Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The Next Big Thing: A Global Book Tour

Here's something new and exciting! A few weeks ago, my super duper talented author/illustrator friend, Mike Boldt asked me if I'd like to participate in a Global Book (Blog) Tour to help promote my upcoming book. The questions posed helped remind me of so many important things related to said book, SPF40

While the questions are mostly geared toward author/illustrators, I did my best to answer the author parts even though I did not write the book. I hope you'll enjoy reading about it! 

Cover design by myself and the brilliant Sonia Chaghatzbanian.

1) What is the working title of your next book?

The book is called SPF 40 (Zebrafish). It's the second book in the Zebrafish series, though it's not quite a sequel! The first was published in Summer of 2010.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

FableVision was approached by Children's Hospital Boston back in 2007 or so to help with a campaign to get the word out and raise money for the cancer research happening on at the hospital. The campaign, which is still active, is called Generation Cures. It spotlights child entrepreneurs, strong kids, often going through rough times with their own health, who basically start small businesses to help raise money for other sick children.

The story idea originated from the minds of Peter H. Reynolds and Paul Reynolds.

...and the whole thing makes my heart feel full.

3) What genre does your book fall under?

It's a Graphic Novel.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This was really fun, especially since I really did take inspiration from a few of these people for the characters. I spent the entire summer watching Salute Your Shorts while I drew! I can't even describe how cool it is that I now am long-distance friends with Timothy Eyster who played Sponge on the show!

Vita- Selena Gomez
Tanya - Jennifer Garner
Walt- Andrew Garfield
Plinko- Jonah Hill
Jay- Ian Somerhalder
Scott Otto- Timothy Eyster
Gwen- Anna Faris
Coley- Evanna Lynch

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In between Junior and Senior year of High School, a group of close knit friends must split up for the summer to make new friends and follow new paths: Summer Camp and Book Mobiles!

6) Who is publishing your book?

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

This book (similar to the last) was written by the incredibly creative, Sharon Emerson. I believe she worked on the manuscript for quite a few months before I started in on sketches. It took me about 10 months to complete this book from start to finish, not including the cover. I even did most of the the page design! :O Luckily, I had help from my coworkers at FableVision who aided in the inking and coloring.

8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

I'd like to think the Zebrafish series is similar to Raina Telgemeier's books, Smile and Drama. The story, however, is not as personal and is more about a group of kids than the inner monologue of one character. I definitely look to Raina's art for inspiration when working on comics and I was lucky to have the opportunity to do this at FableVision.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

FableVision developed an entire property for Children's Hospital Boston, which started as a 10 episode animated series called Zebrafish. (Based on the AMAZING zebrafish laboratory at Boston Children's Hospital, where many smart science professionals are working hard to develop a cure for cancer.) The first storyline is more about the hospital as Vita, the main character's brother, is a scientist there. I also designed the entire web series, so as a whole I've been working with the same characters since early 2008. This book is a bittersweet ending to the whole journey. I've grown so much as an artist from the start of this project to the end.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

A percentage of the proceeds for every book goes to Children's Hospital Boston, helping scientists at the non-profit Zebrafish Lab at Children's Hospital Boston to keep working hard at changing the world.  A perfect reason to buy one for yourself AND for a friend. :) 


Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of such a cool thing, Mike! Please check out his new book releasing in June 123 Versus ABC - such a fun concept! His book also just got a starred review from Kirkus


To do my part and tag another illustrator, I tagged another uber-talented internetland friend of mine, Matthew Cordell. He'll be answering all the above questions about his latest book What Floats in a Moat by Lynne Berry, which he illustrated! Feast your eyes on his FUN cover illustration!



  1. I'm so excited this book is FINALLY coming out...and what I love the most is how much we've grown up with these characters, spending almost 6 years with them! Amazing.

    1. I know! And talking like them, and acting out their lives...sheesh. We practically ARE Vita and Tanya- WE should be their celebrity counter-parts! ...oh wait. (haha)