This summer, I wrote a children’s book of sorts called The Back Door to the Universe. It was a new experience for me, which I rather enjoyed. To me, categorizing a piece of art as being somehow a “children’s” work denotes the freedom to wander as far afield of grown up convention as one should like, which is a liberty I relished. I’m not sure what normal grown ups might think of it (I’ve never been a normal grown up myself), but I know my two kids kept pestering me to complete my chapters, so I feel content with it.*
When I finished, I conferred upon myself the dubious honor of self-publishing a few copies, if for no other reason than that a bound book is much nicer to read than a sheaf of loose papers. Right away, my daughter asked for a few copies to give to her friends, so I had a few more printed. Besides, I had a couple typos to fix and reprinting gave me the chance to do so.
I’m not a huge defender of intellectual property laws, and I don’t really see traditional publishing in my future anyway, so I’m putting the whole document online and inviting anyone who wishes to read it for free. If anyone wants a print copy, I’ve made them available to purchase as well.**
Here’s the description on the back cover:
When a back door to the universe appears in the back yard of nine year old Jake and his six and a half year old sister Aurora, they find themselves thrust into a bizarre quest to save the earth – if it really needs saving. Led by a bumbling humanoid named Zizzu, together with Oddly, a badger who loves odd facts, and Preska, a giant fuzzy ladybug with a soft heart for children, they stumble through a host of zany adventures before reaching an unexpected conclusion on the planet Ternatec. Full of humor and adventure, this imaginative tale will keep kids entertained and maybe even teach them a few things along the way.
I’ve lost a little energy for the personal side of this blog, so I’m thinking of steering it more in a creative writing sort of direction anyway. But more on that later. For now, if you think you can handle carbon-crunching viraflies, charging triceratops, giant fuzzy ladybugs, civilized societies that dole out surprisingly harsh punishments, and maybe a few other surprises along the way, just step through a not-so-normal back door and find out what awaits.
*Right now, anyway. Sometimes that assessment changes drastically when I put something aside and come back to it later.
**Although honestly, if anyone is interested enough to want a print copy, I’d probably be flattered enough to send one for free, if you just drop me a line. No promises, though, on the unlikely chance that there are more requests than I can satisfy without feeling the pinch.