Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening everyone! I hope you all had as spectacular a holiday as I did. I got to spend 90% of it with my minions, Cara and #NatNatBoo, and while I spent the better part of Thursday and Friday sick with either a Flu or Strep Throat, I… WE made up for it Saturday and Sunday. Playdates were had, candy was ingested (a LOT of it by everyone including me), gatherings were attended and… It was just downright awesome. I’ve spent so much of my recent life in a funk, trying to figure out the Why, the How… You know the litany. It was nice to finally just… Live. And enjoy.

And–in the midst of my revelry with my friends, their minions and mine on Saturday afternoon–I got a text. And that text? It was from my cover artist, Catalina. It was a picture. THE picture. You know the one of which I speak. I’ll talk about my reaction in a bit and a few other items but at this time? I see no reason to make you wait any longer. My friends, family and oft times casual readers? My “Social Media-Verse” as I often call you? With Cat’s blessing, I give you the cover to the forthcoming second book of The Endworld Series, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD:

You’ll likely see this image a lot over the next few weeks, months and–if I’m lucky–years. I’m not a soothsayer or a “philosophiser” as White Goodman once said. I have no idea what will happen once this book goes live… No idea how it will be received. But this cover? It is everything… EVERYTHING I wanted and then some and Cat? I know you’re reading this and if I haven’t told you enough at this point? You are amazing. Incredible. You saw my vision, sketched out on piece of yellow legal paper what feels like a lifetime ago and you made it breathe. Sing. F*ck… Whatever! It’s unbelievable. Folks? If you want to check out Cat’s other work, pay her a visit on her Instagram page HERE, or at @itssketchcat. Please!

When she and I first discussed this years ago–on a slow afternoon at good ol’ CareersUSA, long before first her and then I FINALLY “got out”–it was just that: A discussion. CHILDREN was still in the early stages then but I had… Ideas. This was one. There were others but over time, this was the one I always came back to. When I officially asked her back over Christmas of last year and she officially accepted though? I don’t know. Seeing this now, I feel like we were both put there, in that sh*tty little office under the proverbial thumb of a… Let’s be honest, here: Tyrant–for a reason. Kind of like with Amy my editor: We were meant to reconnect back in 2009-2010, right when I first started retooling Book One after a number of long and at times eventful years. Folks? Whether you believe in Providence or not I do. And to have people like Amy and, now Cat with me on this journey? It feels like just that: Providence. Partners, friends… Everything. And now? I’ll stop rambling. Because you’ve probably got questions.

For obvious reasons, I can’t answer them all. Spoilers, sweeties… Spoilers. But ask them anyway. Check out my contact page, linkable in the above menu and reach out. I’ll do the best I can. Probably the most obvious one is: What the f*ck is a “Voodoo Tree?” Well? I can tell you that it’s a real thing. A real landmark in a real place. And if you remember Book One, you likely remember it. If you don’t, there’s no need to go back and reread the whole thing. Just check out the last chapter and the epilogue. It doesn’t appear until then. And whereas it does not have a ton of significance in ENDWORLD I promise you that it is crucial… Integral to not only CHILDREN, but HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD as well. And that? That’s about as far as I’m going to go into it. You’ll just have to check out CHILDREN in a week or so if you want to know more. A week or so? Yeah. That soon. I’ll touch on that more in a bit.

The other question that I’m guessing is running through your mind is why a hand drawn cover? There are two reasons for that and the first is that it simply looks better. Hand drawn equals art, and I am… We are all artists. Whether we write or draw, make music or sculpt, write Haikus or create comics we are what we are. And as such we support each other. If I can showcase another artist in the process of making my own art then I’m going to.

But the second reason? It’s a bit more vague. When I was a kid and I first started reading, I remember books like “The Hobbit” and “Bridge To Terabithia.” I remember reading them when I was my daughter Cara’s age and marvelling at the look of their covers. It was what drew me in. “Someone drew that” I would think to myself and I’d read on. This cover… Reminds me of what I felt like when I first discovered the written word decades ago. So it’s a callback. To my youth. To yours. And if there’s a cover that inspired you the way they did then and the way this one does for me now? I’d love to hear about it. Feel free to reach out. Again, check out my contact page. I promise I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can.

And that? That’s pretty much it! I guess the only question remaining is WHEN? Damnit, Frank, when are you going to go live with the book? Well? I’d love to get it out there by next weekend. And I’m going to go for that. It could make for a long week but you deserve it. You’ve waited long enough. So more details to follow. Once I run everything through their final checks I’ll be able to lock down the publication date. And you will be the first people who know. I promise.

Thank you all for your time, support and… Well? Just thank you. Thank you again for everything. As my alter-ego the Madchronicler is fond of saying, booyakasha. Respect. Talk to you soon!


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