now browsing by tag


You Can’t Pick Your Illustrator’s Nose

Pin It

…but you can pick your illustrator!

People often ask me how we found Nina Khalova. The method seems so normal to me now – such is the wondrous nature of my brothers, that I’ve almost gotten used to their pulling innovative ideas out of a hat – but at the time, it was mystifying to me.

Apparently, there are places on the net where you can submit a proposal and put it out for “bids,” in this case, the hunt for an artist, the “bids” would be in the form of a drawing. My brothers asked me to do a drawing that prospective artists would do their take on, so I did. Here ’tis:

Init IllAA simple sketch of two little girls looking out an attic window, sitting on a suitcase with a lamp and a vase on either side and two cobwebs. Now, do you see the problem? What was I thinking?! There are no faces in this sketch! Dang.

Ah, well. The submissions soon started pouring in. A lot of them looked like they had done a slightly better version of my drawing. Most were very literal. We were looking for “a little something extra.” I’ve mixed Nina’s submission in with the rest, see if you can guess which one was hers (answer below):

1. Ale 2

2. Ale 1

3. Ale 3

4. Ale 10

5. Ale 4

6. Ale 5

7. Ale 6

8. Ale 8

9.Ale 7


If you chose Lucky Number 7, you’re right! Most of the artists just drew a lamp and a vase. And two cobwebs. Nina had drying herbs, a trunk, a gramophone, shelves stuffed full of things, even a sleeping cat, fer cryin’ out loud! Number 4 was a good possibility. He was even local to my brothers! But I believe he was too busy. So Nina of the Ukraine was the one We Picked.

And now! Today! As you drive by my steaming house (we’re in the middle of a heat wave, don’t you know), there’s a good chance I’ll be in my closet, recording away. I found my flashlight! So there’ll be no fires today.

The response to the teaser for Chapter 1 was EXCELLENT (thankyouverymuch), and I’m even more excited for Chapter 2! Once again, my brother’s done a bang up job. How did I get so lucky?

ALSO! Don’t forget! Chapter 5 coming tonight at midnight! It’s entitled, The Race.

Hope you enjoy.


Pin It

Out of The Closet…


But first! Where were YOU last Thursday morning? Were you in a closet surrounded by clothes and shoes and cottony things, lifting a candle and trying to read whilst not setting your hair on fire?

Closet2I have quite the niftiest brothers possible. We’d just had our first meeting on publicity for Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway – with a bonafide publicity guy, mind you – and SWOOSH! The following morning my brother had put together an EXCELLENT 30 second YouTube video.

Dennis had done it with his own voice, so now it was my turn to record the few lines. He asked me, “Do you have any quiet, small room that you could go into?”

Hmm. I knew instantly. My closet. Gulp. That’s where the first bat was discovered. 

It’s right beneath the attic stairs! Perhaps the bat didn’t just fly in, perhaps there’s a pencil-hole-sized gap between the closet and the attic! I keep the door closed and have even blocked the gap beneath it nice and tight. I sleep better that way.

Even though it was just a few lines, and I’m the one that wrote them, fer’ cryin’ out loud, I had to have them on a piece of paper in front of me. Which means I needed to see. The light in there is broken, so it’s as dark as a tomb. Of course I couldn’t find my flashlight, I never can when I need it. But we’d recently had a power outage, so I knew where the candles were!

So there I was last Thursday morning in my closet, surrounded by fabric, holding a candle and a piece of paper. I informed my sister Julie beforehand in case my burnt body was discovered in there and the detectives were wondering why.

I was grateful to get out of the closet alive.

The video won’t be released elsewhere until tomorrow. But YOU get to see it today! And now, without further ado, here is the teaser of the teaser:

What do you think? Should we do more? Because I will! ‘Cept maybe next time I’ll take my fire extinguisher…or find my flashlight…