Newcomers, read the posts linked below  to know what I’m talking about-





Today, I’m both updating the giveaway I initially began prior to FETCH getting funded on Kickstarter.


In honor of the donations for being reached, I’ve extended the deadline from this Sunday, to September 30th, 2013, before MIDNIGHT, EST. 


  • E-mail me at taury-AT-talkinganimaladdicts.com.
  • Write “T.A.A. CARES (FETCH)” in the subject line.
  • Enter Your First Name, Last Name Initial, and what state (U.S.) or province (Canada)/city you live in.
  • Tell me who your favorite dog character is. (Books, comics, movies, television,etc. Please mention series and author or creator) 


Winners will be announced on the site, our Facebook page (facebook.com/talkinganimaladdicts), and Twitter (@TAA_Editor).

DON’T send your contact information (Other than the name and email address, of course, which will never be shared) until I contact you. Contest ends September 30th, 2013, at Midnight, EST. (Eastern Standard Time)

Due to shipping costs, I must limit the prizes to those in the U.S (INCLUDING Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada.


Thanks in advance for those who donate, and even if you can’t spare the money, please spare some time and spread the word. 

Until next time,

May the Fantastical Fauna be with you.

FETCH is 100% Funded!




I’ll be back to regular blog posts soon but I have an announcement that can’t wait-

Earlier this month, T.A.A. launched it’s newest initiative, “T.A.A. CARES” as a way to highlight projects that need support, whether financial or simply word of mouth, and our debut project spotlight was for FETCH, a picture book written by Adam Glendon Sidwell.

He needed considerable funds to get the book to publication. Learn more about the book and it’s author at the link below-




I’m happy to say that with just over 2 DAYS to spare, FETCH reached it’s funding goal of $22,000.00 USD. 


Congratulations Adam, and thanks to everyone who donated alongside me.


Since the project met it’s minimum goal, the giveaway prizes will be awarded, and if you haven’t entered yet, GET TO IT! Here’s how-


-E-mail me at taury-AT-talkinganimaladdicts.com

-Write “T.A.A. CARES (FETCH)” in the subject line

-Tell me who your first name and last name initial (i.e. Taurean W.) favorite dog character is. (Books, comics, movies, television, etc. Please mention

series and author or creator)


In honor of the project meeting it’s target goal, I’ll be including more prizes I’ll announce tomorrow, I’m also

extending the deadline from Midnight 9/22/13 to-


September 30th, 2013, at Midnight EST. 


Finally, since the minimum funding goal for the project’s been reached, I’m now

opening the giveaway to non-donors in the U.S. and Canada. Winners will be

announced on our Facebook page (facebook.com/talkinganimaladdicts),Twitter feed

(@TAA_Editor), and on the site.


Check back tomorrow for updated details for the giveaway.


Until then,

May the Fantastical Fauna be with you

Kickstarter Success Stories That Went The Distance

I hope those of you who’ve been loyal to T.A.A. through it’s various ups and downs, and longer than I’d like downtime, will spread the word of FETCH (No, not the PBS Kids show, though I’d think Ruff would support it, despite the book “borrowing” his show’s name…)

For those of you who need further convincing, here are a few Kickstarter success stories that tie into what this site’s all about.

One of the issues I had with my early attempt at a welcome video for T.A.A. was no one knew what an “Animal Fantasy Activist” was. In truth, I didn’t know how to explain it at the time, but perhaps these successfully funded Kickstarter projects best shows the meaning of that term I coined-


Pilot Tails

“Pilot Tails Flying Adventures for Kids!” 

by Michael Badger

If you’ve got kids addicted to the Disney Jr. show “Octonaunts” they’ll likely find lots to love in this charming book.

Only as the title implies, these adventures take to the wild blue yonder, as opposed to the seven seas of Earth. Unlike the other books highlighted, this book needed a bit more But they BIG ambitions for the funds they asked for. In addition to the book proper with quality illustrations that rival any traditionally published book you can name, the funds would also cover an iPad app that ties into the book.


Pilot Tails (APP)



Rhoda's Ocean


“Rhoda’s Ocean”

Written and illustrated by Betty Abbott Sheinis

To think this GORGEOUS book was a diamond in the rough that never saw publication in the author’s lifetime, but managed to see the light of day thanks in part to the Kickstarter platform, and in LARGE part by the project’s creator, Annette James who discovered this buried gem hidden in an antique bed of all places, and those of you who know my tastes in books can understand how moved I was by the story behind the book, and I WILL be getting a copy and review it soon. (If you’re interested in the book, it’s available now,  just click the cover image to read an except and buy it yourself!)



Larry and Friends

“Larry and Friends”

by Nat Jaspar and Carla Torres


For those of us in publishing (Myself included), the persistent lack of genuine, non-stereotypical diversity in books at large is just as concerning as it was half a century ago, but while (At the time I type these words) we may be stuck in neutral at best right now, we HAVE made some strides, and this book is a prime example.

I was immediately drawn in by the art style of this book. After seeing the pitch video, I can see why this book got the funding needed, I’ll keep you posted when it’s available.

There is one thing all these Kickstarter projects have in common, apart from the fact they met the funding goals to see to project to completion and in readers hands, they came from authors, illustrators, or a combo of the two who in some cases (As noted in the pitch videos) they had near final versions of the book, and needed help earning funds to print, one of the biggest hurdles for any indie author is getting the needed art (If you are not the illustrator) alongside printing costs, ISBN numbers if the book will be available in print (Though you will require an ISBN to sell in some major ebook retailers like Apple’s iBookstore), and this is also part of why it will be a long time before I can create such a Kickstarter project of  my own.

My debut took 10 YEARS of effort and time on my part, and I will need to do a LOT of careful thought and planning to propose a project that has the best chance of being approved, and I’ve mapped out as much of the expenses as possible. It’s never easy to ask for money, even from people you know and who love you, never mind strangers who are connected by a shared love of the project you’re proposing.

Many authors I know (Personally or from their work online) don’t have this problem, or at least can hide it well, this will be HARD for me, as I’m not an entrepreneur at heart.

Note that I said “This WILL be hard for me.” as I recognize there are projects that I know I’m better off taking the indie route. Not just for creative control, but also because since starting T.A.A. three years ago, I slowly started to see I CAN do what these authors and illustrators I highlighted today. It will take me longer, but it is in reach, and I have to remind myself that often.

Though my  debut middle grade novel Gabriel will be published by a publisher, I’m working on early PR and making connections with people who will support the book as I have more launch details to share and as publication nears.

Part of my extended absences from the blog this summer was spent planning out a strategy. It’s not totally worked out yet, but the bones are coming together.

While I still want to get an agent and work with more traditional publishers (Ideally ones that offer some kind of advance to help PR and the like on my end) my views on self-publishing  in general have changed. It can lead to great things when done right, and we all know “doing it right” in this business doesn’t come cheap. Or happens overnight (That said, not all authors have DECADES between projects either…)

But until I have something at the level these projects were at, the least I can do is support the projects I find that I believe are good and sound, that speak to me as any book already out there, and that I get to review and share with you on this blog.

I was not afraid to put my money where my heart is. “Fetch” won’t be the first book project I back with either my money or efforts to get it in the hands of readers, and it will NOT be the last. IF you can’t spare the money, spare some time and spread the word

(If you shout it out on Twitter, please use the hastag #taacares so people know you learned of the project through this site)

Only 15 days are left before the donation period ends, and Adam has yet to even reach HALF his funding goal. I DON’T want to see this book go the way of Amelia Earhart. I want to see it soar like a proud eagle in flight.

Finally, keep in mind that I’ve got a cool giveaway in conjunction my “Countdown to Fund FETCH”, if you donated to the project, email me at taury-AT Symbol- talkinganimaladdicts.com, write

“T.A.A. CARES (FETCH)” in the subject line, and tell me who your favorite dog character is. (Books, comics, movies, television, etc. Please mention series and author or creator)

If you you tweet about this project, please use the hashtag “#taacares” so people know you learned of the project through this site.

*If the project is funded, I’ll select three winners at random who will win one of the following-

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive  A signed copy of the “FETCH” + a signed edition of my upcoming debut novel, GABRIEL (Pub. Date TBA) published by G8Press.

2 runners-up will win a signed copy of GABRIEL (pub. date: TBA)

(If you wish your copy to be personalized for you or who you may gift it to, let me know in your entry)

*NOTE: Prizes will only be awarded if the project is funded at the minimum amount.

Winners will be announced on the site, our Facebook page, (http://www.facebook.com/talkinganimaladdicts) and via Twitter (@TAA_Editor). DON’T send your contact information (Other than the email address, of course, which will never be shared) until I contact you. Contest ends September 21st, 2013, at Midnight, EST. (Eastern Standard Time) Due to shipping costs, I must limit the prizes to those in the U.S. (INCLUDING Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada.

Thanks in advance for those who donate, and even if you can’t spare the money, please spare some time and spread the word.

Next time,  I’ll take a break from convincing you to support FETCH and offer another installment in my new Weekly Readings segment.

Until then,

May the Fantastical Fauna be with you.






Poll Results and Giveaway Updates

EDIT – 8.23.11: Poll results error fixed, first of two new weekly polls up!

This will be a short update today, but I’ve got some really cool stuff planned, and now with WriteOnCon behind us (I still have many transcripts to read) I will be more active in the blogosphere, 

New Polls will be up soon, I had some computer hiccups that have ironed themselves out.
Here are the results from last week’s polls-
Writer’s Only Poll Results
I asked you what age group tries your soul the most, or to be less dramtic, what’s harder or scarier for you to write with the skill you have, or lack, depending…We were split down the middle!
Young Adult 25%
Middle Grade 25% 
Picture Books 25% 
Chapter Books/Easy Readers 25%
It would’ve been more thrilling had more than one person voted per category….(Sigh)….Anyway, hopefully this is a good reminder that what’s fun for some is frustration to others, and I sure need weekly reminders as I’m easily frustrated.Thankfully, my other poll saw more diversity-
Poll #2: Exotic Pets!
In the second weekly poll, I asked what exotic pet you’d LOVE to have if life, the law, and family weren’t instant deterrents, and I’m glad there were varied answers here-

Tied for 1st Place!
Horse or Pony (If your home’s on the range, well, it never hurts to ask, right?)
2 Votes (33%)
Parrot (Treat them well and they could outlive you! Some parrots can live nearly 100 years, the same as some turtle species. Besides, they can talk!)
2 Votes (33%)

Tie for 2nd Place!
Pot-Belly Pig (How can you not love their natural Mohawk? Works better on them than me)
 1 Vote (16%)


Ferret (As close to a weasel a non-vet can get)

1 Vote (!6%)
Tied for 3rd with 0 Votes, Sorry Guys-
Snake (Any kind that can be legally a pet)
Skunk (Smell concerns aside, they really are cute, Mother Nature thew us a paradox in a big way with this one!)

WIPs (Works in Progress) and Writer Cons on My Mind Today

I haven’t gone dark again, I’ve really been busy with two important events-

WriteOnCon, and making headway on my new WIPs, and also fine tuning more posts for the coming days. 
(Those interested in WriteOnCon, go check it out!!)
I try to take the time to make the topics I cover have heart, and aren’t solely a rant on my part, which admittedly I have issues with at times. 
But sometimes a no-frills rant is a good way to spark discussion, and not just get my dander up, but things will progress as they’re meant to I guess.
Anyway, those of you who didn’t hear or took part in last year’s first WriteOnCon, there’s still time to get in on the action, and as someone who’s unable to travel to the big in-person events, this is the only way I get access to certain info and have the chance to network, though that’s still a weak skill of mine, it’s better than not getting the chance to use it at all.
But this leads perfectly into something I’ve wanted to talk about on T.A.A. for ages, how do you feel conferences, particularly the in-person events, helped better your emerging or eventual writing careers.
If you haven’t yet the chance to go, do you want to? Is it worth going? Why or why not?
Many people advised I go to conferences for advice and insight on aspects that still cripple me, and more often than not, those are the big (Expensive!) events in either NYC or California, often L.A., and as much as I may want to, I can’t afford the in-person events, and those are the ones that have the “One on One” workshops I need that add to the overall cost of registration, and the tiny local ones don’t have them at all, and never have speakers discussing what I need to learn more about. The topics are either things I already learned “The Hard Way” or things WAY beyond my reach at my current level of understanding.
WriteOnCon isn’t perfect, but it’s free, and the closest thing to the big live events I heard legends about, and it doesn’t require me to beg, borrow, or you know, to be part of something bigger than me, with the goal of making me a better informed writer for having done it, since live and in person events are few and far between for us Midwesterners. Did I mention expensive for those of us who don’t have a spare 5-10 Grand to register? That’s not even counting travel costs and hotel fees since they’re rarely included in the registration price, and that’s still not counting the extra costs getting into critique and pitch sessions, or the craft panels and workshops.
I know these events costs tons to put on and when you really think about it, the prices charged for these services isn’t unreasonable, I just wish there were ways to break it down so those of us with limited incomes aren’t left out in the cold.
What’s your take on this subject?
Are their writer events you’d attend if they weren’t cost prohibative? Do you think they’re really worth it as we often hear?
For those who’ve been to in-person events, did you learn anything worth the time and money it took to go there?
I know I’m not the only one on the fence about this kind of thing. So share your thoughts in the comments. The first three who reply (On topic, spammers are not eligible!) will each receive a mystery prize I’ll only reveal when three great on-topic replies are in the comments, and there’s still a prize from Monday’s giveaway that’s yet to be claimed!
Stay tuned tomorrow for new weekly polls and final tally results of this week’s polls.
I hope to get another post up today, but if not, 
May the Fantastic Fauna Be With You!
Until next time,
P.S. I know I haven’t done as much genre-specific how-tos as I meant to, but since my own writer-centric focuses have changes drastically in recent months, I had to re-think some of my ideas, but I hope to balance the general with the genre-specific articles and features very soon.
P.P.S. I’ll update my future headlines to better flow with my new direction soon.

Write For Yourself – You First Must Acknowledge The Fall, And Why You Fell, Before You Can Get Up Again

(Details for giveaway below…)

Last week, I began my comeback to the blog scene with touching on the main reason above others why I was M.I.A. so long.

Writing became frustration devoid of fun.

Now for writers like myself who want to get published,  I know full well there are times we must slog through things we find neither pleasurable, or simple to execute as they are to advise, but we also didn’t start writing to torture ourselves either.
Remember, we started writing because we each had stories to tell.

We all kept writing, even when times got tough, agonizing over dozens of countless rewrites, revisions, and restructurings of our manuscripts to get them in top form.

We put in the blood, sweat, tears and time to achieve short and succulent query letters that at best, showcase our balance between craft and commercial appeal.

We endured learning more about publishing than we sometimes want to know.

Because we believe so much in our stories, real or imagined, we will do anything in our power to make it happen, no matter long and uncertain the road getting there may be, 

However, there comes a time, even for the most committed and serious writers, when persistence wained, and feelings of jealousy or inferiority creep in, hard as you try to keep them out. It’s important to note here that while it’s vital you don’t let these negative thoughts poison your mind as well as your passion, you’re not a heartless hypocrite if you’ve felt this surge of envy for other writer’s success, especially if you know them personally on some level.

But keep in mind that the same writers you feel in the shadow of, once and sometimes still, feel the same as you, and if you know them personally, might still wish they could improve at X writing or marketing skill that YOU do better than THEM! Without even realizing it.

While I’ve read many articles and how-to guides that do their best to break down the steps needed to achieve your writing goals, too often these how-tos treat you more like a soulless, robotic army grunt, than someone who doesn’t learn well under pressure, and I’m in this camp for sure.

It’s not just kids and teens who have unique learning styles, be they autistic or not, adults also face similar issues, but often I feel we sometimes unfairly treat fellow adults like flakes who simply can’t “Get Tough” the same way, especially among their same age or generational peers.

These people are not self-pity freaks. Nor are they lazy slobs who’d rather waste time “complaining” than make good use of it, we just don’t learn well when we’re forced to be faster, and speaking for me here, when I’m forced or feel pressured to pick up the pace, my clumsiness and short temper set me up for a fall, figuratively and even literally on the really bad days.

But we’re just people who are trying every day to be better than yesterday, as I’m sure many who follow blogs like this strive to do all the time, you may just simply recover slower than most from many of life’s ills, be it about education, religion, and other facets of daily living that can get on top of anyone. 

Don’t feel alone here. 

I live this struggle too, and even if you don’t, chances are you know one writer or two who meets some or all of the following symptoms above.

With this in mind, I came up with a list of tips and strategies that nearly any Non-Type A writer can benefit from. The only pre-requisites are in the following quote below-

“I want to be a better writer than I am right now. Am I tired of housing a jaded vagabond in my heart day after day? Am I finally ready to evict him?”

For those of you who who’ve been through similar struggles, I urge you to share some highlights from your experience, it may help other writers overcome what’s blocking their comeback trail.

The first two who comment to this post will win the following-

Reply Prize #1:  $20 Barnes and Noble E-Gift Card*
Reply Prize #2: $10 iTunes gift card*

(*Prizes can only be awarded to residents in U.S. or Canada)
-Hawaii and Alaska are eligible-

Another giveaway’s coming this week so keep your eyes sharp for another chance at winning some fun prizes. 

Keep checking back to T.A.A. today and all this week for tips and strategies that keeps me going. Hopefully one of them will help some of  you as well.

Until Next Time,

May the Fantastic Fauna Be With You,


UAPDATE (8/18/11): Giveaway’s Officially Over!
Winners, e-mail me at the following address to claim your prizes-

Contest Update and Special Giveaway

I’ve got good news and bad news, and relax, the bad news has nothing to do with me. This may be my blog, but I’ve no intention to make it my self-pity soapbox, but I appreciate those of you who’ve tried to ground me, be assured your words never fall on death ears, they just are taking longer to live up to than I’d truly like.

First, let me get the other bad news out of the way, which is about the T.A.A. Prose and Poetry Slam.

Normally, this would be the point in the contest when I’d narrow down the entries for the semi final rounds where you readers vote for the winners, but I’ve only received one entry, and a good one.

This mostly happened because I didn’t do enough to promote this contest to better get the word out, and also due to my being discouraged by those who questioned my inability to award the prizes I promised, and despite what these naysayers may think, this is the fairest way I can settle this short of canceling the contest altogether, especially given my own somber mood at present.

I’ve decided to put my prose and Poetry slam on hold until summer, and I promise to better get the word out this time, and be a better blogger by then. For the sole entrant who did submit a piece, not to worry, I’ve read it and will still be in the running when the Prose and Poetry Slam  resumes this summer. I’ll give specific date and details in the near future.

But here’s the good news. I’ve planned a giveaway that you can take part in right now!

All you have to do is leave a comment in this thread and mention a book that cheers you up when you’re blue and why. The first two who comment with their books* each win a $25 Barnes and Noble E-Gift Card.

The winners only need to e-mail me at taaddicts-at-yahoo.com with their contact details and I’ll handle the rest.

*Note: This giveaway is only open to US residents, sorry, but one day I hope to have giveaways open worldwide, or at least Australia and the U.K. They’l just take more planning to work out shipping and exchange rates.

The only other catch is that if the winners have blogs, I’d appreciate they spread the word about my blog and that I’ll re-launch my Prose and Poetry Slam in the summer for a new chance to win even bigger prizes. Hopefully this giveaway will prove I can deliver on my promise of prizes while I fight through my current frustration.

This is mostly an example of my trying to do too much with my blog too quickly. Please forgive me on that. I have a habit of backing out of things at the last minute and started this blog sooner than I meant to, and the fact that my personal non-blog writing goals are off to a rough start this year, and my recent discouragement and frustration episodes didn’t help. I apologize to those I’ve hurt during this time.

But I assure I’m doing all I can to push ahead.

Until Next Time,
May the fantastical fauna be with you,