The release of my book is creeping closer! It’s less than a month before Alley Cat Rally is published in the UK, and over the past few weeks I have been nervously trying to think of things I can do to promote the book myself.
I’ve started by making a mini-site that gives a good overview of the book, the characters, and the places you can preorder it, alongside some other fun graphics and odds-and-ends.
That’s table stakes though, so I’ve done a couple more interesting projects that I’ve also made videos about.
The first mini-project is the ballad of the little washer. I’ve had this on my shelves for years, but a desire to open it up and add some ballast to it became a mission to connect it to the internet, programming it so it will spin whenever anyone visits the short link I set up to preorder the book:
The second project is a bit less technical, but only slightly: I made a plush version of Asta, the star of the book. She wears a great pair of goggles in Alley Cat Rally, so I had to figure out how to make them, and ended up rigging up my own vacuum-forming setup, on a home kitchen scale:
I am pleased with both of these projects, and also with the videos themselves! I think I am slowly getting more natural at using my voice, which I’m hoping will come in handy as I try to join my publisher in promoting the book!
Lilly's brother Michael decided he wanted to motivate his troops with a trophy that can be passed around his team whenever anyone does anything sufficiently awesome. He had the idea of a trophy jackalope. Despite this being America we're talking about, his colleagues were a bit squeamish about the idea of taxidermy, so he asked me if I had any ideas.
A plush jackalope seemed to be the logical solution, so while I was stateside this winter, I got to work. As accosting a sewing machine is much more my idea of fun than getting sloshed and/or cold, I spent my New Year's Eve wrangling with a handsome 1970s Kenmore:
...Well, you wouldn't want to be kenless, would you?
The antlers are the coolest thing about him - I stuffed each branch with pipe cleaner, so they can be bent into any shape and will stay there.
He's hardly perfect - his head is too big, backside too small, and due to my low-rent sewing skillz, he is a bit twisted around, kind of reminiscent of the dramatic squirrel. I'm happy with him regardless, as he does actually look like a jackalope, and it always pleases me when the things I create end up looking like they're meant to!
I named him Treehorn, and got plenty of photos of him before I left Americaland, including a full 360° of him. Try dragging or doubleclicking the above photo to see!
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