Friday, June 30, 2017

VIDEO: "The Process"

So while Kara was visiting Ginger in Illinois, we promised we'd get you a few videos. Sadly, Kara's phone is stupid and doesn't have much space on it, and was acting up when she tried to transfer the videos to her laptop.

However! We're in the process of grabbing vids off iCloud and Ginger's computer to get them to you. We're not sure how often they'll come out, but they will definitely be coming out. And this Friday is the first of them!

Check out the two of us talking about "the process," the very beginnings of the story, and how we construct scenes together:

And if you haven't picked up your copy of Ghost Fall yet, be sure to do so!

BOOK 2: "Ghost Fall" Now in Print!

So if you were reading closely in our last post, you may have noticed some big news: that is, Ghost Fall is now available to preorder in print! Ginger found an amazing printer, and thanks to the enthusiastic response to the new book and merch, we're able to move toward funding our first print run!


Books are expected to be posted out in mid-July. So get a jump on the crowd and grab yours now!

Meanwhile, we're back to work on Book 3 (as yet untitled), and we're working with an event for a potential surprise to correspond with its release. What is it?... ah, we'll let you know when we're sure ourselves. For now, look forward to it!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

BOOK 2: From Screen to Print!

So first off, before anything else -- thank you so much for your purchases and your positive reaction to Ghost Fall! You have genuinely exceeded our expectations, and thanks to your enthusiasm and support we are on our way to bringing you more Owl's Flower just as we've been hoping to. Keep on spreading the word!

Now, on the subject of doing more. We've had a few people say they're waiting for the print edition. It's true that the first book has a print edition -- but, as you may have seen, Ginger literally assembled them herself in her living room. It makes for a great blog piece, but it's not really the sort of thing she can do every time we want to do a book.

So we've been looking into ways to bring you print books that are the quality we want to bring our readers without actually destroying ourselves in the process. This is actually a multi-step job. But since it is kind of crazy, and since you are kind of supporting a brand new franchise from the ground up, we thought it would be fair to bring you in on what we're doing.

Owl's Flower is a light novel, yes, but unlike most light novels on store shelves, its drawings are full-color illustrations. Color and lighting are important when it comes to the tone and impact of Owl's Flower's drawings, and to truly get that out there, we absolutely needed our drawings to remain in color.

If you've ever researched print-your-own books or similar projects, you will know that there are typically two, and only two, options for your color choices: all black and white, or all color. This mainly has to do with how most printers have their machines and presses set up and ultimately, what is cost effective for that printer. But for us, it made no sense to bite the bullet and just print our book in all color -- financially, it made no sense, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. There had to be another way.

After months of research and sending out quote requests, we finally landed on our printer: someone who would do black and white printing, with color inserts, for a fair price and reasonable minimum quantities.

Just because we found our printer that didn't mean we were home free. This stage of the game mainly involves researching different interior paper, cover stocks, and asking as many questions as possible to be sure all bases are covered. Our printer was so kind as to send a sample book so that Ginger could see, feel, and scrutinize the different papers and the actual print quality.

If you (like Kara) don't know that difference is between 50# and 70# or what “C2S” stands for, this may have little interest to you, but it's an extremely important step to be sure that Owl's Flower is going to be printed with the same amount of quality – or more – as the kind you see on store shelves. Everything is researched to be sure the book looks good while still remaining well priced. 

Once the quote for the books is set, it comes down to getting everything put together in a print-ready file and triple-checking everything that has been triple-checked to make super-duper-uber sure that the book will print properly. Making sure the illustrations are in the layout properly, that page numbers are correct, that the proper phrases are italicized, things like that.

That might seem like extra work when we already have an ebook version, but the formatting between ebook and print is very different. When Kara assembles the ebooks, she runs the PDF file straight out of Word (after tweaking and making sure no words have magically disappeared under images). Then she has to go back to the Word file, reformat it, and run it through an ebook program to make sure the text shows up properly across a variety of ereaders.

All in all, getting a book formatted for PDF, Mobi, ePub, and print involves two people altering five or six different iterations of one file!

Once everything is set, it's off to the printers and out of our hands so that professionals can take care of it. Isn't it great to know people who know what they're doing?

Meanwhile, we're ticking away at book 3, so that eventually you'll have more fantastic stories to read.

So what happens then? Well, we have books! They're sent to Ginger, and she ships them out to you. Then you can read them, put them on your bookshelf next to your Tokyopop manga, take photos of them with your cat and a cup of coffee, or whatever the heck you kids do with print books these days.

Basically, this is all our very long-winded way of telling you that book 2 preorders are now open, and if you want yours you should head over to our Storenvy shop. We'll be doing a bigger post about this later, but the sooner you get in, the sooner you get yours!

Again, thanks for all your support!

Friday, June 23, 2017


Wow, what a week! Ghost Fall is out and we've already got some satisfied customers. Please keep on picking up your ebook copy to support us and to keep on reading the story of Herne and Iris. Book 3 is underway (and will be more underway now that Kara and Ginger are out from under assembling book 2!), so as time goes on we'll occasionally drop some little hints about that.

So, what else has been going on in the world of our creators?

Ginger's place of employment, Imagination Print and Design, is collaborating with the Vietnam Moving Wall's stop in Oswego to sell some absolutely gorgeous shirts. Check out their selections and pick some up! Online ordering for these shirts ends on Monday, July 31, so you only have a month to get yours!

Imagination Print and Design is also doing a series of pop-up shops this summer. Check out their Facebook page to see new designs for $10!

Meanwhile, Kara has just finished working with Crunchyroll and Fathom Events on an ongoing promotion for the new film Resident Evil: Vendetta! Check out her interview with voice actors Matt Mercer (Leon S. Kennedy) and Erin Cahill (Rebecca Chambers) covering the film, the pair's other video game and acting work, the Overwatchiversary, and the awesomeness of the anime and game fandom.

You can also rent or buy the film on Amazon Video right now. DVD and Blu-Ray copies go on sale July 18!

That's all for now -- see you next week! And please send us your thoughts on Book 2, and be sure to refer your friends!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

SHOP: New Cuteness to Wear! Shirts and a GHOST FALL Print

Thanks to everyone so far who's bought a book -- and to those of you who gave a little extra, you're super awesome! You're why we can keep being creative, making more books, and bringing you more cool stuff!

Speaking of more cool stuff -- Ginger has done this adorable pic in celebration of our second release, featuring Herne, Iris, and Stormy. If you like the art, guess what? You can wear it!

The above art is available on three types of shirts: unisex, women's, and a breezy tank. All three are available in multiple colors (Kara is picking up her smoky women's tee as we speak) to suit your wardrobe! Tees are $25, tanks are $22.

Also available is this gorgeous print of Herne and Iris going for an autumn evening fly, straight out of the second book! It's available in six sizes, ranging from $14-34, and is printed on fingerprint-proof luster photo paper.

Check out our Storenvy to pick up these new goodies, plus shop shirts, cutie shirts and leggings, mugs, and tote bags!

And don't forget to grab our second book for the price of a coffee (or whatever you choose to pay)!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GHOST FALL! It's here!

It's here! The spooky second volume of the Owl's Flower light novel series is now available in PDF, ePUB, and Mobi. And you can grab it now in the store!

A bit of an explanation on how we're doing this. Originally, we wanted to do pay-what-you-want quite literally. But PayPal has new rules in place where donation buttons can only be used by charities. And, well... we're not a charity. We're a small business. So unfortunately that wasn't possible. And the codes for creating a pay-what-you-want box allowed people to put $0... which we can't afford.

So for now, we are operating via Ko-fi. This means you can pay in increments of $3, with a $3 minimum... but we decided between us that's a pretty square deal for a full-length book with 13 full-colour illustrations. You can absolutely pay more if you so desire. In future, we hope to get a more fluid, self-contained system for that.

For those waiting for the print version... let's say that for now, you might want to just grab the ebook. We're not saying a print version won't happen, but Ginger is busily running numbers and pricing print runs with small publishers (since her binding them at home is not schedule-effective for her). We're not sure how long that will take, but if you're itching for the next installment, you might want to grab the digital version.

Plus, digital sales will go on to fund our initial print run!

Meanwhile, we've got some very cool things in the works. Some new merch, a potential collaboration event next year, and (of course) working away on Book 3!

Thanks to everyone for all the support, and we'll see you Friday for our regular creator check-in!

Monday, June 19, 2017

GHOST FALL COUNTDOWN: Interview with Herne and Iris

Tomorrow's the big day! Ghost Fall, the second book in the Owl's Flower light novel series, goes on sale tomorrow for pay-what-you-want. If you're new to the series, you can grab the first book free right here.

We were struggling to decide what we should do for the final day of our countdown. Kara's talked about her experiences writing spooky stories, Ginger's talked about the "before and after" of her life during her time on this book, so what's left? Well, there are two people who haven't had their say yet... our stars, Herne and Iris!

So, to lead in to the new book tomorrow, we had a chat with the couple at the center of it all. Read on to find out more about Ghost Fall and the future of the series!

So, how is the big life change going?

Iris: You mean us dating in general, or Herne moving in specifically?

Herne: What do you mean by that? I'm perfect.

Iris: ... yes, of course you are. So are the feathers I keep finding between the sofa cushions. And in the dishwasher.

Herne: They're perfect, yes.

Iris: So, does that answer your question?

What are the special challenges you encounter sharing a living space with someone so unlike you?

Herne: Well, she sleeps a lot and she's always doing laundry-

Iris: I think they were talking to me.

Herne: How dare.

Do you sleep a lot?

Iris: If I'm lucky, I sleep six hours.

Herne, what is "a lot" to you?

Herne: SIX HOURS!!!

Is it tough for you to be living in a house instead of a tree?

Herne: I thought it might be, but I have constant access to coffee and snacks, so it's great.

Iris: And girlfriend.

Herne: What?

Iris: And constant access to girlfriend.

Herne: Oh, right.

Is he cuddly?

Herne: That's a very personal question!

Iris: Yes, he's very cuddly.

So, moving on... what can you tell us about the events of the second book?

Herne: They happened.

Iris: ... I think they know that. I think they want, like... a teaser or something.

Herne: Oh... I learn to make coffee.

Iris: And there's a lot of spooky stuff, too. Like ghosts. Since it's Halloween.

Herne: And I wear a hat.

Iris: And he wears a hat.

And Herne, we get to meet some of your old friends.

Herne: Yes, we do.

Iris: We do??

Herne: You remember Frank.

Iris: ... oh. Right. Frank.

Herne: And there's someone else, too.

Iris: Wait, there is?

Herne: Well, we don't technically meet him, but he does show up.

Iris: Oh. Nice. Building up a little mystery.

Anything else to say to your readers?

Herne: Come back tomorrow to download Ghost Fall to see what we're talking about.

Iris: It's pay-what-you-want for the ebook, which means you could totally get it for a penny if you want... but you don't want to be that guy, right?

Herne: Uh... she means pay what you think it's worth.

Iris: I know exactly what I mean.

Herne: And if you're new to the series and not sure, then check out the first ebook. It's free.

Iris: And don't forget to stop by my shop for a pick-me-up!

Herne: A pick... up?

Iris: A coffee!

Herne: Oh, yes, please. Two sugar.

Iris: ... *sigh*

Sunday, June 18, 2017

GHOST FALL COUNTDOWN: Ginger Looks Forward and Back

As I was leaving my neighborhood the other day, I saw a yard sign posted for the annual community garage sale. Oh right I thought, That was the thing I was going to do and then realized I have nothing to actually sell. The most obvious tell of this is that my single-stall garage stores my car, not random junk.

What this means is that a year ago this weekend, I looked at the condo I'm writing this up in right now and put an offer in for. This was my summer of two moves, where my parents and I just so happened to buy places to live at the same time, but my closing was a month after theirs. The first Owl's Flower was drawn partly at my old house, partly in an extended-stay hotel, partly at my parents' new place, and partly at my first “own” place. There was so much going on in my life that I can't believe I actually was able to get drawings done for the first of this new adventure of making a light novel series.

Herne's design comes from an established place (drawings circa 2012/2013).

I've wanted to make a book series for a very, very long time. Along with that elusive illustration degree I have, I also studied and have a minor in English. My graduation portfolio for my BFA featured all sorts of characters I had created, both on the spot for pieces and who had been sitting in my brain for years. The toner-ink warriors, the desert pirate, the space farmers, the emperor mangoat – they all had a story to them (which my class was often subject to hearing) and were ready to go. But, as many will tell you, making stories happen is hard, especially when you want to write and draw it. Owl's Flower is kind of a relief in the sense that it's a story I'm passionate about, and get to work with someone who is just as passionate as I am. It's satisfying to say that the hurdle isn't getting the first story out, it's doing the second, the third, the seventh. That's an exciting place to be.

One of the things Kara brought up in her post, which apparently I brought up, is that the first book of the series is kind of...slow. And I don't say that to complain, I say it as an observation when I was looking at things to draw. Let's not use the word “slow” and instead say that was it pretty mellow. Something that I was looking forward to with book 2 and beyond was that things would become more weird and mystical and open for possibilities. I'm not calling for action scenes all the time, necessarily, but I'm excited to bring this world of ours to life as we keep going. More supernatural stuff, more new characters to meet, and more of Herne's wings and antlers.

Book 3 was discussed the Monday after we had launched book 1 and I had gone to a wedding. I can remember chugging a latte before taking off for the airport and Kara and I were gabbing about the plot of book 3, making jokes while also going “no wait that's a great idea”. Ghost Fall is the start of something really exciting and really fun, and I' m excited to get this all out there for you guys to enjoy.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Kara Dennison and Rob Shearman, two extremely dark and terrifying writers.
When we were wrapping up the first Owl's Flower book, Ginger pointed out to me -- not wrongly -- that it was a bit slow. I don't necessarily see that as a bad thing for a romance series origin story, nor do I think she was putting it forward as a bad thing. It's important the we know from Day One that the drama in Herne and Iris's life doesn't come from a turbulent relationship haunted by uncertainty and unstable emotions. That's not who they are.

Going forward, however, we knew we could go bigger and badder and weirder with the books. Ginger has a very kinetic style, and I love writing action sequences. I also love writing dark and weird -- and creating a pantheon whose deities can be from any era, any beliefs system, and any tier of reality means we can really go to town with our creations.

When I was younger, I was inspired by a sort of odd blend of Douglas Adams, Brian Jacques, and C.S. Lewis. Now, as a published writer, I find myself retaining a bit of that, but with a healthy helping of influence from Junji Ito and the more fantasy-skewed works of Richard Matheson and Stephen King. Published I've turned out lately include medieval knights having existential crises in Heaven, giant petrified elder gods in space, haunted video games, and a retelling of an old Poe story that ends with someone getting stabbed with shards of mirror.

So a Halloween story with ghosts sounded right up my street.

I don't think Ghost Fall is grim per se. Overall, Owl's Flower isn't grim. It's sweet, it's sad sometimes, it's funny quite a bit (I hope), and it's got some mystery and some scares and some intrigue. But despite my love of the macabre and Ginger's willingness to run with it, it's never going to become one of those stories completely. Not with a core made up of a barista and an owl-shifter with anxiety.

That said, I hope this story gives you some scares. I hope it makes you think. I hope it gets you even more interested in the characters. And I hope it makes you excited for the third book, which is underway and will be a Valentine's Day story.

See you Tuesday -- don't forget to get Ghost!

Friday, June 16, 2017

BIG NEWS: "Ghost Fall" Goes on Sale THIS TUESDAY!

Well, between day jobs, convention work, health crises, and every other potential thing that can happen, we finally got there... Book 2 of the series, Ghost Fall, goes on sale this Tuesday, June 20!

This second ebook, and all ebooks going forward, will be pay-what-you-want. So if cash flow is low but you still want to read, you can set your own price! Conversely, you can use this as a way to make donations, too. Any future print books will have a set price, of course -- but this is up to you.

Stay tuned over the next few days, since we're going to have some cool stuff leading up to the release. And be sure to come see Kara at Anime Mid-Atlantic this weekend if you're in the Hampton Roads area!

Friday, June 9, 2017


Whew! Hello, all! It's been a busy week for both of us as we hunker down and get to work on upcoming conventions. For starters, check out Ginger's awesome design for the PotterVerse shirts!

Shirts are $20 for size S-XL, and $25 for sizes 2XL-5XL. There will be a few to buy at the merch table in common sizes during the con, but if you want to be sure of getting one, your best bet is to order beforehand. Register now to hang out with us in Baltimore this September, and be sure to add a shirt or two to your registration!

Speaking of cons, Kara will be at Anime Mid-Atlantic starting a week from today in Norfolk, VA! She'll be hosting karaoke for her 11th year running Friday night at 9 PM. Be sure to come hang out if you're in the area -- and remember, the con has moved to the Norfolk Waterside Marriott this year!

Keep an eye out for more cool stuff coming soon!

Friday, June 2, 2017


The finishing touches are being put on the illustrations, and it's almost here! Ghost Fall, the second book in the Owl's Flower light novel series, is coming soon to ebook and print.

It's almost Halloween, and William's Grove is haunted... by something that seems to have it out specifically for Herne. What are the ghosts calling to him from the ravine? What can Iris do to help? And what happens when he leaves his home in the forest to move in and live among humans for the first time?

Check out the new book trailer below:

Book 2 will be available as an ebook at pay-what-you-want pricing. Print books will be available at a later date for a set price.

Stay tuned for more information!