[GUEST POST] Jules Sherred on Five Little Zombies and Fred, A Not-For-Children Children’s Book

Jules Sherred does way more than should be legal. Most notably, she is the General Manager and Programming Director of The Look 24/7, host of the Geeky Pleasures Radio Show and the offshoot website, Geeky Pleasures, and core contributor to Wired’s GeekMom. She’s already written two non-fiction books — From The Mundane To The Insane: A Wonderful Journey Without A Destination and Tales Of A Lupus Butterfly — the partial proceeds of which go to lupus research and treatment, is working on another book called Nerd Love, and is beyond excited to make Five Little Zombies And Fred a real thing for people to hold, read, and love. You can follow her on Twitter @GeekyJules. Also, SHE LOVES STAR TREK.

IndieGoGo: Funding Five Little Zombies and Fred

If you are a creative, then you probably know what it is like to be plagued with idea after idea. Some of these ideas may be so ridiculous that they should never make it past the idea phase. Others may be so ridiculous that they MUST go beyond the idea phase. Sometimes, it can be quite difficult to tell the difference between to two. That is when you call on the help of friends you trust to tell it to you straight; friends who are willing to put aside any worry that they have of hurting your feelings when they have to say, “Dude. That idea is stupid. Move onto something else. Now.”

My latest project, Five Little Zombies And Fred, is the result of a ridiculous idea I had; one that would not stop pestering me until I decided to test the idea on a few friends, and waited for them to tell me, “Jules, that’s dumb! You may think it is ridiculously awesome, but truly, it is beyond words stupid.” To my surprise, every one with whom I shared this idea thought it awesome. Now, is the daunting task of making it a real thing, for every one to hold and fall in-love with.

Please indulge me as I tell you more about the project’s background, the people involved with this project, and why we all deserve your money — well, mostly, the other team members deserve your money because this project would not be at all awesome if it were not for them lending me their talent — and how you can help.

But, first, here is a TL;DR version of the IndieGoGo campaign in handy dandy video format:

Five Little Zombies And Fred is a not-for-children’s children book about the perils of the zombie apocalypse, filled with zombies, a Mountie, and our hero, Fred. It took me all of ten minutes to write this book, immediately following an interview I did with The Zombie Tarot author, Stacey Graham. Stacey and I discussed the ridiculousness and good fun that are zombies. Following that, as I was thinking about how overdone zombies are, yet if done correctly, how much I enjoy them and how they make me laugh. BLAMO! Next thing I knew, I had written a book that both spoofs and pays homage to the zombie genre, filled with a lot of in-jokes for geeks to enjoy, parodying Ten Little Monkeys Jumping On A Bed. Instantly, I fell in-love with my idea.

As I was writing the book, I knew exactly how I wanted it to look and feel. There was no way that I would be able to compromise on this aspect of the book, otherwise it just won’t work. After all, how am I suppose to sell a children’s book meant for adults unless the elements are just right? So, I needed an extraordinary illustrator; one who would be able to take my story-boarded book, with detailed descriptions of each page, and translate it into adorable images. I knew exactly who I wanted for this project, but even before approaching him about it, I had to read the book to my partner, Andrew.

I read the book to Andrew via Skype, as if it were an actual real thing in front of me, describing the elements on each page. He said, “That is hilarious! Where did you find this book?” I said, “Dude! I just wrote it! I didn’t find it anywhere… except… for maybe my brain!” It was his reaction that gave me the necessary boost to pitch the idea to amazing illustrator, Matt Schubbe.

Being a geeky entertainer, I have the amazing fortune of meeting and working with insanely talented people. Matt Schubbe just happens to be one of these INSANELY talented people. I first became aware of Matt thanks to a song writing competition that I’m involved with called SpinTunes. He, and his wife Donna, won SpinTunes 3. It was also during SpinTunes that I learned about his ridiculous artistic ability, as he started to create the album art for each round of competition.

Matt was the first person I thought of when the idea for the book took form. I’ve had him do design work for me in the past, I trusted his ability to get things created quickly and that I’d be able to tell him what I want, and, as if by magic, he’d give me exactly what I was envisioning, plus more. With my brain full of the fear of being rejected, I e-mailed Matt and told him the idea for this story. Immediately, he, too, fell in-love with it and very happily, agreed to work on this project, even if it fails.

You all really need to understand that it is because of Matt’s disgustingly amazeballs talent and art that I want this project to succeed. Seriously. I feel extremely honoured that he is not only willing to, but also wanting to work on this project, even if he never gets paid for it. However, I am a firm believer in paying people what they are worth. Matt is worth way more than he will receive if the IndieGoGo campaign is a success. If I were a stranger walking off the street wanting to use his services, I’d be paying a lot more. Matt’s artistic ability not only deserves to be properly compensated, but to be shared and held by the entire world. Seriously. The only way I’d be more serious is if I were talking about Star Trek.

The next INSANELY talented individual to join this project is geek musician, Errol Elumir. I first met Errol last year on Google+. We became fast pals. I started to anticipate his first album from his geek music duo, Debs and Errol, called Songs In The Key Of Geek. Debs and Errol have been a featured independent band on my Geeky Pleasures website.

Errol saw me tweet about the project when it was referred to as [REDACTED], and wanted more information. I e-mailed him, and he, too, immediately fell in-love with it and asked if I needed any songs for the book, because he so wanted to have a part in this project. Not one to say no to such generous offers, I said, “HELL, YES! Can you write two songs?” He said, “HUZZAH! I can!”

I’m sure it goes without saying that independent musicians need a lot of extra love and support. It’s tough. The fact that this project will, hopefully, give Errol more exposure is very important to me. It is also important that I give him some sort of token for volunteering his time and effort on this project.

Then we have the INSANELY talented Chris Cogott — seriously, they are all INSANELY talented. I first became familiar with Chris’ music when I was a judge of another song writing competition in which he was the winner. I feel in love with his music. Later, he would compete in SpinTunes, further impressing me with his talent. He is also the amazing talent behind my Geeky Pleasures Radio Show theme song and he’s been a featured independent musician on the Geeky Pleasures website.

Chris joined the project because Errol needed help mixing and mastering the songs. So, I called on my pal Chris and he, too, wanted to be a part of the project and help out any way he could.

Again, what I said above about independent musicians and helping to increase their exposure applies to Chris.

Finally, this brings me to my partner in life, Andrew. Andrew has this need to support every thing I do. He is my number one fan. Because of this, he has created all of the videos people will see throughout this campaign, including the one describing the IndieGoGo campaign.

Please help us make Five Little Zombies And Fred a real thing. I strongly believe that Matt’s artistic abilities, Errol and Chris’ musical talent, and Andrew’s time and effort creating a bunch of videos deserve to be shared with the world. And my words and concept are not too shabby, if I say so myself.

Contributing towards this project will automatically get your name printed in the book’s acknowledgement. Plus, we have a lot of other fun perks, including hardcover personalised versions of the book, redrawn and rewritten to include your name and likeness, and personalised art and music. Even if you cannot afford those bigger, more expensive perks, we have covers for your electronic devices, mugs, t-shirts, prints of the book’s cover in poster format, copies of the book, and more.

Please visit our IndieGoGo campaign, and read more about this project. Yes, it is OMG SO LONG and you’ll be inclined to TL;DR it, but I think it is worth your time to find out all of the amazing things we are offering in return for your money and support. Also, just as importantly as visiting the campaign’s page and contributing, tell every one you know, multiple times, both online and offline.

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