Friday, April 17, 2009

A rambling update

Phew! Life has been crazy lately! Very busy times. I'm entering the final stretch of development for my second book, and my pen has been frenetically flying! About 5 months left until the deadline, and then the work goes into that year-long production and manufacture phase before it hits the shelves. Thankfully, I'm having tons of fun, since the second book is a real lark into fantasy and the wild realms of the imagination. It's just the sort of work that makes the weeks fly by. I cannot wait to share it in the fall of 2010!

As for the first book (Swords), well, I sure stumbled upon a treat the other day. Rick Riordan, the delightful author of a whole bunch of bestsellers, has chosen Swords as one of his top 5 favorite books. Actually, this is the top five list for one of Rick's characters - Percy Jackson. Whoa... I'm blown away! Thanks Rick! :)

I also want to thank the friends who sent me pictures of my book at the Smithsonian National Gallery, in D.C.
I'm in the National Gallery!... okay, well, in the giftshop, at least ;) They have a great display of the book, with little figurines of knights and such. Very Cool!

Paths that cross: I met a wonderful person the other day, who happens to be a famous author, but who, above all, is a special and very kind soul. Her name is Justina Headley, and she has been a bright light. Justina reached out to me via correspondence and brought a ray of sunshine into my world. Thank you Justina. I was delighted to brainstorm with her a bit about the history of swords, as she is writing something very exciting on the subject. I can't wait to read the final result! I'm sure it will be a huge hit.

As always, Candlewick Press is awesome and fun to work with. I've been going over my second book with them for the last few days, and they are just fantastic pro's to work with. What a publishing house, let me tell you. They are people of the purest gold.

On a personal front, I have another bit of good news. My wife and I are expecting another baby! This will be our 4th, and I think that's a wrap on the family expansion. We've outgrown our current car as it is. :) We're not sure if the baby is a boy or a girl, and we'll let it be a surprise this time around. Just a thought ---Every time I ship a product, I seem to have another baby. Let's see- When Diablo 2 shipped, little Ben was born (1999). When the Expansion pack shipped, my daughter Ashley was born (2001). When I completed the book Swords, little Emily was born (2007). Now, there is another one on the way, to accompany my second book's completion this year. Oh my!

Bringing up the Diablo games remings me of something: The other day, I went to to buy a few more copies of my book, and I saw something I want to fix. On the marketing blurb that Amazon displays about my book, it mentions something like "Ben Boos, who worked as an illustrator and designer for Blizzard North, on the Diablo Franchise"... Though my background is in illustration and graphic design, that's not what we called this sort of work in the game biz. We graphical critters were simply called artists. Designer is a word with very different implications in game development and in print media. I am proud to have contributed for many, many years to that company, and to have designed many aspects of game-related content and such (including many swords), but I want it clear that I am not a game designer, as such is known. My friends and mentors Dave Brevik, Max and Erich Schaefer and Steig Hedlund were the high-level designers of that marvelous franchise. They were the top guys behind the play mechanics, balance and overall concept. I just got the chance to add my humble art to that dynamic canvas. :)

Speaking of art, it's back to the salt mines for me! Until the next time, be well!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The delightful John Martin, a champion for young readers, has reviewed Swords for

Firstly, I cannot say enough to support what John is up to, and therefore to be so kindly reviewed by this organization... Wow... I am gobsmacked!

Thanks John, for all you do!

Link: Review of Swords

Children's Choice Finalist!

Swords has been picked as a Children's Choice Finalist:
The 5th and 6th grades have spoken, and they like Swords!

I am beyond happy about this. Thank you students! It isn't easy living by your creative wits sometimes, and it is always nice to see that someone is enjoying the results. :)


The final voting to pick the winners is still underway! If you are a teen or younger, and you care to vote - pick your favorite books HERE (Link to the voting page).

The finalists were determined by the votes of close to 15,000 children and teens. Thousands more will be able to cast votes for their favorite books at bookstores, schools, libraries, and at beginning today, March 16, through May 3.