Synopsis: In ECKSDOT, you’ll join Nate and Danny as they search for clues leading to a mysterious world of ghost robots, while the wall between dreams and reality begins to melt around them. You will laugh and maybe even cry as the two unlikely companions learn what it takes to be a hero and—more importantly—what it takes to be a friend. ECKSDOT is also an artisan’s story—written, illustrated, and typeset by the author—a masterpiece handcrafted from beginning to end.
I was born in the middle of skin-walker territory, practically on the Arizona Navajo Reservation. I grew up with my several siblings in suburban Idaho. The neighborhoods north of our house had a few great bike jumps, hockey courts, and even a safe-house for sneaking video games. Open fields spread out to the south, which, back then, looked surprisingly similar to the magical land of Prydain, littered with streams and trees. It was out there that my brothers and I, in one way or another, actually lived the adventures you’ve read in my books. Then I accidentally grew up. On accident—I mean it. Lucky for me, I still find adventure here and there—in places where it’s easier for adults to see it. Like Xi’an, Cuzco, and Stonehenge. Being a grownup also meant I had to become a productive member of society, so I decided that writing adventures would be the next best thing to living them. That’s what I do. And I’m glad you could join me—we have some exciting things ahead of us.
5 Things You Didn’t Know about ECKSDOT
I wear slacks to most of my public appearances.
But I’m writing this in my Kung-Fu pants.
See, I like to take 10-minute hacky-sack breaks. It gets the blood flowing. It’s a great indoor sport too, by the way—perfect for a writer. I’ve done 20 consecutive hits with shoes on, and I can consistently get 10 hits barefoot. (Barefoot is harder because you don’t have the wide surface area of your shoe—like racquetball versus handball. But I’m a barefoot type of guy.)
I hope not. Because this is a behind-the-scenes look at me as an author and at my book. And the truth is that I don’t wear slacks all the time. In fact, sometimes I don’t wear pants at all.
And now, FIVE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ECKSDOT:
There are 5 ciphers hidden in the text of the book. The easiest one gives a clue to unravel the hardest one. And that leads to a secret about the sequel. I’m afraid only the tenacious will decipher it though. Shoot me a message on Google+ if you need a clue.
Certain themes in the book were inspired by both C. S. Lewis and Stephen Hawking, which, you might say, are nearly polar opposites. One studied the arts, medieval literature in particular, and is famous for his children’s stories. The other is a world-renowned astrophysicist—an extraordinarily brilliant mind trapped in a paralyzed body. But they are both British.
You’re never going to believe me, but I actually saw what Nate saw in the barn. I know, I know. You’re saying—it isn’t even SEE-ABLE! Fine. Don’t believe me. Punk.
Most of my hardcore fans don’t even know this one. ECKSDOT, the would-be leader of the ragtag band of Andbots, is named after me. My name is J. Just J, without anything after it (except when it’s at the end of a sentence like that, sheesh). But most people want to put a period after it, as if it were abbreviating some longer name, like John or Joe, which it isn’t. So whenever someone adds the unneeded period to my name, I cross the silly little thing out—putting an ex through the dot. And one day it struck me: wouldn’t it be great to name a character ECKSDOT?
Boom. There you have it.
The book’s for sale here: http://ECKSDOT.jwashburn.com. And we’ll be giving away free copies to two lucky winners. (I’m rooting for you, mate.)
I’m wearing slacks now, by the way. That’s because this article took me a long time to write, and I have another appointment (writing always takes longer than you think—let that be a lesson to you). And, just so you know, I played another quick round of hacky while wearing slacks, just for good measure.
P.S. I would love to stay in touch with you. Here’s how:
I write a monthly letter to my readers. If you reply to one of those letters, I’ll get your response directly and will write you back. Plus, I give cool and free exclusives to my friends on that list. Climb aboard here: http://TheINFORMANT.jwashburn.
Giveaway – Win a paperback of ECKSDOT (US only) or an ECKSDOT eBook (Internationals) – (all entries will be checked)
- Winners will be chosen at random and must respond within 48 hours, or a new winner will be picked.
- Only genuine rafflecopter entries only – these will be checked and any fake entries will be removed.
- Prize will be sent from the author and I accept no responsibility for losses.
- Entries close 29 November 2013.