even as an illustrator.

This is a pic I drew of Gordie for my very first book, Shadrin Has Scored for Russia. It was one of the first pen-and-ink pics that I felt actually came close to what I wanted to draw.




For the sake of context, in the book the Russians win the 1972 Summit Series - and hockey collapses in Canada. Wayne Gretzky becomes a curler and Gordie Howe moves to Moscow, where he becomes known as Comrade Hockey (check out the vanity plates).

(The book is no longer available - unless you want a copy from me. Tonnes in my attic.)

On the way!

Nice to see both MINRs2 and GREAT get nods in the Quill and Quire 

Fall Preview.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

#WhyWritersMatter

The Writers' Union of Canada has launched a new campaign - #WhyWritersMatter

Wow. That's a tough idea to unpack - because there are so many reasons why we need writers to tell us stories, take us to new places, allow us avenues outside of ourselves and more deeply inside ourselves.

I guess my main response to the campaign is that writers - both of fiction and non-fiction - help us ask the big questions about life. Stories give us ways inside the complexities of our lives as humans, giving us new ways of looking at things. The Great Gatsby helps us ponder what true success means, what identity means... just as much as Where the Wild Things Are helps us understand (and even accept) anger and frustration.

In closing.. here are some of my author photos from my various books.




Can you guess which books?

(A: Neil Flambé 2, 4, 5, 6 - MINRs and Super-Duper Monster Viewer)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Super-Duper Monster Viewer

I use my tablet a LOT to talk to my family. They just live way too far away.

And those chats partly inspired the images from my book Super-Duper Monster Viewer (just out from Groundwood).

So I made a short video thanking the people who designed that amazing tech... even if it can be somewhat "imprecise" at times.





Saturday, May 14, 2016

FOREST OF READING!!!!

The Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading is my fave reading award program.

And this year's festivities got underway yesterday in London, Ontario. 

There's even a cool app that let's you take photos like this!



Sunday, May 1, 2016

Duncan's mission


You may remember this Hallowe'en picture of one of my fans, an awesome kid named Duncan.



He suffered a loss recently when his best friend Connor took his own life.

Since then, Duncan has been raising awareness and funds for Kids Help Phone. 1-800-668-6868

There was a Walk So Kids Can Talk walk in memory of Connor today. You can still donate through the LINK.

Duncan has also been baking these amazing Star Wars cookies to raise some money.


This is a great cause, and something we are often afraid to talk about. Talk about it. 1-800-668-6868



This is the booth Duncan set up at the kids market a few weeks ago to raise money and pass along the phone number. 

I'll leave you with what Duncan wrote me about his friend.

"Connor was a kind and caring person.  He loved reading, Doctor Who, Star Wars, Dungeons and Dragons, board games and art.  He was creative and really smart. He was in the book club at school and used to be a library helper.   He was a grade 8 student and was going to go to a specialized robotics programme for grade 8. Connor took his own life in February.  He had just turned 14."

www.kidshelpphone.ca