Interview with Illustrator Courtney Huddleston

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing/illustration?

My name is Courtney Huddleston, and I illustrate children’s books for a living. Like so many others, I’ve had a fascination for good art and writing, since childhood. I was never the best at either, but countless hours of practice mixed with persistence, eventually lead to me becoming a professional. 

2) What inspired you to work on these books?

Whether it’s a kid in class daydreaming or a professional writer, everyone has ideas. I’m no different than either, and Audrey’s Magic Nine happened to be my latest idea. I started with the idea of bringing hand puppets to life. From there, I listed as many stories as I could in today’s pop culture with a similar vibe. Jim Henson’s creations, Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, and Pinocchio are just a few that I listed. I tried to steer my story as far away from those iconic stories as much as I could, in hopes of putting a different spin on an old idea. And, that’s how Audrey’s Magic Nine came to be. 

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your books?

I didn’t initially try to establish a message or theme when I came up with this story. I was focused mainly on making it as unique and entertaining as possible. That said, the protagonist is a genuinely kind and selfless person from start to finish, despite having many  physical, mental, and emotional obstacles in front of her. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

As an elementary school teacher, my wife has no shortage of stories to tell. One of the more recurring stories is how much graphic novels motivate her students to read. Combine that with the fact that I’m a life long comic book lover, and the rest is history. 

Explore the Best Books of 2018 at BN.com

5) If you could sit down with any character in your books, what would you ask them and why?

I would sit down with Asa from Audrey’s Magic Nine, because he’s just one of the coolest characters I’ve had the honor of creating. But I wouldn’t ask him anything, because as his creator, I know the answer to any question I ask him. I’ve never been asked this question, but it made me feel very powerful for a moment. Ha. 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

Audrey’s Magic Nine was a webcomic before it went to print. The webcomic had a more followers than any of the social media outlets. 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors/illustrators out there?

As cliche as my cliched answer may sound, the answer is to be persistent. The internet has leveled the playing field, making it easier to showcase your work, connect with publishers and agents,research industry trends, and much much more. All you have to do is always try to improve and never give up. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I recently wrapped up Book 3 of Audrey’s Magic Nine, and it will soon go through the editing stages. I am also doing freelance work for another kids book series, while developing a new story that I plan to share in 2019. 

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Author Interview with Anna Levine

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

My great-grandmother came to Canada in the late 1880s. She shares a passport with my great-grandfather. Beneath his photo is written Issac Yaphe. Beside him, my great-grandmother, a stern looking woman, is frowning at the photographer. Beneath her photo the passport inspector wrote, “Wife does not write.” Some years later I ended up at a writer’s residence in Eastern Canada, a few miles from where my great-grandmother had settled and farmed a small piece of land. Though I’ve been writing since my teens, keeping journals (that crowd my office space) I have that photo of my great-grandparents on my desk to remind me that I’m the great-granddaughter of the woman who immigrated to Canada as the wife “who does not write.”

What inspired you to write your book?

Curiosity. I often think the topics I write about find me. I have a series of archaeological-themed picture books about a young girl who is fascinated by history. Archaeology is one of my passions and when I can, I join a dig. I have a book for middle-grade readers that takes place in an olive grove, and last year I spent a day raking olives off the trees onto mats and scooping them up into crates. My writing has been labeled ‘realistic fiction.’ Research is my way of discovering new experiences.

What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

“Birds without borders.” I live in a country where there is a lot of conflict between people. And yet, when I visit the Hula Nature Reserve and I see all the different birds from all over the world swoop in to chat with each other (imagine a family dinner where everyone has to have their say), sharing food and finding a place to rest, I think of how we could learn from nature about living together peacefully even if the ‘peace’ can get quite noisy.

What drew you into this particular genre?

Writing a picture book is like writing poetry. I have published a few poems and when I’m stuck on a project I always reach for my poetry anthologies. I enjoy the challenge of finding just the right words to create an image. One of my favorite books growing up was Madeline. I loved Madeline’s independent spirit and the illustrations that accompany the text. The combination works for me.

If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I’d love to chat with Alexandra and ask her what it feels like to sail above looking down on us. She’s been to places I’ve always dreamed of going to see.

What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I’m really enjoying this WOW blog tour (and someone has already written me to ask how to join one). I use Facebook but the contacts I have all know me. This blog tour has allowed me to get in touch with people outside my circle. I’m on Instagram and Twitter but in truth don’t know how to use them all that well. I find that social media takes a lot of time and it’s time taken from my writing. I haven’t figured out the balance yet.

What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

Perseverance! It’s less about ‘write what you know’ (the old adage) but write about what excites you and what you want to learn about. Challenge yourself and discover new experiences.

What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I’m working on a cozy mystery for adults that is set in Canada. It’s presently in submission through my agent. Lots of plotting goes into constructing a mystery and it’s a new genre for me, but I’m loving it!

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Book summary

 In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub

ISBN-10: 1512444391

ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and NobleTarget and Thrift Books.

About the Author, Anna Levine

Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe.  She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at —

Author website: http://www.annalevine.org/

Twitter: @LevineAnna 

Instagram: @booksfromanna 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto,

Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. Since 2008 she’s been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at –

Artist website – https://romeartweek.com/en/artists/?id=1495&ida=1004

Blog: http://chiarapasqualotto.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairepaspage/

Explore the Best Books of 2018 at BN.com

– Blog Tour Dates


December 3rd @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit WOW’s blog today and read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book All Eyes on Alexandra.

muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com


December 5th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Visit Erik’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how to jog your inspiration.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

December 7th @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com


December 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he joins in the fun of celebrating and shares information about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 8th @ Christy’s Cozy Corners

Visit Christy’s blog and cozy up while you read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://christyscozycorners.com/

December 9th @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about designing your ideal writing spot.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 9th @ Christy’s Cozy Corner

Visit Christy’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about how she decided to use crane’s in her story.

https://christyscozycorners.com/


December 10th @ Thoughts in Progress

Visit Pamela’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how authors use anthropomorphic animals.

http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

December 11th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/


December 12th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews Anna Levine, author of All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 13th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read Anna Levine’s guest post about building a theme day around a picture book.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/

December 13th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book

Visit Erin’s blog where she shares her thoughts on Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

www.hookofabook.wordpress.com

December 15th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where she features Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra in a spotlight post.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 17th @ World of My Imagination

Stop by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about naming your characters.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Linda’s Blog

Make sure you visit Linda’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog

December 20th @ Word Magic: All About Books 

Visit Fiona’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Make sure you grab some lemonade and stop by Crystal’s blog today where she reviews Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

December 27th @ Linda’s Blog

Visit Linda’s blog again where you can read her interview with author Anna Levine.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog


December 28th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog today you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/


December 31st @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog and read Anna Levine’s guest post on learning about families and different cultures.

https://strength4spouses.blog/


January 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog where he shares his thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra. 

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

January 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about using fiction to write non-fiction.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 7th @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her thoughts about the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

https://strength4spouses.blog/


Anna Levine’s WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR OF All Eyes on Alexandra

Anna Levine’s

WOW! WOMEN ON WRITING TOUR

OF

All Eyes on AlexandraTour Begins December 3rd

I am proud to share with you guys the official blog tour promotional post for author Anna Levine’s “All Eyes On Alexandra”. Take a look at this amazing book and mark your calendars as this tour visits not only some truly wonderful bloggers and websites, but also returns to my website throughout the tour with an exclusive interview, review and guest blog post in the weeks to come. Enjoy!

Book summary

 In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it’s time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel’s Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited but her family is worried. Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub

ISBN-10: 1512444391

ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and NobleTarget and Thrift Books.

About the Author, Anna Levine

Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe.  She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at —

Author website: http://www.annalevine.org/

Twitter: @LevineAnna 

Instagram: @booksfromanna 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto,

Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. Since 2008 she’s been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at –

Artist website – https://romeartweek.com/en/artists/?id=1495&ida=1004

Blog: http://chiarapasqualotto.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clairepaspage/

– Blog Tour Dates


December 3rd @ The Muffin

What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit WOW’s blog today and read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book All Eyes on Alexandra.

muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com


December 5th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog where she shares her thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/

December 5th @ Break Even Books

Visit Erik’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how to jog your inspiration.

https://breakevenbooks.com/

December 7th @ Coffee with Lacey

Grab some coffee and visit Lacey’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com


December 8th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog today where he joins in the fun of celebrating and shares information about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 8th @ Christy’s Cozy Corners

Visit Christy’s blog and cozy up while you read her review of Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://christyscozycorners.com/

December 9th @ Coffee with Lacey

Visit Lacey’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about designing your ideal writing spot.

http://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com

December 9th @ Christy’s Cozy Corner

Visit Christy’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about how she decided to use crane’s in her story.

https://christyscozycorners.com/


December 10th @ Thoughts in Progress

Visit Pamela’s blog where you can read Anna Levine’s guest post about how authors use anthropomorphic animals.

http://masoncanyon.blogspot.com/

December 11th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/


December 12th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog

Visit Anthony Avina’s blog where he interviews Anna Levine, author of All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

December 13th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.

Make sure you visit Jeanie’s blog today and read Anna Levine’s guest post about building a theme day around a picture book.

http://www.readwritesparklecoffee.com/

December 13th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book

Visit Erin’s blog where she shares her thoughts on Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

www.hookofabook.wordpress.com

December 15th @ A Storybook World

Visit Deirdra’s blog where she features Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra in a spotlight post.

http://www.astorybookworld.com/

December 17th @ World of My Imagination

Stop by Nicole’s blog today where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Cassandra’s Writing World

Visit Cassandra’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about naming your characters.

https://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com

December 19th @ Linda’s Blog

Make sure you visit Linda’s blog today where you can read her thoughts about Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog

December 20th @ Word Magic: All About Books 

Visit Fiona’s blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://fionaingramauthor.blogspot.com/

December 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Make sure you grab some lemonade and stop by Crystal’s blog today where she reviews Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

December 27th @ Linda’s Blog

Visit Linda’s blog again where you can read her interview with author Anna Levine.

https://www.lindaleekane.com/blog


December 28th @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog today you can read her review of Anna Levine’s book All Eyes on Alexandra.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/


December 31st @ Strength 4 Spouses

Visit Wendi’s blog and read Anna Levine’s guest post on learning about families and different cultures.

https://strength4spouses.blog/


January 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog where he shares his thoughts about Anna Levine’s picture book All Eyes on Alexandra. 

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird’s Blog

Visit Beverley’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

January 4th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Visit author Anthony Avina’s blog again where you can read Anna Levine’s blog post about using fiction to write non-fiction.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

January 7th @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog

Visit Wendi’s blog again where you can read her thoughts about the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

https://strength4spouses.blog/

Audrey’s Magic Nine Book Two: The Pencil and the Dream by by Michelle Wright, Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator), Francesco Gerbino (Illustrator) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Audrey’s incredible journey continues in author Michelle Wright’s “Audrey’s Magic Nine Book Two: The Pencil and the Dream”. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

In Audrey’s Magic Nine: Book 2 the unwavering Audrey Hinkle proves that an extraordinary imagination cannot be easily vanquished. Even as she continues her quest to discover all nine magic puppets and defeat an evil queen in another realm, she finds that Earth provides its own set of challenges, requiring the sort of creativity and ingenuity that only Audrey can conjure. As she faces bullies, posers, carnies, and a terrifying enchanted dog, Audrey transforms hardship into unconditional love and acceptance through the power of her art. In the process, the truths of her time in foster care reveal themselves, and though Audrey faces the difficulty of these revelations, her fierce individuality helps her stay her course. Critically acclaimed for its originality, charm, and stunning art, Audrey’s Magic Nine, introduces readers to a dauntless heroine who encourages her audience to indulge fearlessly in creativity. Featuring over 140, full-color pages and bonus short stories Audrey’s Magic Nine: Book 2 celebrates whimsy, innovation, and the artist in us all.

The Review

The story of a young girl adjusting to life as an adoptive daughter while trying to help find a group of puppets who are in reality heroes and members of an elite council from another world, who were banished by an evil witch who dubbed herself the queen of the realm. The illustrations are beautiful as they highlight the protagonist’s dual life of saving these magical beings and learning what it’s like to be a daughter in a loving family for the first time in her life. 

The protagonists’s strength and will are something everyone can admire. Embracing her mission and bonding with parents she never thought she could have, the story highlights the struggles of children lost in the foster care system and the adjustment that comes with finding a family. Mix that with the often hilarious and always magical fantasy elements of the core story, and young readers everywhere will fall in love with Audrey’s tale. 

The Verdict

This was a fantastic sequel to this children’s book. Filled with action, humor and creative storytelling filled with important life lessons and themes of family and hope, this book built upon the first book immensely and solidified the growing mythology of Audrey and the Magical Nine. By book’s end, the mystery behind why Audrey is connected to these beings and how she got into the foster care system to begin with will be answered, and it will leave readers on the edge of their seat, eager for book three to be released. Be sure to preorder your copy of Audrey’s Magic Nine Book Two: The Pencil and the Dream today.

Rating: 10/10

Perfect for holiday gifting – Buy Online, Pick-up at your local Barnes & Noble store within an Hour!

Audrey’s Magic Nine Book One: The Pencil and the Fuzzy by Michelle Wright, Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator), Francesco Gerbino (Illustrator) Review

One young girl’s journey to finding a forever home turns into a mission to save a far away land in author Michelle Wright’s children’s book/Graphic Novel, Audrey’s Magic Nine Book One: The Pencil and the Fuzzy. Illustrated by Courtney Huddleston, Tracy Bailey and Francesco Gerbino, this one of a kind story delves into themes of adoption, family, acceptance and everyday heroism.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

One young girl’s journey to finding a forever home turns into a mission to save a far away land in author Michelle Wright’s children’s book/Graphic Novel, Audrey’s Magic Nine Book One: The Pencil and the Fuzzy. Illustrated by Courtney Huddleston, Tracy Bailey and Francesco Gerbino, this one of a kind story delves into themes of adoption, family, acceptance and everyday heroism. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

The story follows a young orphan named Audrey who goes on a quest to help her newly discovered friends unravel an enchanted mystery. Armed with a pencil, sketchbook, and some surprisingly unexceptional magical help, Audrey and company will embark on many whimsical adventures and escapades to reach a mysterious realm beyond her artistic imagination.

The Review

This was a phenomenal book to read. From the beautiful artwork and hardback cover design to the emotional tale of a resilient young girl surviving the terrible conditions of the foster care system to find herself a true family, this book had it all. From adoptive parents with good intentions but flaws that overshadow their intentions for their newly adopted daughter, to a magical world filled with monsters, magical beings and heroes who find themselves banished to our world in the form of puppets, this book truly captured the creative spirit of both children’s books and comic books. 

The blend of real world stories of growing up as a child and finding your footing in a new home with the fantasy driven world of magic and monsters really brought this story to life. Audrey is a fantastic protagonist to follow as you see her take on life’s struggles in stride. Using her creativity and courage she goes on perilous missions to help the stranded nine individuals from another world and find a way back to their home. The imagery of course is splendid, bringing to life the humor and heart of a true comic book tale. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel. Filled with heart, humor and magic, this is the perfect read for young kids and young adults everywhere. A fantastic beginning to what promises to be a magical and awe-inspiring series, this novel will surely capture the hearts and imagination of young readers everywhere. Be sure to grab your copy of Audrey’s Magic Nine Book One: The Pencil and the Fuzzy today.

Rating: 10/10

Perfect for holiday gifting – Buy Online, Pick-up at your local Barnes & Noble store within an Hour!

Luci Phurr’s Imps by  Dale Mettam, Celina Paquette (Editor), Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator) Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

It’s a classic story of a man selling his soul to the devil for world domination. Yet when a mix up at the home office delivers the three imps sent by the devil himself to help the man’s ambitions to his daughter instead, comical chaos ensues as the young girl’s innocence clashes with the imps evil nature in Luci Phurr’s Imps by Dale Mettam, Celina Paquette (Editor), Courtney Huddleston (Illustrator), Tracy Bailey (Illustrator). Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis 

Local TV weatherman Lou C. Phurr (not the brightest bulb in the newsroom, having once predicted 12 inches of snow during an August heat wave, curiously this turned out to be the closest to an accurate prediction in local weather forecasting in the past sixteen years) has made a deal with the Devil. Well, being as he works in media, he made a deal with the Devil’s people but the net result is the same. In exchange for Lou’s soul, he’ll be granted ultimate power. To help steer Lou towards world domination and ultimately a sulfur-pit-side apartment with a great view of the lesser tortured souls being…well, tortured, the Devil has sent him three imps to serve and provide for Lou’s every need. While they say the Devil’s in the details, he’s also occasionally out hunting, entering fiddle-contests in Georgia, and has a regular tee-time every Friday morning at the most elite golf courses across the globe. And unfortunately, a combination of mistakes, misadventures and a liberal dose of pepper-spray resulted in the imps ending up in the hands of Luci Phurr, Lou’s daughter. Now a small girl holds the power to bring about the End of Days…or get that pony she always wanted. 

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The Review

This is a truly genius work of fiction. A blend of classic children’s illustration with a mixture of adult and youthful humor and a splash of classic mythology surrounding good and evil, heaven and hell, and heroes vs villains, this unique tale is unlike anything I’ve read before. The way the villainous imps relate their tales of evil throughout history and their influence on the world (call waiting, phone chords, etc), was so funny to read, and the comic strip style of imagery really helped bring this story to life in a whole new way.

While Luci Phurr is a huge part of the story, the real heart of the hilarious tale has to be the imps themselves, Pain, Tears and Misfortune. Their unique chemistry and the struggle they go through trying to bring about the apocalypse while tied to the whims of an innocent 8 year old girl are what make this story so unique and fun. 

The Verdict

Overall this is a must read novel. Filled with hilarious tales of mischief and a fantastic cast of supporting characters, Luci Phurr’s Imps is a truly otherworldly read that you have to read to believe. If you haven’t yet make sure to preorder your copy of this amazing book today.

Rating: 10/10

Perfect for holiday gifting – Buy Online, Pick-up at your local Barnes & Noble store within an Hour!

About the Creative Team

Despite both possessing gender-neutral names, neither Dale Mettam nor Courtney Huddleston are girls (though it should be stated that one is significantly more manly than the other… they both know which one this is).

Both possessing a creative edge, which if exhibited a hundred years earlier would have likely resulted in them being recognized alongside such visionaries as Tesla, Edison & Sporkerssen* (in fairness, it could also have led to them being committed to an Home for the Criminally Insane).  When this craziness… um… creativity is combined, you get something like Luci Phurr’s Imps… or an explosion.

Having worked together on several projects (and avoided killing each other despite provocation), Luci Phurr’s Imps seemed like a natural next project to explore, mixing humor, storytelling and a generous portion of evil.

However, what you see in the adventures of Luci and her impish associates would not be anywhere near as amazing were it not for the incredible ebon-brushed talents of Matt Keltner, Tracy Bailey’s profusion of perfect pigment and the eagle eyes of Celina Paquette.

As of Jan 2012, Tracy stepped up and took over all the art duties, this caused some initial shock, alarm, teeth-gnashing and not a little wailing in the streets.  When not performing heroic piece of art, she enjoys hunting wild fire-places (occasionally suffering injuries along the way) and provides Color Commentary for SumoTV.

She also makes awesome baked goods.

You can find more about Dale hereCourtney hereMatt here and Tracy here.

* Now lost to the annals of history, Ingmar Siggersen Sporkerssen (1864-1902) was a Scandinavian naturalist, naturist and breeder of Whooping Alpacas.  While traveling in the foothills of the Andes, he sketched a design for a utensil that combined a fork, a spoon and a knife into one handy unit.  Unfortunately, in his prototype, after working the spoon and fork elements on one end, he added a razor-sharp blade to the handle end.  In its first test-run, Sporkerssen found the blade easily able to handle the tough leg meat of a recently captured wild Rhea; however, when he attempted to fork a mouthful, he slashed his own wrist and bled-out in the wilds of Peru.

Interview with Author/Illustrator Isis Sousa:


1) Tell us a little bit about yourself and
how you came to be a writer.

Hi Anthony! First of all, I want to thank
you for the great opportunity! I never know what to tell about myself… But I
can start sharing about the things I do. I work as professional illustrator doing
most book covers nowadays and before that I have worked as graphic designer in
the heavy metal music industry. I also do photography as hobby, most
nature/landscapes, I am a woodcarving apprentice and ornament painter and on my
scarce free time I also enjoy climbing/hiking on mountains and nurture a
passion for languages. I begin to write by accident. I had an idea for a story
one day and by the time it was the self-publishing boom… And then I asked myself,
why not publish it? Just for fun? Then, I did it and the story was “The Night
of Elisa.”

2) Where did the inspiration for “The Night of Elisa” come from?

It came from a dream I had 13-14 years ago.
I was there, in this place where the twilight was eternal and discovered the
people around me were all dead… I had a warning about the death of a friend/co-worker
in that dream. Which came true about a week later, and this experience has been
imprinted in who I am to this day. Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the book and Francis
Ford Coppola’s movie were also very remarkable to me. Music has also a great
influence in what I do and. I’d say those were the main sources of inspiration
for the story 🙂

3) What other writers or artists have inspired your work?

Oh boy! This list would be endless! I am an
art nuts, I collect art books and images, fiction and a loooot of music. I can
say writers such as Stephen King, Mary Shelley, Clive Barker, Allan Moore, Bram
Stoker, Oscar Wilde, to name a few. (Yes, I am all about classics, both the old
school and the modern.) I love the works of illustrators painters such as Mark
Simonetti, Pierangelo Boog, Corrado Vanelli  and Raphael Lacoste and many, many names of
the classic arts.


4) What do you find is your best creative outlet: writing or artwork, (i.e.
illustration, graphic design, etc?)

Artwork, no doubt! 🙂 Writing is too
tiresome, too slow, and full of letters 😉 Doing art is so free, colourful,
flows like good music.

5) You mention in your bio you are a metal fan. What bands do you listen to
when you are working on your next book or piece of art?

I love many Metal bands and also the
classics in Hard Rock. Some of the most inspirational bands for me are Paradise
Lost, Moonspell, Therion, Lacuna Coil, Within Temptation,  and Crematory to name a few.

6) What is your favorite genre to both read and write in?

Gothic, classic Gothic stuff 🙂 I am attracted
to the Dark and the Fantastic, and the Romantic aesthetics.

7) How do you feel social media has impacted your reach as an artist and
writer?

To be honest, it has impacted tremendously.
Art communities such as CGScociety, Sketchoholic, IAMag and Art Station (which
are the social media for digital artists/illustrators) together with Facebook, connected
me to great names of the industry and clients.

As an author, my best social media is
GoodReads and recently, Twitter. Goodreads, specially, has enabled me to
connect with most of my readership and helped me spread the word about my work
and come across a lot of cool authors, such as yourself! And now Twitter is
putting me across a lot of interesting people with common interests.

Without social media, it would be extremely
difficult to show the world the work that I do…

8) What do you find more rewarding when
writing: developing plot or creating your characters?

Characters, characters and characters 😀
Developing plots give me headache 😛 Characters are fun, I can imagine what
they are made of, what do they like, what they look like and how they would
react in given situation… This is such a cosy part of the process.

9) What is one genre you would never write in and why?

Hm, I am kind of an “anti” person, so it
would be most genres! LOL Don’t get me wrong. I love to read most genres and I
like to add a pinch of romance, horror, mystery and anything dark in my work as
a general rule. I think perhaps the least attractive genres to write, would be
in my opinion, a “romantic romance” or a “sweet romance”, also erotica. these genres are just
not me, but I respect  and root for those who write them. Oh and I almost forgot – Young Adult. I dislike 99% of YA stories out
there and I see no fun at all in writing about teen years, ew! 😛

10) What are your future plans for your writing and art careers?

The most selfish of all!!!  – To be able to live out of my illustrated
books someday and to paint ONLY for myself (meaning, as an artist, I would not
need to make commissioned work for any clients, anymore!). I love my clients,
they are smart, fun, great minds to work with, but every artist’s dream is to
paint for him/herself! ^.^