I've been running this blog for two years shy of a decade, Esteemed Reader. I've given you a whole lot of swell content for free and I've never asked anything in return (to be fair, I've also loved the content). Today, I want to ask you for a favor:
Please download the Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees ebook FOR FREE and read the first chapter.
If Middle Grade Ninja has benefited you in any way over the years, either through direct promotion, or by helping you choose a publishing professional to work with, or by providing information and inspiration from a writer better than myself, I'm glad. That's one of the main reasons I've stuck with this blog. We've all had fun and you don't owe me a thing. But if you're grateful and want to express that gratitude, I could really use your help.
All I'm asking is that you read one chapter for free. And if you read this blog, aren't you at least curious after all these years whether or not I can write middle grade fiction worth a darn? If you like that first chapter, read more chapters, and maybe write a review. Maybe share the book on social media.
Help me get the word out that this middle grade book exists in the world.
October of this year will mark the four-year anniversary of the publication of my best book. Authors aren't supposed to pick favorites, but that's a dumb rule, and as much as I love all my books, Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees is my favorite. It's the best thing I've ever written and if you're only ever going to read one of my books (don't do that), this is the one I would want you to read. So much so that I'll give it to you at no cost.
Don't worry about me, Esteemed Reader, I'm doing fine. I'm still charging for the audiobooks and paperbacks (the paperback edition with the new cover is coming later this week and the price has been permanently reduced). Not having time to sit down and read and/or your potential hatred of ebooks (if you're reading this, you have access to a device on which you can read the ebook) are not valid excuses for not helping out your favorite ninja. Also, after you read Banneker's first adventure, you're going to be interested in his second releasing later this year that I'm definitely going to charge for:
Both new book covers were designed by my favorite cover artist, Steven Novak. Steven has designed all my covers (and my beloved ninja icon) and is always my first choice for artwork. His covers are their own testament to his excellence, but he's also easy to work with, incredibly reliable, and has the patience to endure working with nervous authors insecurely second guessing design choices.
Steven has often designed 100% exactly what I've asked for only for me to realize my "artistic vision" is not at his level. Steven's work always exceeds my every expectation and I've learned it's best to pitch him my design ideas and then stay out of his way so he can save me from myself and make a better cover than I ever could.
If you need artwork of any kind, contact Steven Novak and get yourself something that will be almost as beautiful as my new covers.
Those of you Esteemed Readers who are as observant as brilliant detective Banneker Bones have no doubt noticed that the name on these new covers is 'Rob' Kent instead of 'Robert' Kent. And this is now someone named 'Rob(ert)' Kent's blog about reading and writing middle grade novels utilizing ninja stealth and skill! Who are all these people!?!
They're all me, Esteemed Reader. When I published All Together Now: A Zombie Story, I didn't think to use a pen name because I didn't yet know I'd also be publishing The Book of David. Neither of those books is appropriate for Banneker's younger readers, and yet I'm not going to put a pen name on my favorite book. If I'm accepting responsibility for Pizza Delivery, you better believe I want credit for Banneker Bones:)
I have no plans to use a pen name. If I published a book, I loved it, and I'll claim it as my own. But I wasn't a parent when I published my first book and I am now. I want to help parents and teachers and librarians and any adults influential in what children read. I don't want them to place a book in child's hands I wouldn't place in my child's hands.
I always put a warning on the first page of the scary stories, but I want a more direct way to communicate which books are for which readers. Therefore:
Rob Kent = middle grade book acceptable for all ages (and probably enjoyed by older readers as well)
Robert Kent = strictly for older readers and teenagers who have permission or are crafty enough to get around their guardian's notice (that's on you, guardians; I'm doing what I can to help you out)
Honestly, I'll answer to either name. And it's the tale, not he who tells it. You can call me "that ninja fellah" if you like and we'll all know who you mean, it's fine:)
That's it for today, Esteemed Reader. I hope this post finds you well and with time to read. Please follow this link to download Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees. If you read to the end of this post, you find me readable enough.
Help a ninja out:)
When the boys are ambushed by robot bees as big as cars, Ellicott's only friend is carried off and held for ransom. To rescue him, Ellicott has no choice but to partner with his maniacal cousin. Ellicott doesn't know what's worse: facing a hive of giant robot bees or spending more time with Banneker Bones.
Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees is a humorous, science fiction adventure for readers of all ages written in the spirit of a comic book.
“Let me say at once that I think this is a most original and amusing piece of work. A reader is arrested at the outset by a paradoxical witticism and he goes on being arrested as the story gets into its stride. Ellicott Skullworth and Banneker Bones appear as characters about whom the reader wants to learn more, and soon he begins to be in no doubt about this.” --Richard Adams, author of Watership Down