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Hey, Tara! Thanks for letting me share about my Stinky Stench!

(Umm, P.U., but OK…?)

Over the last year and a half—ever since first book LADY PANCAKE AND SIR FRENCH TOAST was released—a small handful of bookstores around the country reached out to me asking if I’d be interested in visiting to do readings and signings.

For those in and around New England (my home), I tried to make it happen. But occasionally, a store far out of driving distance asked. And while I was honored, I didn’t have any imminent plans to travel to New Orleans or St. Louis or Los Angeles*.

Well, word got back to my amazing publicity and marketing team at Sterling Publishing. In preparation for the release of the sequel, they offered to send me on a short tour to celebrate THE CASE OF THE STINKY STENCH and they even worked it out that I could visit a bunch of those stores that had contacted me!

So for the first two weeks of May I traveled from Boston to Allentown, PA to Asheville, NC to New Orleans to Kalamazoo, MI taking a detoured route through Indiana and Illinois to St. Louis, then finishing up in Baltimore.

I had seven bookstore events: The Novel Neighbor, Octavia Books, Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Bookbug, The Ivy Bookshop, and two Barnes & Nobles (Allentown, PA and Portage, MI).

At Bookbug they made these cupcakes:

And I got to hang out with a bunch of nErDcampMI friends.

At the Novel Neighbor, they ordered special Flapjacks Lip Gloss:

At The Ivy Bookshop, it was standing room only!

But the best part was that I got to visit 19 schools in those ten school days.

Some days I visited three different schools. Other days I’d stay at a single school all day and do multiple presentations.

Sometimes I’d be reading to a single class or grade at a time. Other times I presented to entire elementary schools—from 600 students in the gym to 200 students in the auditorium to 150 students in the library to 20 preschoolers in the art room—I tried it all.

One school got creative with life-size minecraft and Pirasaurs!

Sometimes I had slides and a microphone.

Other times I had neither. Luckily I’m not a diva …yet (traveling with a personal masseuse is totally acceptable, right?).

One school that I had Skyped with previously got me to read my poem about my cat that poops all over the house.

So I’d like to thank Sterling for everything! From the tour all the way back to taking a risk on the slush pile submission in 2013 that was Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast (yes, it was a slush pile submission – Sterling accepts unsolicited submissions via snail mail – see guidelines here).

*Don’t worry, Los Angeles. I promise I’ll get out to you eventually!

Josh is giving away YOUR CHOICE:

  • EITHER a personalized signed copy of THE CASE OF THE STINKY STENCH
  • OR a written critique of your picture book manuscript (Josh values this at an estimated $1 billion)

Leave one comment below to enter. A winner will be randomly selected soon!

Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books – such as Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench along with Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk (9.19.17), Albie Newton (Spring 2018), Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience and Fortitude (2018), and more coming soon!

Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and was the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences. He’s written a free 12-Step Guide to Writing Picture Books available on his website here.

Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts.

Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.

Find out more about Josh at his website joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter at @joshfunkbooks.

by Josh Funk

Yesterday, Tara told us to be mindful and also to daydream. Mindfulness and daydreaming may seem like opposites; pay close attention to the world…and pay attention to only what’s in your head. And just to prove that ideas come from anywhere and everywhere, today I’m going to suggest you do a third thing—something right in between.

Only half concentrate on what you’re doing. Space out…a little. Don’t pay too close attention. You know you’re gonna anyway. You’re probably multi-tasking while you read this post; maybe you’re exercising (good for you!) or driving (please pull over before continuing. Seriously.), or in the bathroom (hey, that’s where I’m writing this!).

suspenderdorothyToday I’m going to tell you why I love otter car wrecks. Sorry, I meant autocrrects. Bah! I mean autocorrects. And typlos. Seriously? AUTOCORRECTS AND TYPOS! And how they can inspire goofy, absurd, and sometimes preposterous creativity.

Do you want a robust hobbit dude?

Why wasn’t I invited, poo-head?

I solved your evil baristas.

I said or wrote all those things over the past few years…sort of.

I like to think that I have pretty good hearing. But if you ask my wife, she’ll tell you I’m not the best listener. I clearly wasn’t paying close attention when I thought I texted my wife, “Do you want to go out for food?” but ended up asking her about a chubby cowboy creature from middle earth. While a book about a hobbit is probably copyright protected, I’ll be there’s a market for LOTR fan-fiction.

When Anna Staniszewski told me in gchat that she was having a book launch, I responded with what I thought was, “Why wasn’t I invited, though?” I can’t say that I didn’t not not start working on a manuscript about a birthday party for an anthropomorphic piece of—wait, never mind. As Tara always says, don’t give away your ideas.

And I honestly have no idea what I said when Siri searched for those evil baristas. My best guess is that I wanted a burrito. But I made sure to write it down because a villainous coffee artisan sounds like a perfect future foil for Inspector Croissant!

the-case-of-the-stinky-stench

So use those absurd auto-corrects to your advantage. If you mishear someone speak, maybe what you think you heard will bear a brainstorm. It may seem nonsensical now. But definitely write it all down. For all you know, a typo isn’t just a typo—it’s your subconscious genius giving you an inspirational kick in the barista.


_josh-funk-headshot-with-monkey-dudeJosh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books, such as Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast and its upcoming sequel The Case of the Stinky Stench along with Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk and more! This morning he started drafting a book about otters getting into car wrecks.

Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conference. He has a 12 Step Guide to Writing Picture Books in the ‘Resources for Writers’ section of his website. Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts.

Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.

Find out more about Josh at joshfunkbooks.com and on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.

prizedetails
Josh is giving away one signed & personalized copy of each of his three books: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, Dear Dragon, and Pirasaurs!—one each to three lucky winners.

Lady Pancake Cover Image _dear-dragon _pirasaurs

Leave ONE COMMENT below to enter. You are eligible to win if you are a registered Storystorm participant and you have commented once on this blog post. Prizes will be given away at the conclusion of the event.

Good luck!

As a children's book author and mother of two, I'm pushing a stroller along the path to publication. I collect shiny doodads on the journey and share them here. You've found a kidlit treasure box.

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COMING SOON:

THE WHIZBANG WORDBOOK
illustrator TBA
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Summer/Fall 2018

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