Monday, February 18, 2019

LAST KID RUNNING _____ This is my new interactive fiction series, to be published by Penguin Random House SEA around Sept this year

Time for the Big Announcement! My new thing this year is a science fiction interactive story series called LAST KID RUNNING, which will be published by Penguin Random House SEA. I'll be posting more info about this series soon.

Photo above is from their super cool launch party last week. I also have a mention in this Straits Times article, near the end:

"Singaporean children's author Don Bosco, 47, who will be publishing interactive thriller series Last Kid Running with Penguin Random House SEA, said: "It seriously feels like a giant alien spaceship has suddenly appeared, zapped me up, and inserted me into an unbelievable new reality. Last year I was making up stories for Singapore readers. This year I'm making up stories for readers across South-east Asia, and the world."

Here is another quote I gave, which wasn't used:

“Our LAST KID RUNNING series is an interactive fiction thriller, and we want to use this interactive, open-ended element to make reading fun again, because kids these days are growing up with smartphones, and their minds are always itching to swipe and make choices. They need new book concepts that can accommodate this.

Also, the series features a genius inventor-entrepreneur, Dr Tomato Yamato, who uses cutting-edge technologies like AR, VR, smart fabrics, social analytics, artificial intelligence, etc, to create a new kind of super cool competitive running event, so that kids can have first class fun. We hope both girls and boys will read this and develop a passion for STEAM.”

Another important matter: a few years ago, when I started Super Cool Books with my kids, I made the commitment that I would share all publishing opportunities and privileges that came my way. I started the 100 WRITERS support group, put up lots of free publishing and writing guides, promoted lots of authors and illustrators on my website, introduced many of them to publishers. And now this is the big one: I am sharing the submission contact email for Penguin Random House SEA. It may not be easily available for a while, so save this photo quick.

If you’ve been writing a lot already, go organise your stuff and send it in. Tell your friends and family, if they aspire to be published authors too. You may say that you were recommended by Don Bosco. I wish you all happy writing, and super sweet success. GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!


— D

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Are you a writer too?

Available in paperback late-2019

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

100 WRITERS _____ Keep writing, always remember why young readers need new books from us

NOTE: This post is part of my 100 WRITERS community project. Learn more about it here.

Why should we make new books for young readers?

I’ve been asking myself this question for seven years.

It started when my two sons were old enough to enjoy going to the public library every weekend.

We’d spend hours discussing all the books that they enjoyed.

But we also discussed the books that they could never discover, no matter how hard they looked. Books that had yet to be created. For all sorts of reasons. See: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

And so, to fill this gap, we started creating our own books, mystery and adventure stories featuring Asian characters.

My sons and I wrote the stories together, illustrated them, and self-published our paperbacks. Which we managed to sell to our public libraries.

Eventually we were approached by local publishers who wanted to make books with us.

This whole experience has helped me feel the intellectual, emotional and social needs of my kids, when they go looking for books to read.

Here are three big reasons why I think our work matters. Keep writing from your heart.

#1: Kids dig the wordplay

More important than playing with toys or apps, is the ability to play with language.

We use puns, rhythms, the musicality of sentences, jokes, onomatopoeia, metaphors, all these and more, to show young readers what a wonderful resource we’ve inherited, and how we can create wonderful new worlds for ourselves with the artful use of language.

The more widely we read, the richer our sense of language, the more we can zoom, swoosh and whizzabapow our way through life.

Each time we graft one breathtaking meme onto another, and forge delightful new expressions, we’re reminding young readers how language is a treasure chest of never ending delights.

#2: Inspire affection for humanity

In our books, there will be nice people, but also selfish people, artists, philistines, heroes, cowards, heroes who believe they are cowards, cowards who think they are heroes, kings, queens, tyrants, saints, outcasts, selfish people, generous people, loving people, unlovable people, and many more.

Just as it is in the world out there.

Our books help kids appreciate their real life encounters so much more, because they have already spent time with similar characters in their favourite stories.

Illustrators are especially essential here. Animals, appliances, even odd and random shapes — a few talented strokes can bring these to life, as avatars of different states of human consciousness.

Our books show kids that bullies need standing up to. But sometimes they need a kind hug too.

#3: We offer companionship

Every book is a transfusion of creativity, craft and companionship, from writers, illustrators, editors, booksellers, and so on, the whole publishing ecosystem, to the young readers.

Kids experience this in every page that they turn.

They can sense the deep and timeless intention to connect and reassure.

In particular, they want to be reassured about the mysterious unfolding of life around them.

They want to know that the poor little one can turn out okay.

It’s what makes these stories such classics: The Ugly Duckling, Cinderella, David and Goliath.

Our books remind kids to see not just with their eyes, but also with their hearts.

I still lie awake at night, thinking up new ideas for making books for kids.

Wondering if there’s a child somewhere out there, lying in bed and hoping to find these same books.

A child who might grow up to make some pretty amazing books too. And keep the tradition going.

Wow, we are superheroes, we must be, to be part of something so epic.

— D

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Signed up for my Today at Apple session?

Thrills! Laughs! Scares! Mysteries to be solved!
This exciting new series has them all

Saturday, June 9, 2018

TOY MYSTERY _____ Join us for this coming Today At Apple session, at Apple Orchard Road, we'll make cool pixel art together

NOTE: This post is about our TOY MYSTERY gamebook seriesAll pixel art featured here by Super Cool Books.

Super cool surprise, we'll be doing a Today At Apple workshop session this coming week.

Last year, you see, we experimented with making gamebooks. These are stories where you get to choose what happens next. Our first prototype was the Toy Mystery series. And Book One was The Secret of the Chatter Blocks. It involved combining storytelling with a bit of computer programming and also some character design. Read about the whole process here.

We knew it was important to have a signature look for this. Something that was bright, inspiring, familiar yet fresh. After some weeks of experimenting, we settled on this pixel art style. And then we used it to create characters, story settings, and mockups for the book cover.

Among other things, The Secret of the Chatter Blocks was mentioned on Emily Short's Interactive Storytelling update. And you can still download the e-book free here. Do try it and let us know if you have any thoughts about developing it further. We'd love to hear from you.

Thanks to Apple, you can have fun with pixel art too. Sign up details below. Join us, we'll create some cool story ideas together.

— D


Kids Hour: Creating Pixel Art with Don Bosco
Friday, 15 June

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Apple Orchard Road

Join Singaporean author Don Bosco with your family and dive into the world of 8-bit illustration for children’s books. He’ll share what makes a good story drawing, and demonstrate the basics of pixel art. Then you’ll get creative with iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and the Procreate app, designing characters and a unique cover for your own storybook world. Recommended for kids aged 5 to 12.

270 Orchard Road

Singapore 238857


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I say, have you collected 

MY BLADE QUEST is about two very special kids
and their amazing adventure around the world. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

SCBWI SG _____ #KidLitter May 2018 updates

NOTE: This is an update for the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Singapore Chapter. Interested in joining us? More information here. Updates compiled by Melanie Lee and Don Bosco.

#kidlit #kidlitart #kidlitchat #scbwi #scbwisg #afcc #kidlittersg

Presenting #KidLitter, this SCBWI SG quarterly update. Illustration: Dave Liew

Coming: Asian Festival of Children’s Content 2018 (6 -8 SEP). Sign up already

April: SCBWI board member Christopher Cheng shared tips for authors and illustrators

April: Tayo Irvine Hendrix, daughter of Jimi Hendrix, introduced her picture book Hummingbirds at Closetful of Books

Join the Picture Book Critique Group, get feedback and support every Wed 10am (except last Wed of the month, 8pm). Contact Leila

Congratulations, Evelyn Bookless, for the launch of Captain Green and the Plastic Scene! Environmental superhero indeed

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Make your own 
Quick Kiddy Comic!
It's easy. Try this worksheet.

Sign up for the
Asian Festival Of Children's Content 2018