Stuffed Norman by!

A four-foot-tall stuffed NORMAL NORMAN sits in my house and my 12-year-old forgets he’s here, so she jumps upon spotting him, not unlike Gloria’s reaction to dog-butler Barkley on Modern Family. OH DIOS MIO!


It’s exciting and shocking to see your character come to life. Although, truth be told, Norman is not really MY character. If you were participating in PiBoIdMo this past November, you discovered that I didn’t know what kind of animal Norman was. I left the art note blank in my manuscript. Editor Meredith Mundy asked me what Norman was but I refused to name his species—I thought an illustrator would do a much better job. So Norman, he really belongs to S.britt. Only Stephan could have created a purple orangutan with handsome-nerd glasses and such emotional expressions. But it did take a while to find the real Norman. The first few attempts didn’t feel quite right. But we all knew it when the true Normal Norman revealed himself. On a unicycle.

Normal Norman stripe sketch   Normal Norman colorful sketch (1)

Normal Norman unicycle

So if I didn’t imagine Norman, how did he come to life?

I began with his name, the title: Normal Norman. That’s all I had. But I knew there was no way Norman could actually BE normal. No siree. He had to revolt at all I threw at him. By making my character act in unexpected ways, I conveyed a message to readers that I didn’t necessarily intend, but which worked out perfectly: there’s really no such thing as “normal.” We are all different in our own special—sometimes zany—ways. And that’s something that should be celebrated.

I’ll be celebrating the release of Normal Norman in just a few days, on March 1st! Sterling Children’s Books is giving away five copies via GoodReads—please click below to enter and add Norman to your want-to-read list!


If you’d like to pre-order a signed copy, please call my good friends at The Bookworm in Bernardsville, NJ at 908-766-4599. I’ll dash over there to personalize and sign it.


A couple of places I’m not dashing are London and Bologna for the international book fairs. But guess who is? Yep, you’ve guessed it: Norman. He’s on a world tour! I hope they don’t serve bananas in first class.

Meanwhile, the author will be on a virtual tour. Be sure to stop by these entertaining blogs for all kinds of uncommon fun and giveaways. But sorry, we’re not giving away stuffed Norman. After all, he’s got a jet-set schedule. Lucky dude!