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The Joys and the Dangers Untold: Suicide & the Holidays

In 2011, I lost a close friend to suicide due to relentless online attacks that were thoughtless, hateful and unwarranted. The target of the attacks wasn’t my friend but me, and it became very personal and caused much stress for myself and those close to me for a very long time. I never knew how personally some of those around me took these attacks until it was too late.

I’ve written about these attacks on many previous occasions. Although these hateful activities began in 2002, the first time I spoke publicly about them was May 2007. I didn’t say anything more about these matters publicly until October and November 2009. More recently, I’ve been blogging about these problems and related issues at Read Indies. My posts on these matters include:

Unethical Competitors, January 2013 Authors Who Trash Competitors, March 2013

Speaking Out About Haters, June 2013 Authors Who Are Trolls, September 2013

Speaking Out About Ugliness in Publishing, September 2014
Whoever said time heals all wounds was …

Lots of Books Require Lots of Effort: Writing & Releasing Books Into the Wild

Often, it takes a very long time to work books through the writing, editing, review, and publishing processes. Recently, my publisher and I re-did the interior layout of all the Bugville books for new digital editions to accommodate the improved standards of today's e-readers.

There are 100+ Bugville books. They re-released at the same time to all markets after 18 months of hard work from a dedicated team.

I started work on the Bugville books 20 years ago. Most of the Bugville books are created from full-size watercolors (paintings). No one created thousands of original watercolors in a few days or wrote 100+ stories in a few days, but when we released the new editions, we released them to all markets at the same time.

Even with the original releases, many of the Bugville books ending up being released at the same time. Why?

In 2005, I was finally able to publish the first two sets of books, 15 in all, after years of work and waiting. Although the books were written and illustrat…

Diversity in Children’s and Young Adult Novels: Making a Difference and Taking a Stand

This post is dedicated to Walter Dean Myers who inspired and guided me through his writing. As a writer, I’ve always seen it as my responsibility to infuse my work with diversity. After all, we live in a world of color and diversity, a world of many peoples, beliefs and religions – and writing, especially children’s writing, should mirror, reflect and embrace this diversity. Sometimes my embrace of race, religion and belief systems has made my work controversial, but controversy hasn’t changed my views or my writing.
A few months before his death, Walter wrote a blistering essay about the lack of diversity in children’s books, “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” And I wanted to reply to my old friend: That there are many diverse books in print. That there are many books that present diversity honestly and compassionately. Though clearly, not enough, and perhaps not in ways some expected, and yet perhaps also because books that embrace diversity can come in many forms…

Ruin Mist Movie Option Expires. 6th Time Wasn’t the Lucky Charm After All.

Well, Ruin Mist fans, I’m terribly disappointed to say the movie option expired today. As principle filming has not begun, it means the 6th time wasn’t the lucky charm for Ruin Mist after all. Those who have been following along know I’ve been in this crazy business for a few decades now, and am not quite ready to give up the Hollywood dream just yet. The silver lining, as ever: I get to keep the option money. This is, of course, an update from my post from way back in October 2012.
Still, like I said back then, you know you’re doing something right when Hollywood comes knocking six times in a row. Way back in 2002, the first two times Hollywood came knocking, I was  awestruck. Now I’m fine with whatever may and may not happen, so no more dancing on clouds. :-(
BTW, this most recent flirt with Hollywood was thanks to the Ruin Mist prequel and the Ruin Mist graphic novel.
If you’re new to the world of Ruin Mist, books set in the world include:
Kingdoms and the Elves of the Reaches #1, 2, …

Big Books, Big Contracts: The Road to Success is Paved With Potholes (Or Alternately What It’s Like to Write 150 Books & Still Have to Give 150% Every Single Day.)

I'm Robert Stanek. Last year, I signed an 8-book six-figure contract with my long-time publisher. In the past, I’ve had contracts for $70,000 and up for 3 or 4 books, but nothing so substantial. It was a wonderful confirmation of my commitment to the written word and it felt great to have a publisher back my work so strongly, especially in the uncertain landscape of today’s publishing reality.

Since I’ve been talking about the contract and the books lately, I often hear from people who congratulate me on “my quick success” and “my rapid rise to acclaim.” I am, of course, a critically and commercially acclaimed author of more than 150 books. I also am one of the world’s leading authorities in the subjects I write about and the more than $200,000,000 in retail earnings for my books easily put me in a class of the top 1% of authors in the world. I am, however, anything but an overnight success. I’ve been a writer for 30 years and only 20 as a published professional.
I earned my strip…