We are thrilled to announce that we've just finalized a contract with Candlewick Press to publish SMASH BOOK TWO! And, as you can see, we're flying in circles over it.
For now, the title and plot of the book are sealed inside an underground vault in the Magus's secret lair and guarded round-the-clock by his Minions. While we don't have a publication date yet, rest assured we're working as fast as we can to bring new adventures of SMASH to all our fans.
Candlewick Press also published SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE, our first all-ages graphic novel featuring 10-year-old superhero Smash, and we couldn't be more excited to work with them again.
In addition to creating a gorgeous book that's a pleasure to read, Candlewick has worked tirelessly to promote SMASH, leading to glowing reviews, literary prizes like the Oregon Spirit Book Award and Children's Choice Book Award, and a legion of young readers who have let us know they can't wait for more SMASH.
We're especially excited to collaborate again with our fearless editor, Mary Lee Donovan, whose guidance and enthusiasm helped us develop our webcomic into a finished book we can be proud of. And we want to thank our agent, Bernadette Baker-Baughman at the Victoria Sanders Agency, for her patience, support, and all-around awesomeness.
We'll keep you updated as Book Two progresses. For more information, sign up for the mailing list in the margin at the right to get all the latest news while it's hot!
Happy New Year to all our SMASH readers! As the calendar switches over to 2015, Kyle and I can't help looking back at a wonderful year for our 10-year-old superhero.
- Numerous awards for SMASH: TRIAL BY FIRE, from the Oregon Spirit Book Award to the Children's Choice Book Award and a nomination for the Black-Eyed Susan Award.
- A wonderful experience at the Emerald City Comic Con, including panels with other kids' comic creators and a demonstration on how kids can make their own comics.
- More fantastic reviews for our graphic novel, including notices from Horn Book, Bookslut, Library Media Connection, and many more. The blog 100 Scope Notes even called TRIAL BY FIRE one of the Top 10 Circulated Books of 2014.
- Readings at schools like Laurelhurst Elementary and Broadview-Thomson in Seattle, where we encountered wide-eyed fans full of great questions who were bursting for more Smash adventures. (Coming soon — we promise!)
- Inktober 2014 featured a month of Kyle's artwork, showing a wide range from the spooky and macabre to the hilarious and fantastical. (If you haven't seen it yet, take a look!)
Most of all, we're grateful for all of you! By buying our book and sharing our creation with friends and family, you've helped spread the word about SMASH in ways we could only have dreamed about.
We have exciting announcements coming in early 2015! But first, we want to reflect back on 2014 and say thanks again. May you all have a wonderful and joyous New Year celebration!
This week, SMASH artist Kyle Bolton paid a visit to the 4th and 5th grade classes at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School in Seattle as part of a terrific program called WITS (Writers In The Schools).
Kyle showed panels from our book, Smash: Trial by Fire, reading the dialogue and acting out the different characters, and then took a flurry of fantastic questions from the eager students.
Erin Langner, the Program Associate for WITS, wrote about it in a blog post:
All eyes were on the author as he animated the story of a ten-year-old boy who finds himself bestowed with superhero powers using a thorough assortment of voices and sounds to match each action. Building up to a critical moment of realization, the entire library gasped when Kyle unveiled the final, "To be continued..." slide of his reading; the cliffhanger was severe, despite only hearing a small part of a story the Boltons have planned to fill five books.
The kids sitting around the lingering "To be continued..." slide did not see this as an end but as an opportunity. Their imaginations ignited, when Kyle invited questions, every third hand raised brought ideas for the next four Smash books. Methods for defeating villains, suggestions for co-conspirators, new narrative twists and potential wardrobe ideas were floated for consideration. While it is hard to know which directions the authors might find best suited for the next iterations of Smash, it was clear that no outside distractions were too much for this room full of story tellers, who found new suggestions to share through the end of the hour—ideas that I hope to run into again someday, when these creative students put their pencils to the paper and let the inspiration flow.
Huge thanks to WITS and the teachers and students at Broadview-Thomson K-8 School for a great time!
We were very excited to get fan art from the talented Jeffrey Munoz the first time. But now he's sent a piece that is so gorgeous, we can't stop staring at it — along with his favorite line of dialogue from SMASH, Book One: Trial by Fire.
We're incredibly flattered by Jeffrey's artwork and excited to share it with all of you! (Check out more of his work here.)
If you have SMASH fan art, please send a jpeg to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your name as you want it to appear on our site. We'd love to post it!
If you aren't familiar with LitPick, you should be! It's a terrific website that has a passion for promoting preteen and teen reading and writing.
Yesterday, Smash: Trial by Fire received a great review from 11-year-old Nictaf. And now Kyle and I are honored to be interviewed for the site.
Click here to read Six Minutes with Kyle Bolton and find out about the Smash artist!
On Saturday, October 4, SMASH writer Chris A. Bolton attended the awards ceremony at Wilsonville High School. Sponsored by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, it was a wonderful day that kicked off with a rousing keynote speech by author Brian Doyle.
Then the winners were each presented a beautiful plaque onstage and given a few minutes to speak.
Afterward, they had a chance to sign books and mingle with teachers and other nominees. Chris heard from several teachers who were phenomenally excited to introduce SMASH to their classroom.
From the bottom of our hearts, we want to thank the OCTE for this honor. Their award highlights a variety of children's books from Oregon writers and helps introduce the value of stories to young minds that crave them. We are deeply grateful for this award and a wonderful ceremony!
And, if you'd like to watch Chris's acceptance speech: