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Welcome to the Jungle!

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What does Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree have in common with Guns N’ Roses?

The Jungle! Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree is now on Amazon!!!! (Extra exclamation points are required.)

Order from amazon

Maybe you like to support independent authors selling on mainstream channels? Now’s your chance. Maybe you have a few things to pickup on Amazon already, meaning you can add Maggie to your cart and get free shipping (score!)? Go right ahead. Maybe you’re a member of Amazon Prime and you don’t have anything in your cart but you’ve been itching to add something great? Well, here you go!

We’re open to any and all ways of getting Maggie into hands and onto shelves everywhere and Amazon will be a big part of that process. So spread the word! Share to Twitter and Facebook! Email your friends! Text your relatives! Let people know that Maggie is ready on an Amazon.com near you (or them)! And if you already have a copy of the book? Then by all means head over to Amazon and leave us a glowing review!

But there’s one catch. It looks like people found Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree before we had the chance to write this post, so there’s only 1 copy left (for now). But, as Amazon so kindly notes, more are on the way and you can always backorder a copy if this last one gets snagged before you get to it.

And if that Guns N’ Roses song is now stuck in your head…

Mia Meets Maggie

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“It’s like the graphic and the story are one single thing…”

With the PDF/ebooks out in the wild to those who backed us at that level on Kickstarter, we’re anxious to hear reviews of the book. And when I say “anxious” I mean “excited beyond reason.” We can’t wait to ship out the actual book and hear what everyone (adults and children alike) has to say. And it will be pretty easy to send us a review via our contact page or through our pre-order page (and yes! Pre-orders are now available!).

Speaking of reviews (smooth transition), last week we got an email from one of our Kickstarter backers who received the PDF/ebook version of “Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree” and it was such a great email that we thought we’d share a bit of it here. Alessandro – from halfway around the world, which we think is amazing because we’re excited that Maggie is traveling the globe – wrote that the night they downloaded the book, his daughter Mia asked her mom to read it three times!

This is exciting because it’s exactly why I wrote the book. It’s why Christian was so passionate about illustrating it. It’s why we create: So people enjoy it. Alessandro went on to tell us that, “the following morning, just few minutes after waking up, she asked my wife to read it another time and since then every night we read ‘Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree.'”

And as amazing as that feedback was, Alessandro saved the best for last:

“My daughter is 3 years and a half and she cannot read yet but has a remarkable memory and she decided she wanted to read the book to us.. which she did!! It was incredible seeing her going through each page with passion and confidence highlighting every passage by connecting the storyline with the beautiful and rich images. It’s like the graphic and the story are one single thing and the touch screen of the iPad helped her to navigate through the book discovering even the most tiny little details.”

Needless to say, we were both speechless and we can’t wait to hear what everyone else has to say! So, if you have read the eBook, let us know what you think by leaving a review! If you’re waiting for your very own hard copy of “Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree,” we’ll wait for you to read it a few times, but we hope you’ll send us your thoughts as soon as you do!


Watch a Page Come to Life

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MST pg21 crop

Ever wonder what goes in to one page of Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree? Curious to get an inside look at the illustration process?

We thought so. Below are three videos (each about 8:30 long) that follow Christian’s illustration of page 21 from nothing but white space to pure magic. On this page, we see Maggie, right in the middle of her magical night, surrounded by sprinkles and about to treat herself to a cupcake (with sprinkles, of course). This is a vibrant page and watching Christian create it is pretty incredible. Enjoy! And if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment.

Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree Speed Painting: Part 1

Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree Speed Painting: Part 2

Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree Speed Painting: Part 3

Progress, Perfection, and Work

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It’s been a while…again.

As these things usually go, I didn’t intend on there being a month of silence following the last post, but between day jobs, turkey (and pie), the approaching Christmas holiday, and completing all things Maggie related, things have been busy. But one thing is emerging as a solid truth for me and Christian the more this whole thing unfolds: We could (and we will) happily do this for a living. Being busy with Maggie has been a great sort of busy. Sure, it’s had its moments, but we’re looking at those moments as opportunities for learning (and if that’s not nauseating optimism, I don’t know what is).

Either way, work is work, and we’re up to our chins in sprinkles and paper and plans. But right now you’re probably thinking “great, you’re busy making the book, now let me see it!” and, if so, that’s fair. So we’re going to give you a little taste that you don’t get from most books. A behind-the-scenes look, if you will. As we highlighted in the Kickstarter video, all of these illustrations start with nothing more than a couple of pencils and a stack of paper, so we thought it would be cool to show you a page with all stages of the process in place.

MST pg4 Composit V2

I’ve known Christian for nearly nine years. I’ve seen plenty of his work, including some personal projects he’s worked on for me here and there, but this book is the first time we’ve collaborated on something and it’s been an incredible experience for me to see how he works. To learn how he approaches everything from an entire spread to the smallest details. He is a true designer, artist, and talent. His skill continues to amaze me and I could not have asked for a better person to bring this story to life. The above is just a small example of his creativity (and a great example of how my words and his illustrations mix throughout the book).

So at the end of the day, when you close this book after reading it for the 57th time at the request of your children (or yourself), remember one thing: Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree is more than words and pictures on a page, it’s a book created with an unending desire to make something for others to enjoy.

With that said, it’s time for some news:


Remember that trick up my sleeve? Well, we’re doing it. Though we hadn’t initially planned on it, we’re ordering this first printing with book jackets featuring an EXTRA illustration! Now, if you’re a parent, you might be cringing. Book jackets, for those with kids especially, can be obnoxious. Even more so when they don’t really seem to serve a purpose. But this one will serve to provide a second piece of cover art, creating a nice before-and-after before you even open the book. And while this is an exciting addition to the first printing, it’s also extra work. And extra time. And extra printing. With that said, we might be slightly delayed in our shipping. No, don’t panic, just slighly…a week or so tops. And we may not even be delayed but you know what? We’re all about transparency, so we wanted to put that out there as a possibility well in advance of our end-of-January deadline. So…we hope you’re as excited as we are about this little (not-so-little) addition. And we’ll keep you posted as things progress.

As for selling books on our website, that’s still in the works. I probably got a bit ahead of myself by mentioning it too soon with everything else that’s going on, but I promise it’s coming. When? Shortly after the start of the new year.

Note Cards

These will ship this month as planned to everyone who backed at the $8 level. We’re both practicing our penmanship.


What? Stickers? Yep, we went ahead and ordered some adorable acorn stickers (say it with us now: “That’s so on-brand!”) to seal the envelopes and add a bit more fun to the mix! So yes, something else to look forward to!

That’s all for now, but I promise to make these updates a bit more regular and keep you all in the loop.


Odds and Updates

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Hello? Anybody still out there checking up on Maggie?

I hope so, because things are anything but quiet over here. Maggie is as busy as ever being a kid (have you seen how much homework they get these days?!); I’m talking to printers, organizing backer surveys, planning reward logistics, and trying to figure out how to pull a trick out of my sleeve; Christian is up to his ears in sprinkles, making sure every detail in Maggie’s world is as vibrant, fun, and amazing as possible.

Did I mention we’re busy? Good. So where are we now? Well:

1. Final page specifications are being determined with the printer(s).
2. Illustrations are flying left, right, and sideways, but always into the “Done” pile (or at lease almost always)
3. Postcards are being designed (because we don’t want to be sending off an illustration you’ve already seen)

There’s also a lot of miscellaneous background stuff that’s boring and tedious so I’ll spare you the details, but basically everything is moving along, meaning we’re still on track to ship signed, first edition copies of “Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree” to all of our Kickstarter backers as planned (January).

But now you’re probably wondering a couple things: Why did I say “printers” (plural) and what is this trick that is stuck somewhere up my sleeve? Well, it’s really a trick up all of our sleeves, but I’m the one trying to make it work so as to not pull Christian from his illustrative duties. Anyway, I said “printers” because when we passed our funding goal by almost 20% (!!!!), we got to thinking “what if…?” and when that happens, ideas start popping. Sometimes those ideas are so grand that they have to stay as ideas for a while, other times those ideas are possible. I don’t want to say just yet what we’re working on, but if everything works out, we think that one of these ideas might be a nice addition. Like sprinkles on a cupcake, if you will.

Look at that! I just covered the plural of “printer” and the trick in one swoop! Busyness leads to amazing efficiency, I suppose.

But maybe you’re reading this and you weren’t one of our backers? Maybe you found us late, forgot to pledge before the campaign ended, or simply wish you’d backed when you had the chance but never got around to it? That’s okay. Things happen. And in a week or so (fingers crossed), we’ll be posting details on how you can pre-order our book from right here on our website! Until then, we’ll just keep working.


We made it!

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We hit our goal of $9500 on Tuesday!

Not only that, but people kept us going right up to the last minute! And to top off the awesome, 218 people liked Maggie enough to back the project. That’s an unbelievable amount of support and we’re still completely amazed and thankful to have this kind of support from across the country and around the world!

We made it and so many of you made it possible, so thank you to all of those who backed this project, spread the word, and/or encouraged us along the way. It means a great deal to us.

We still have a long way to go – from finalizing page layout with the printer, to ordering and shipping rewards, to marketing “Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree” – but we’re excited for the journey ahead and for the life this book already has. It’s been a whirlwind over the last 30 days, but we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We’ll have more updates in the coming days and weeks (both here and on Kickstarter) on everything from next steps, to the status of the printing and the note cards, to all other things sprinkle related, so be sure to check back!

Thanks again!

Boo! A Costume Contest

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MST Halloween

Tell us what Maggie should be for Halloween. Your idea will enter you in a drawing for a chance to win a FREE BOOK!

Halloween is one of those “take it or leave it” holidays but, for Maggie, it’s a “take it” holiday. A “take it and run” holiday, actually. She’s probably more a fan of the tricks than the treats (too many sprinkles, maybe?), but nothing too scary. A fog machine here, a few hand-made bats there, and a whole lot of imagination about what the night (and the month and a half leading up to it) might bring. And the costume? Well, she’s usually got something in mind, but this year she’s a bit stuck. She’s been so busy with this whole Kickstarter thing that she hasn’t had to time to think about her costume and now she needs your help!

So you tell us: What should Maggie be this year?

Part 1: Head over to Facebook, like our page, and tell us what you think Maggie should be by commenting on our contest post (look for Maggie the Ghost)! Every suggestion counts as one entry into the drawing for one free book! After we’ve got all your great ideas (see Rule 1), we’ll pick our three favorites. If we pick your idea, you get an extra shot at winning a book!

Part 2: You vote (see Rule 2) on Maggie’s costume! We’ll post the three costumes we selected as three separate posts on Facebook. When the time comes, you’ll “like” the costume (meaning “post”) you like best in order to vote, and your vote will give you an entry at winning a free copy of Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree! We’ll announce the winner (see Rule 8) and unveil Maggie’s costume on Halloween (of course)!


1. Suggestion submission begins at 5:00PM PST Wednesday, October 16 and closes at 5:00PM PST Monday, October 21.
2. Voting will open on Tuesday, October 22 at 5:00PM PST and close on Monday, October 28 at 5:00PM PST
3. There is no limit to the number of suggestions you can make.
4. Everyone is eligible to vote for a costume even if they did not suggest a costume.
5. Voting is limited to one vote per Facebook account
6. Must be 13 or older to win (or have your parents win for you! But make sure to ask!)
7. Suggestions must be made as comments to our contest post on Facebook.
8. Free copy of Maggie and the Sprinkle Tree will only be awarded if the Kickstarter Campaign funds.
9. Winner will be selected by using random.org
10. Contest is only valid for participants living in the U.S.

Best First Day Ever!

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MST Best first day

We had an awesome first day AND we made it on the Kickstarter Staff picks Page AND we couldn’t have done it without you!

In fact, when the first 24 hours came to a close, we didn’t know what to say, and that made for a pretty awkward phone conversation:

John: Did you…wow.

Christian: Yeah, I…wow.

*Long Silence*

We found ourselves nearly 20% funded and now here we are feeling even more excited about the project (and that’s saying a lot). The best part about this surge of support is that we couldn’t have done it with you! All of you who emailed friends and family, posted to Facebook, and/or backed the project made our first day on Kickstarter a day we won’t soon forget! We were already excited about the story of Maggie and the world she lives in, but now we’re beside ourselves knowing that other people (that’s you!) want to see it succeed as much as we do. We’ve got a long way to go still

From us to you, a huge thanks! And as you can, Maggie is pretty happy as well!

-The Author, The Illustrator, and Maggie