Tag Archives: Zombies Love Brains

‘Zombies Love Brains’ – A New Undead-Themed Children’s Picture Book

21 Oct

Zombies Love Brains Front CoverZombies Love Brains is a little project I’ve been working on for almost two years. It started off as a bit of a challenge from a friend’s daughter to write a children’s book, and kind of blossomed from there. Today it’s finally on sale both in print and as a Kindle ebook, and if you’re interested, you can buy it from here.

Zombies Love Brains is a salutary tale for young readers, aged three and over, which explains that becoming a zombie is no reason to be impolite to others, or take things that don’t belong to you without asking first.

Normally with my books, I’ve provide extracts of the first few chapters, but that doesn’t really work for a picture book, so instead, I’ll show you some of the pages. For me, it’s the artwork that really makes Zombies Love Brains come to life, and for that I’ve got to thank my illustrator Mike Kloran. His work is brilliant, and exactly what I was looking for, and he was very good at dealing with all my demands and changes of mind as we worked together to finally get this book finished.

So, without further a-do, here’s some of Mike’s amazing artwork from Zombies Love Brains.

The book starts with the obvious statement that zombies love brains:

zombies_love_brains_page_1

And from there moves on to exploring exactly how much zombies love them:

zombies_love_brains_page_5

This is probably my favourite set of images from the book, and I especially loved the dog with the zombie arm in its mouth.

zombies_love_brains_page_6

The granny from the above image makes a re-appearance later in the book, where she seems blissfully unaware of the zombies that are surrounding here.

zombies_love_brains_page_15

Anyway, that’s Zombies Love Brains for you, and it’s out just in time for Hallowe’en. It won’t be to everyone’s liking, but for those who are into zombies (and let’s face it, many children are!), it seems to be a big hit.

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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

Sketch to Final Art: Zombies Love Brains — Surviving the Dead

16 Oct

My upcoming children’s book Zombies Love Brains will finally be published on the 21st of this month. It’s been a real pleasure working with Mike Kloran on the pictures, and it’s been an amazing learning experience for me. In this post, from his Surviving the Dead blog, Mike’s done a really nice post which shows part of the process we went through when developing the artwork from his initial ideas to go with my words to the final artwork, and for those who are interested, I’ve re-blogged it below.

 

Very soon (October 21st) you’ll be able to get your hands on this great little book I did the illustrations for. Zombies Love Brains is a salutary tale for young readers, aged 3 and over, which explains that becoming a zombie is no reason to be impolite to others, or to take things that don’t […]

via Sketch to Final Art: Zombies Love Brains — Surviving the Dead

Zombies Love Brains: Chance To Win An Advance Copy

31 Aug

My upcoming children’s picture book Zombies Love Brains is now available to pre-order as a Kindle book and will be officially released in print and on Kindle on the 21st of October 2016. To mark this occasion, I’m running a Goodreads giveaway, with 25 signed copies being given away a month ahead of this publication date. The winners will be drawn on the 21st of September, and their books will be sent out the next day. To enter this competition, simply visit: www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/200275-zombies-love-brains.

This has been a book that has taken a long time to finally get finished, and thanks to all those who have been involved in its creation (you all know who you are!). However, I’d like to say a special thanks to those of you who read this blog and who provided feedback on the draft cover design earlier in the year. Your votes and comments all helped improve it dramatically. For those who are interested, here is the final cover design:

Zombies Love Brains Final Front Cover

This is the final cover design for ‘Zombies Love Brains’. Thanks to all those who commented and voted on the draft cover designs I posted earlier in the year.



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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

‘Zombies Love Brains’ Draft Cover Designs – Which One Is Better?

1 Apr

As I mentioned in a recent post, I’ve been working on a zombie-themed picture book called Zombies Love Brains for kids aged three and older. I’ve now got all the final artwork for in from the illustrator, Mike Kloran (and he’s done a great job with everything!), and I’m busy formatting the book itself (which is pretty much finished) and the cover.

It’s with the latter that I’m having a slight problem. I’ve got a choice between two possible background colours one yellowish gold and the other mid-night blue, and while I prefer the gold one, almost everyone else I’ve shown it to has preferred the blue one. However, I’ve still only shown it to a handful of people, and I thought it would be good to seek a wider range of opinions.

This is where you, the readers of my humble little blog, will hopefully come riding in to the rescue. The two cover designs are shown in the picture below, and the question is simple: which do you prefer best? To submit your answer, just complete the poll below the image. If the poll isn’t visible (and I’m having trouble with this!), or if you want to say something more, please leave a comment. Thanks for your help.

Which cover design do you think is better?

Which cover design do you think is better?

PS At the moment, Zombies Love Brains is scheduled for release later this year, but I’ll be posting more about it on this blog between now and its release date, so if you’re interested, just watch this space!

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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

Happy ‘World Book Day’ (At Least If You Live In Britain Or Ireland!)

3 Mar You're Never Too Young To Get Your Teeth Into A Good Book!
You're Never Too Young To Get Your Teeth Into A Good Book!

You’re Never Too Young To Get Your Teeth Into A Good Book!

Today is World Book Day, at least if you live in Britain or Ireland. For those of you who don’t know what World Book Day is, it’s a celebration of all things to do with books, but especially of those who read them. Most events are aimed at getting children interested in books and reading, and many nurseries, schools, libraries and bookshops will be holding special events today to help promote reading.

While, as an author, this is something I would always support, I’ve never really paid much attention to World Book Day before. This is because it tends to be more child-centred, and little of what I write is aimed at children. This year, however, things are very different for two related reasons.

Firstly, for various reasons I’ve been running a couple of little people to and from nursery most days during the week, and this has drawn me into the world of children’s books for the first time since I was a child myself. It’s become a routine with the older child, who’s four and a half (and the half is very important at that age!) to sit with him in the car, before we go in and get his sister at the end of the day, and read a book or a story together. Why do I do this? Partly because it means we get to spend some quality time together, but also because I want him to grow up to love books and reading as much as I do. He also absolutely loves every minute of it.

In fact, he loves it so much that a problem has started to emerge. He quickly gets tired of reading the same stories, and is always after something new for us to read together. Yet, browsing through the children’s section of my local book shop, there’s actually surprisingly little that will appeal to him. He’s a child of the twenty-first century, meaning reading has to compete with tablets and computers and smart phones and toys that do all sorts of amazing things. He’s a fan of Skylanders and How To Train Your Dragon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and he knows almost every superhero that has ever existed (he dressed as Spider-Man, his favourite, for going to nursery for World Book Day today).

Yet, most books for children of his age seem to have changed little from when I was a child. Many have pastel drawings and stories that are almost inane and bland by comparison to the modern world that kids now grow up in, and they struggle to hold his attention when compared to what his favourite superheroes are up to on YouTube.

This is not to say that there aren’t some great kids books out there (at the moment he’s loving the Ten Little … series by Mike Brownlow and we’ve worked our way through Ten Little Dinosaurs and Ten Little Pirates, and he can’t wait for Ten Little Monsters to come out in the next week or so — we’ve already got it on pre-order!), but most would do little to hold his attention for more than a few seconds.

A discussion last Friday with a friend with a similarly aged child revealed that I’m not the only one who feels this way. It seems that children’s book writing, at least for pre-schoolers, really needs to do a lot to catch up with the modern world, especially if we are to get young children interested in the wonder of books from as early an age as possible.

'Zombies Love Brains' Page one.

‘Zombies Love Brains’ Page one.

This brings me on to my second reason for paying more attention to World Book Day this year than usual. Over the last year, I’ve been working with a very talented artist by the name of Mike Kloran to create my own children’s picture book (I first came across him through his Surviving the Dead blog, which is well worth checking out if you get the chance). As you might expect, given my favourite subject matter, it’s zombie-based and goes by the title of Zombies Love Brains.

Writing the book and working with Mike has given me an insider view of children’s books that I’ve never had before and it’s been fascinating, but after a little over a year, we’re finally close to the end of this process. The final result is coming together nicely, and it’s turned out to be a quirky little book that I think both parents and children will love, especially those with a slightly darker side to their reading tastes.

Zombies Love Brains is not your traditional children’s book, or even the traditional subject matter for a children’s book, and some will baulk at the idea of introducing children to the subject of zombies at such a young age (I know my own brother does). Yet, we live in a world were many will have already played Plants vs Zombies on a tablet or smart phone, or seen others play it, and to them, if handled just right, zombies are just another type of character alongside the more usual pirates and princesses and talking snowmen.

While I’m not saying that Zombies Love Brains will change children’s publishing forever (I don’t even have a release date planned for it yet – watch this space for more details), but it does illustrate the way that the world has moved on in the last thirty or forty years, and children’s publishing has to move on too, or we will lose the next generation of readers to other forms of entertainment. I think this is already well recognised in books for older children (take, for example, Charlie Higson’s zombie series, The Enemy, as an illustration of this), but most books for younger children seem to be stuck in a time warp from decades ago.

Yet, this is the critical time for getting kids interested in books. If we lose them then, we may never get them back, and this means we need to cater for children with all sorts of different tastes and experiences. Yes, there will always be kids that love the traditional children’s books, like The Gruffalo (which, incidentally, my favourite four and a half-year old happens to love alongside his superheroes and Ninja Turtles, and, indeed, Zombies who love brains!), but there are also many others who crave something much darker and edgier, even from a young age, because that’s what they’re already familiar with from the other entertainment sources in their lives.

This shouldn’t be interpreted as me thinking that children should be forced to grow up before their time, or that their childhoods should be cut short. Rather, I think we need to remember that children are people too, and this means that they have as broad a range of likes and dislikes as any older reader, and we really need to cater for this in the books we write, publish and read to them.

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From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.