A second Kirkus Star for Lucy Lick-Me-Not!

When you make something that will be in the public domain a certain level of anxiety goes with it, and this anxiety can come out in funny ways. For both myself and Bret we had stress dreams about the finished book. This happened last year when we released Lucy Lick-me-Not and the Day Eaters, and again for me this year when we released Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins. I had dreams that I look at the completed print of the book and see that I have misspelled the simplest words or used a homophone, and I panic that someone has seen it before we can make changes and that people will think I'm stupid or that I can't spell. Last year Bret had a dream that he was looking through the finished book and noticed a whole section that was just done in pencil that he'd forgotten to ink and color in.

When we received our first review last year, I opened the email that contained it and for a moment I didn't want to read it. I wanted to stay in the realm of possibility where I had no definite answer that they liked or disliked it, but I prepared myself for the worst. As I read through the description of the story the bad comments I had been dreading never came - it turned out they liked it! I had to read it again to be sure I hadn’t missed anything. Despite feeling so happy and relieved, I could not let go of the fear that Kirkus might say they had made a mistake and actually they didn't like the book and that I'd received the review in error. It's funny that even when you get a good review it's hard to allow yourself believe it. It was Bret who told me that we had a starred review - I hadn't noticed in my state of disbelief. Then we started researching what it means to get a Kirkus Star. Kirkus Reviews are known for being very honest and a book has to be of exceptional merit to receive a star from them. A Kirkus star is awarded to 2% of the 3,000 independent books it reviews.

Last year Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Day Eaters was one of the lucky 2%, and I'm delighted to say that this year Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins is another, which means it is also automatically nominated for the Kirkus Prize.

You can read the Kirkus starred review for Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins here.

Bret and I are very grateful to everyone in our lives who has helped us with constructive feedback and constant encouragement. I doubt we would have made the leap to self-publish if we hadn't been given such support and belief from our family and friends.

Here is one of the beautiful illustrations from Lucy Lick-Me-Not and the Greedy Gubbins. 

Artwork by Bret Burkmar:

More soon,


A little monster poem for August


When you can't find the word that was just on your tongue,

there's a little beast who steals it - his name is I'm-No-One.

I'm-No-One eats up words and thoughts, to him they taste like gum,

popping up at awkward times - his name is I'm-No-One.

Munching on the simple words, he laughs when you look dumb,

he's a conversation-stopper - his name is I'm-No-One.

You cannot see or hear him, so he's very hard to shun,

hiding far behind your teeth - his name is I'm-No-One.

If you were to meet him, he'd deny his thieving fun,

and with a guiltless smile say, “What me? I'm-No-One.”

But I think that I am safe as this poem's nearly done,

my mouth is surely free from the beast called I'm-No--


More soon,


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