Monday, 12 September 2011

Hello World

What does one say in the first post of their first ever foray into the blogosphere? I guess the logical place to start would be to introduce myself and the reason for creating "Picture Books with Chutzpah".

Let me take you back a few months to a lazy afternoon at home with my four year old daughter. It was an average day. At the best of times, my adorable daughter has the attention span of a gnat so it didn't take her long to reach a state where boredom had set in. Deeply set in. 

Anyway, we got to talking about the entertainment options at our disposal. One thing led to another and we decided that it would be best if we got creative and made our own entertainment, since the other options on offer simply didn't cut the grade. Having always had an interest in various forms of writing, I decided to challenge myself to write a picture book which I could share with my daughter.

I've always had a bit of a cheeky side (usually well hidden) and thought that if I'm going to reveal myself as a big kid at heart, then I better do it properly. With a great big dollop of chutzpah!

The ideas came thick and fast... cheeky book titles that fit into one of two categories:
  1. Titles which contain slightly rude words (guaranteed to get a giggle out of a preschooler) or
  2. Titles which contain double-entendres that are perfectly innocent to those same preschoolers, but are likely to evoke a snicker from their aunt/uncle and possibly elicit a 'tut-tut' from the principal.
Fast forward to today. My first picture book titled Chasing Tail is now finished and self-published over at Smashwords. I thought I'd create this blog to explore my endeavours as a picture book author; publish the odd observation (and when I use the word odd, it serves multiple purposes); maybe even review picture books by others and rather conveniently, it gives me a great platform to shamelessly self promote my books (apparently writing picture books is a really tough industry to break into so please take it easy with any anti-capitalist sentiments). So that's the blog introduction out of the way.

As for me, I don't actually exist.

Or to be more accurate, "Gary Masskin" doesn't really exist (apologies if there are any real Gary Masskins out there). I've decided to create a pseudonym as I have ambitions to write thriller novels one day and so I thought I'd write the picture books under a different pen name.

How did I decide on this particular name?

I knew straight up that I wanted it to be an anagram of my last name. This gave me plenty of letters to play with. After several attempts rearranging the letters, I struck gold with "Gary Masskin".

Gary means "spear thrower" which lends itself nicely to the controversial book titles I had in mind and the aforementioned dollop of chutzpah.  Mass means "big" and kin means "kid". So roughly translated, I tell people that Gary Masskin means “Big-kid-at-heart-who-enjoys-throwing-spears”.

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