Once upon a time I had the weird notion to do a kid’s book, inspired by two guests we’d had at our horror con. Both loved monsters and had loved them since they were a kid, being part of the generation known as ‘monster kids’. In my own way I was always a monster kid too, having loved horror and giant monsters since I was a little dude, I just never had thought of things in that way before. The story formed out of that notion of a kid that loved monsters but that loved monsters so much that he wanted to be one, at least when things got hard. Suddenly I had a story about a boy who has to deal with both the death of his mother and the eventual notion of his father romantically moving on. Not necessarily the stuff of a kid’s book but that was where the story took me and that’s where I ended up.
All along I had planned to make the story into a book, an illustrated book, but couldn’t conjure someone to do the art and just am not adept enough at art to feel comfortable in doing a full book, even a short one. I do the art for my covers, and doodle from time to time but I have no real formal trailing and am raw to the point of being a seedling at art. So the book was released without art. I adore the book and think it works without it but it feels like it might have been stronger with it. I sat down and whipped up some art and figured a way to get it into the book so that it broke up the pages and pages of words but it still wasn’t what I had in mind.
After I wrote Danny Frankenstein I found I had another story to tell for kids. Another story about a kid and a monster, though this one would focus on a little girl living with a monster, that monster being her mother. The story was about the girl, Little Sue, dealing with the aftershocks of divorce and again, didn’t feel like a kid’s story but it was one I wanted to tell. This story though, it had to have art. It had to have it.
I thought long and hard about who to turn to since I really don’t have a budget to pay someone from or a publisher to foot the bill but artist Julie Hurst, someone I have known for ages now, was up for the challenge. I gave her the story and trusted her in what she wanted to do with it. From the get-go I knew she was onto the right path and was excited to see what she’d do. It was a long process because she wanted to make sure she captured the feel of the story and the vision she had of it but the wait was worth it, because the art is stunning.
Now that it’s finally done, that I have had it IN HAND, it’s amazing.
The process of going from – It’s DONE – to getting the company I go through to put my books out to approve the layout felt like it took a decade but man alive is it a beautiful little book. Ms. Hurst did an amazing job with the art and captured what I was trying to say and I can only hope that my words are up to the work she did.
I am super excited to get Little Sue and the Monster into the hands of folks.
I don’t know if there’s a market for these weird little monster/kid’s books but I sure had a blast writing them.
If you want to meet Little Sue for yourself it’s available for ten dollars here –