On 5/17/16, Hello, My Name Is Octicorn will be published by HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray. This is a dream that goes many, many years back. But as my friend Dylan, an arborist here in Portland, Oregon, said, "Ideas are like seeds. They take awhile to grow into trees."
This book has taught me a lot about patience, about pursuing your dreams in a world that often tells you to play it safe and keep your head down, and it's helped me on my own journey of self-acceptance.
That this book means so much to others is the real reward.
When we self published this book a few years back, Kevin and I were humbled to see an outpouring of support for the character, book, and it's positive message, that it's OK to be different, in a society that's often subtly asking you to be like everybody else.
Reviews on Amazon poured in. And while it's never a good idea to read your own reviews, these ones touched our hearts.
"Love this! I bought it for myself, but will give it to my girls as a gift. Its a great story of a little guy who doesn't quite fit in, but realizes its okay to be different and not look or act the same as everyone else. Reminds me of my daughter on the autism spectrum (aspergers)." - review on Amazon
"I teach guidance/counseling lessons to kindergarten and 1st grade (among other things) and am going to use this book for a lesson...it's wonderful." - instagram comment
We even heard that this book, originally intended for children, was being used in an adult therapy sessions. Whoa!
Octicorn's first window was designed by Nena Rawdah of St. John's Booksellers.
With Octicorn stepping onto the national stage soon, it seemed appropriate to once again thank all the people who have helped make this happen. Dreams can come true with enough hard work, persistence, luck, serendipity (the list goes on). But you don't get there alone. And we've been blessed to have the support of our family, friends, and co-workers since the beginning. Back in 2013, 277+ kind folks with big hearts donated money on Kickstarter to help bring this project alive and that early support helped take Octicorn from a sticker once seen on the tip jar at the Portland, OR venue Doug Fir, to a book you could physically hold in your hands.
The book had many early champions, including designer Dani Guralnick who worked on it, Susan Sullivan - who kept me drawing, folks like Marni Beardsley, the Janet Champs, the Mary Zulegers, the Mike Folinos. The list goes on. Every project needs cheerleaders. The people who tell you to KEEP GOING! (And the more you listen to your own inner cheerleader instead of your inner critic, the more you will experience yourself moving forward instead of getting stuck.)
I must admit, when I started this LinkedIn post I didn't intend for it to sound like an Oscar acceptance speech, but have to admit, pretty sure the music is starting to play and I'm running a bit long.
THANK YOU: Elena Giovinazzo, Alessandra Balzer, Binny Talib, Dana, the folks at HarperCollins, Severin Villiger, Boys Fort, Powell's, Green Bean Bookstores, Moule, all our awesome Kickstarter backers...this dream is also happening because of YOU.
Music playing - they are walking me off the stage. This is awkward. This isn't even an award show.
I guess all I'm saying is: I'm excited. And grateful.
Hello, My Name Is Octicorn can be pre-ordered here.
For those in the Portland, OR area, a reading of the new book will take place at Powell's on Saturday, June 4th at 11am. A reading is also being planned that Sunday at Green Bean Books on NE Alberta St. Stay tuned for further details.